WASHINGTON — The first slaves in Pennsylvania were brought by the Dutch in the 1630s but after Pennsylvania became a British colony slavery was not a popular practice due to the beliefs of the Quaker, Methodist, and Baptist settlers. The Gradual Abolition Act, which passed in 1780, made children born to slaves free when they reached 28 years of age. By 1860 all African- Americans living in Philadelphia were free with many owning business and property. Philadelphia became an important stop on the underground railroad helping hundreds of runaway slaves escape to the north every year.
The museum has two permanent exhibits and an one changing exhibit. The permanent exhibits are interactive allowing visitors to pick subjects that interest them. One features a large mural, the other spotlights renown Philadelphians from the 18th century.
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