Independence Square, and three historic buildings, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, and Old City Hall that are located on the 4.63 acre Square, are the four significant sites that are associated with the Underground Railroad. The Square was the gathering place for abolition activities, as well as the locations for speeches by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. At Independence Hall, the Declaration of Independence, promising freedom, was adopted, the US Constitution with its three-fifths rule and 20-year postponement of slavery discussion, was drafted, and the US District Court trials concerning the Christiana riots and other fugitive cases were held. In Congress Hall, the US Congress passed the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act and heard anti-slavery petitions. In Old City Hall, two mayors publicly demonstrated their support of the anti-slavery movement. The Square and the three buildings are listed on INDE’s National Register nomination, while Independence Hall is a World Heritage site.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 313 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 19106
National Park Unit: Yes
Ownership: Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod
Location Type: Site