William C. Goodridge (1805-1876) was not only the most prominent African-American stationmaster in Antebellum York City but was also, by virtue of his various enterprises (barbering, retail/wholesale, transportation, photography, etc.), an influential member of Antebellum Pennsylvania’s nascent African-American middle class. In recognition of his importance the Penna. Historical and Museum Commission placed an historical marker in front of his residence at 123 E. Philadelphia Street in York. A measure of Goodridge’s importance is the railroad cars which he owned and used to transport goods and fugitives from York to Philadelphia. Osborne Perry Anderson’s account of his escape from the debacle at Harper’s Ferry in 1859 underscores how Goodridge not only hid him but also helped him to escape capture. Also Goodridge reportedly transported William Parker and his compatriots after their resistance of the slavemaster in Christiana in 1851. Goodridge’s anti-slavery efforts began in the late 1840’s after the well-known Prigg Case which established Pennsylvania as free soil for the fugitive. Local historians have linked Goodridge with William Whipper and Stephen Smith, important African-American businessmen and U.G.R.R. stationmasters in Columbia and Philadelphia. The three were apparently business partners.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 123 East Philadelphia Street, York, 17403
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Carol Kauffman
Location Type: Site
UGRR Operatives: William C. Goodridge