Abolition Hall, Hovenden House and Plymouth Meeting Historic District
An excerpt: "Corson, who was white, maintained contacts with Dan Ross, a black conductor who lived in Norristown, and William Still, the free black clerk of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society who coordinated the eastern line of the Underground Railroad from his office at 31 N. Fifth St. in Philadelphia.
Ross and Still sent fugitives to Corson, who hid them in Abolition Hall. When the runaways were pursued by a slave catcher, Corson shuttled them off to the Plymouth Meeting Country Store via a tunnel. So effective was this arrangement that fugitives felt "that no slave hunter would catch them as long as they were under Corson's care," according to Still, in his 1871 book, The Underground Railroad.
Having spent many years researching and writing about - and trying to preserve - historic structures related to Pennsylvania's Underground Railroad, I know that even if the Corson homestead, Abolition Hall, and the Plymouth Meeting Country Store are not demolished, the historical integrity of the properties would be severely compromised by the developer's plans."
“Abolition Hall is a national historical site that should be preserved.”
Charles L. Blockson, Curator Emeritus, Afro American Collection at Temple University Libraries
YOU can help protect this well-documented, historic Underground Railroad site!
You can have a role in protecting the extraordinary and important legacy of Abolition Hall and the Hovenden House, in the heart of historic Plymouth Meeting.
(Should you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to Preservation Pennsylvania. In the memo section write "Abolition Hall Fund" and mail to: Abolition Hall Fund, Preservation Pennsylvania, 257 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Please include a note If you wish your donation to remain anonymous.)
Your tax-deductible donation to the Friends of Abolition Hall Fund at Preservation Pennsylvania will help the Friends with their appeal of a developer’s plan to subdivide this historic 10.45-acre parcel, and construct 48 townhouses on land that has been continuously farmed since the mid-1700s.
The Friends group is composed of local residents and supporters who believe that the proposed subdivision and townhouse development fails to acknowledge or respect the powerful history of this homestead.
The Friends have hired an attorney and a land-use planning expert, both of whom appeared at a public hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board on January 31 and March 16. That decision did not go in our favor, but we will continue our efforts to preserve this nationally-significant site.
(Donors will be listed in the Abolition Hall section of Preservation Pennsylvania's Annual Report. If you wish to remain anonymous, please make a note in the message section.)
History at the Crossroads: The Activists and Artists of Abolition Hall from PFW Media on Vimeo.
Preservation Pennsylvania is acting as a fiscal agent to accept donations for the Friends of Abolition Hall. All donations will be held to cover expenses incurred by the Friends in their efforts to preserve Abolition Hall.
Preservation Pennsylvania is officially licensed as a charitable organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation under Internal Revenue Service regulations. A copy of the official registration and financial information of Preservation Pennsylvania may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. Questions about Preservation Pennsylvania should be addressed to (717) 234-2310. All membership/donor contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.