White, Jacob C., Sr.

Jacob C. White Sr.

Jacob Clement White Sr. was a major Underground Railroad agent in the city of Philadelphia. A prominent entrepreneur, White was married to Elizabeth Miller White, a seamstress. The Whites used their home at 100 Old York Road as a station on the Underground Railroad. Active in the First African Presbyterian Church at Seventh and Shippen Streets, where his family attended services, White was also the president of the Church's Board of Trustees and served as superintendent of the First African Presbyterian's Sunday School. In addition, White co-founded several organizations in Philadelphia dedicated to social justice and the intellectual pursuits of the black community. Among the organizations White co-founded were: the Gilbert Lyceum, a literary society; the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, a group which aided persons trying to escape slavery; and the Committee to Recruit Colored Troops. One of the principal promoters of the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons in West Philadelphia, White was the first member of its Board of Managers. He was also the proprietor of Lebanon Cemetery on Passyunk Road, one of the few black-owned burial grounds in the area, and worked as an unlicensed physician, dentist, barber and hairdresser.



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Newman, Richard and James Mueller (eds.)   Antislavery and abolition in Philadelphia: emancipation and the long struggle for racial justice in the City of Brotherly Love. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011.

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Whitehead, Karsonya Wise.  Notes from colored girl: the civil war pocket diaries of Emilie Frances Davis. Columbia, South Carolina: The University of South Carolina Press, 2014.

 By Aslaku Berhanu