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Antebellum Philadelphia: A City On the Edge of North and South

October 26 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


$15 Hidden City members (become a member here)
$10 Under 25 Years Old
$20 General Admission


As the closest free-black city just north of the Mason-Dixon line, Philadelphia was a critical safe-haven before the Civil War. Yet the city’s location also made it a lucrative target for kidnappers who sold free blacks into slavery. Philadelphians themselves were likewise divided; the city was home to both a vigorous Abolitionist community, and an upper class with strong social and commercial ties to the South.

To gain a better understanding of the situation, we will walk in the footsteps of two women; a high-society white woman (Minnie Jones), and a free black woman (Inez Cassey), both born and raised on the same streets yet experiencing the same place very differently. We will visit places of importance to each woman and ponder how each of their societies helped form their attitudes and prospects. Ultimately, we will look beyond the ideal of Philadelphia as a “safe haven” and find clues back to a time filled with racial strife and the earliest days of Civil Rights activism, as well as Philadelphia’s close connections to Southern businesses and plantations.

“The most hidden parts of history are the lives and contributions of women, especially women of color. It shouldn’t be surprising to find a historical tour centered on two very different women, but it was. History is its most useful when it helps inform the present, uncovering how things became the way they are now, for better or worse. Following these two women gives us context of both their world and ours.” –Gabrielle Corsaro, tour attendee, September 23, 2018

Questions, concerns, conundrums? Contact Hidden City project director Pete Woodall at 267-259-7112 or pwoodall@hiddencityphila.org

Tour guide Mickey Herr lived in many places until her heart settled in Philadelphia. She has led the development and communications efforts for several significant non-profit cultural institutions in Philadelphia. Current interests involve elevating the hidden-histories of women. She is at work on a novel, and gives tours for Hidden City Philadelphia, both of which are allowing her to research incredible untold stories of women. She believes in ghosts, synchronicity, and taking chances. Read her writing on Philadelphia, history and geneology at mickeyherr.com.


October 26
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


3rd & Delancey, NE corner


Pete Woodall