header-left
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 181085    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 12/6/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 12/13/2018
Title: Also naming Sixth Street, between Race Street and Lombard Street, as "Avenue to Freedom".
Sponsors: Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Parker
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 18108500.pdf, 2. Signature18108500
Title
Also naming Sixth Street, between Race Street and Lombard Street, as "Avenue to Freedom".

Body
WHEREAS, Sixth Street in Philadelphia, from Race to Lombard Streets, is unmatched in American history for its celebration of African-American heroes and leaders, as they faced fierce opposition, rejected the shackles of slavery and encouraged the people to wrest control of their own fate. These blocks on Sixth Street mark some of the greatest triumphs in their struggle for freedom, as well as heinous events in that dark saga. It is time to properly recognize this street along which these courageous African-American men and women blazed the trail for freedom; and

WHEREAS, At Sixth and Market Streets stood the President's House where President George Washington and First Lady Martha Washington employed nine household slaves, including Oney "Ona" Judge, the First Lady's young seamstress and the proud master chef Hercules. Skirting Pennsylvania's anti-slavery law, Martha Washington took her personal slave Ona to Trenton to renew her status as a slave. In 1796 a very determined Ona, semi-literate and cut off from her family took matters into her own hands and defied the most powerful man in America managing to escape from that house and find freedom in New Hampshire. A year later Hercules saw his years of faithful service and his culinary triumphs in Philadelphia at the President's House "rewarded" back in Virginia by his being reduced to a field hand. Insulted at such disrespect, Hercules eventually disappeared from Mt. Vernon; and

WHEREAS, One of the most regressive legislative acts of the new American Congress took place in Congress Hall at Sixth and Chestnut Streets, with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. This heinous measure placed additional obstacles in the way of anyone who might assist slaves in search of freedom; and

WHEREAS, The Liberty Bell, now housed along Sixth Street, had functioned as the Great State House Bell to keep tim...

Click here for full text