Spirit of Our Ancestors: A Celebration of History and Human Spirit
April 27 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Please join Providence Friends Meeting at a spiritual memorial and historic celebration honoring the courageous freedom seekers and the national and local abolitionists and free blacks who helped them.
This celebration of the human spirit will include a Harriet Tubman storyteller, performances by the Lincoln University Choir and recording artist Dani Ocean, inspiration from local religious leaders, and personal recollections from Providence Meeting member Sam Lemon, Ed.D., whose maternal ancestors, Cornelius and Martha Jane Ridley, were among freedom seekers sheltered by members of Providence Meeting. Local historian Nancy Webster will share information about the Underground Railroad in our area, Quaker Abolitionist Thomas Garrett and others who helped innumerable slaves escape to freedom. Finally, we will tell the stories of local Quakers and other abolitionists including Graceanna Lewis. A suffragist and scientist as well as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, she was also a member of Providence Meeting and is buried in the graveyard behind the Meetinghouse.
Media Historical Society’s Minshall House, located across the street from Providence Meeting at 417 East Front Street, will be open for tours before and after the program (11 am – 1 pm, 4 – 5 pm). The Minshall House is the birthplace of William H. Ridley, the first African American attorney in Delaware County and the son of freedom seekers Cornelius and Mary Jane Ridley.