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50 Years and Beyond:Philadelphia after the Emancipation Proclamation

Author: Terry Anne Wildman


Overbrook Elementary

Year: 2013

Seminar: From Slavery to Civil Rights

Grade Level: 1

Keywords: English, History, language arts, literacy, Pennsylvania History, social studies

School Subject(s): African American History, American History, English, History, Literature, Social Studies, Writing

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Full Unit Text

January 1, 2013 was the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  It was interesting to observe how our nation celebrated this important event in history both as a nation and in Philadelphia.  I felt it was important this year to include lessons in my class that would describe the events surrounding President Lincoln issuing the Proclamation during the Civil War.  What I was hoping would happen were events in the city, programs on television, and newspapers announcing the 150th Anniversary with pictures, essays, and discussions about slavery and the impact of freeing so many enslaved people at one time.  It was disappointing to say the least that there was not much notice given to this historic event.


In the January edition of The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania dedicated this edition to the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  In it David W. Young of Cliveden in Germantown, Pennsylvania wrote an article entitled, “You Feel So Out of Place’: Germantown’s J. Gordon Baugh and the 1913 Commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation”.  Young’s article brought to life the souvenir that was published comparing it to W.E.B. DuBois’ study of the 7th Ward.  I found it interesting that even 50 years later, there was little fanfare surrounding this event and believe it is important to continue the conversation about slavery, freedom and equality in our country.  By presenting information to students about the progress that has been made since emancipating enslaved people, I believe that there can be discussions and a deeper understanding of what progress has been made in our country and what that progress looks like today.


At an upper level elementary level, students do not have sizable background knowledge of early American history, including how slavery began, why it continued, and why there was such a long bloody battle to put an end to it.  I believe it is important to introduce this part of our history in order to better understand where we are today and what we can do to foster healing in our country.  I also believe that students should understand that most enslaved people migrated North with nothing but the clothes on their backs and what they could carry in their arms to find a better life.  Some people were successful and some had a difficult time acclimating to big city life in Philadelphia.  What made the difference?  I believe that historians would say that people who joined organizations, churches and schools and who became active participants in their communities were able to find a better life for themselves and their families.  Joseph Baugh, Jr. is a case in point.  His father, Joseph Baugh, Sr., moved from the South to Philadelphia after the Civil War and was able to purchase a home in Germantown by 1880. Baugh, Sr. was very active in his church and community.  Students will learn what progress for African Americans looked like in the context of Philadelphia so that they can connect what they learn from past events and appreciate the progress that has been made and/or discuss why more progress has not been made.  Finally, students will be able to explore how participating in their communities and local government today may provide a way to becoming successful citizens in the U.S.A.


Students will analyze census data provided by W.E.B. DuBois’ 1897 study in “The Philadelphia Negro” and compare and contrast this with information and images as primary documents from J. Gordon Baugh, Jr., “Souvenir of Germantown”.   With the new common core curriculum there is a focus on non-fiction reading and writing including strategies for organizing information and comprehension.  In addition, students are exposed to primary documents to develop skills such as analyzing, predicting, questioning, and exploring for further understanding.  This unit will incorporate images from 1913 and ask students to think about what the photographer was trying to show America about African Americans living in Germantown.  They will look at DuBois’ study including tables of data showing where African Americans migrated from and the conditions they found in the 7th ward.  Critical thinking questions will be asked such as “How do you know that the researcher has gathered information without errors?  What does the 1910 Census show us about the increase of population in the 7th Ward?  How would this increase affect the living conditions and jobs available?


The final activity will include students discussing how they would portray their neighborhood 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Would they want to show progress or would they want to show the difficulties people in some neighborhoods continue to experience.  After answering the questions, students will create a “souvenir” of their neighborhood using technology that would allow for interaction and feedback from others.


On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln freed the enslaved workers who were living in the states and counties in rebellion. The “War of Northern Aggression”, as the South referred it to, did not begin as a war about slavery.  The Southern states were afraid that once Lincoln was elected, he would not allow new territories brought into the United States to allow slavery and would eventually make it illegal in America.  Lincoln thought that the war would be short-lived and worked towards bringing the Union back together again.  By 1863, with the Confederates winning many battles, Lincoln sought a way to end the war.  By issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln hoped that the Southern states would return before the 100-day grace period and the Proclamation would become null and void.  The Proclamation was a war document, issued by the Commander in Chief of the Union army.  The President knew that only an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would end slavery.  The Southern states refused to return to the Union and the Proclamation was made law on January 1, 1863.  What we know now is that enslaved people where emancipating themselves through the Underground Railroad and by reaching Union camps, where they were protected as contraband.  It was not until the 13th Amendment, which was ratified December 6, 1865, that all enslaved people were declared free from the bondage of slavery.







In 1780, Pennsylvania passed the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, which stated that:


SECT. 4. Provided always, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every Negro and Mulatto child born within this state after the passing of this act as aforesaid (who would, in case this act had not been made, have been born a servant for years, or life, or a slave) shall be deemed to be and shall be by virtue of this act the servant of such person or his or her assigns, who would in such case have been entitled to the service of such child, until such child shall attain unto the age of twenty eight years, in the manner and on the conditions whereon servants bound by indenture for four years are or may be retained and holder; and shall be liable to like correction and punishment, and entitled to like relief in case he or she be evilly treated by his or her master or mistress, and to like freedom dues and other privileges as servants bound by indenture for four years are or may be entitled, unless the person to whom the service of any such child shall belong shall abandon his or her claim to the same; in which case the overseers of the poor of the city, township or district respectively, where such child shall be So abandoned, shall by indenture bind out every child so abandoned, as an apprentice for a time not exceeding the age herein before limited for the service of such children.[i]


This gradual abolition act 1780 had a profound affect upon Philadelphia, as it was a “natural gateway” for those running to freedom.  In Philadelphia, they found freed black families and Quaker abolitionists who along with other residents in Pennsylvania were willing to assist those escaping from bondage in the southern states.  So began the city’s rich history of migration and immigration, which helped it to expand and grow rapidly.  In 1790, it is estimated that there were 28, 552 people living in the city of Philadelphia. (Note: Population information was divided by county and city of Philadelphia until 1860, when the totals were combined). Right before the Civil War in 1860, there were 565,529 people in the city.  And by 1910, there were 1,549,008 people living in Philadelphia.


W.E.B. DuBois


William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) DuBois was born to Alfred and Mary DuBois on February 23, 1868, approximately 3 years after the end of the Civil War.  He was born in Great Barrington, Connecticut in a town that would eventually help him to obtain a college education.  His father, Alfred, was born in Haiti but migrated to the United States where he pursued various occupations including waiter, barber, and cook.  He moved from New York to Massachusetts where he met W.E.B.’s mother, Mary.  Alfred eventually abandoned his family and when W.E.B. was young, Mary suffered a stroke that paralyzed and disabled the left side of her body.  DuBois grew up helping his mother by helping her at home and working after school.  She died of an apoplectic stroke in March of 1885, when W.E.B. was 17 years old.


Frank Hosmer, his High School Principal, organized a committee of wealthy bigwigs who underwrote DuBois’s education at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Thus began his academic career, which included Harvard College where he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in June of 1890.  He received a fellowship for graduate study and applied for a fellowship from the Slater Fund to study history and economics in Berlin, Germany.  Although he received the fellowship, DuBois began attending socialist meetings in his Berlin neighborhood.  It was assumed that those who supported him from the Slater Fund got wind of this “radical turn” and withdrew their support.  DuBois returned to Harvard to obtain his doctorate degree.  On completing his degree, DuBois accepted a position at Wilberforce University in Ohio.  He was not happy there due to the large load of classes and the debilitation of Jim Crow in Ohio.  DuBois was happy to receive a letter from the University of Pennsylvania offering him a position as an investigator, not a professor (Jim Crow forbade this) of African Americans in West Philadelphia.  In 1896, Philadelphia had one of the largest African American populations in the country.  Like other cities, Philadelphia did not escape the racial tension and riots that escalated throughout the nation.


Herbert Aptheker calculated that “Dr Dubois expended 835 hours in interviews involving 2,500 households during a 90-day period of intensive research commencing in August 1896: this research involved talking with approximately 10,000 men, women, and children all told”[ii]


DuBois reports that in 1790, there were 51,902 whites and 2,489 Negroes in the County of Philadelphia.[iii] The percentage of Negroes to whites was 20.8%. (Note: I use the term Negro when referring to DuBois’ study as that is how he categorized African Americans in 1897.  Where the term African American is used, I am choosing to use this current label of people of color.) Between 1790 and 1800, there was a 176.42% increase in the Negro population and a 42.92% increase in the white population.  By 1890, Dubois reports a population in Philadelphia of 1,006,590 whites and 39,371 Negroes for a total of 1,046,964.[iv]  By my calculations, in 1890, 26.5% of the population in Philadelphia was African Americans.


The 7th ward of Philadelphia is the area between South Seventh and Lombard Streets including the long narrow strip, beginning at South Seventh and extending west, with South and Spruce Streets as boundaries, as far as the Schuylkill River. (Map on page 59 below).  DuBois reports that in 1896, there were 21, 177 whites and 8,861 Negroes. (33.8% of population is Negro).  DuBois describes the corner of Seventh and Lombard as the “worst Negro slums of the city”.[v]  The homes are mostly made of brick, not very old, and in general uncared for.  He notes that the blocks between Eighth and Pine, and Sixth and South have for many decades been the center of the Negro population, “the depth of poverty and degradation almost unbelievable”.  In fact, in the 1830s, the race riots took place in this area.


DuBois describes the 7th Ward as “the epitome of nearly all the Negro problems”.[vi]  Every class of people is represented here bringing together diverse backgrounds and difficulties.  DuBois surveyed each residence, going door to door with a scripted survey, in which he took the liberty of deciding the order of the questions and used his discretion when omitting and adding questions.   He would ask to speak to the head of the family and usually the housewife responded.  DuBois understands that these residents could have been overly cautious and suspicious of his questions due to past experiences.  What he found was that most people were good natured and honest when it came to answering his questions.  He does, however, make note of the fact that he knew there were cases of falsification and evasion of questions.  Here again he would use his judgment as to whether he would use the information or discard it.  He found that questions of age or occupation were better answered than others.  When it came to questions of age, people over 40 did not always know their birthday.  For those who migrated from the South as former slaves, birthdays were not recorded and families were often split, leaving young ones without parents who would know this information.


Where did the residents of the 7th Ward come from?  We know from DuBois’ study that of the 9,675 Negroes in the 7th Ward, 9.138 gave returns of the birthplace:

In Philadelphia   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          2,939 or 32.1%

In Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia.                 526 or 6.0%

In the New England and Middle State . . . .               485 or 5.3%

In the South . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       4,980 or 54.3%

In the West and in foreign lands . . . . . . . . .      208 or 2.3%  [vii]


This data shows that one-third of the population was born in Philadelphia and approximately one-half of the population migrated from the South. DuBois writes that “a study of Philadelphia Negroes would properly begin in Virginia or Maryland and that only a portion have had the opportunity of being reared amid the advantages of a great city”.[viii]  DuBois pulls together the 5,337 immigrants as a class and asks how long they have lived in Philadelphia.  He separates these immigrants into 4 classes: 1) the ante-bellum immigrants, resident 35 years or more, 2) the refugees of war time and the period following, resident 21 to 34 years, 3) the laborers and sightseers of the time of the Centennial, resident 10 to 20 years, and 4) the recent immigration, which may be divided into those residents from 5 to 9 years, from 1 to 4 years, and those who have been in the city less than a year.  DuBois concludes from this data “that less than a third of the Negroes in the city were born here, and of the others less than a quarter have been resident twenty years or more”.[ix]


Literacy is another component that DuBois studied as a factor in the condition of the Negro population. In 1854 to 1856, of the 9,001 Negroes living in Philadelphia, 4,123 were totally illiterate.  By 1896, there were 5,930 Negro children in the public schools in Philadelphia.  Separate schools were maintained throughout the public school’s history, except for some mixing in the early Quaker schools.  What was interesting to note was that there was no high schools, professional schools (trade schools), or higher education open to the Negro.  The University of Pennsylvania, who funded this study, refused to admit Negroes as students or allow them to “audit” or listen to a course.  It was not until an 1881 law declaring it unlawful for an administrator to deny admission to anyone because of race or color that this “condition” changed.


DuBois acknowledges that although it is difficult to ascertain illiteracy without any form of testing, he reports that of the 8,464 Negroes in the 7th Ward, 12.17% were totally illiterate.[x]  This percentage decreases from 44% in 1850 to 18% in 1890 to the 12.17% in 1896, shows the progress made in the past 40+ years.  This was due to the number of young children in school.  For men and women over 40 years of age, 29% were totally illiterate.  What was interesting was that his study shows that in the city of Philadelphia in 1890, 18% were totally illiterate showing that in the 7th Ward, the young people that migrated were getting an education.  There were 13 schools in the 7th Ward including four primary and four kindergartens, one combined grammar and secondary, one combined secondary and primary, and three secondary.  It was interesting to note that DuBois writes that the Negro problem is not one of ignorance but one of education and training.  Students living in the 7th Ward have similar problems today, that of …“carelessness in school attendance, and poverty which keeps children out of school.  The former is a matter for the colored people to settle themselves, and is one to which their attention needs to be called”.[xi]


Based on this information, it is not surprising to find that there were not many choices that African Americans could make in 1897 in Philadelphia. Lack of training, limited education, and discrimination all worked against them –not to mention that due to foreign immigration, jobs for the talented and trained went to other races.  In 1896, boys from 10 to 20 who regularly worked, 39% were porters and errand boys, 25.5% were servants, 16% were common laborers, and 19 % had miscellaneous employment.[xii]  For men 21 and older, 45% were laborers, 34% were servants, 7% were in the skilled trades, 6.5% were conducting business on their own account, 5% were clerks, 2% were in the learned professions (for example, clergy, teachers, physicians, lawyers, and dentists) and .5% were recorded as miscellaneous.  For women, as you can imagine, most were employed in domestic service, some were housewives and day laborers (maids), and others were musicians, teachers, clerks, actresses, and hairdressers.


DuBois reported data on Negro business establishments in both the 7th Ward and other wards in Philadelphia.  It was noted that in the 7th Ward in 1897, 118 businesses were reported and in the Germantown or 22nd Ward, there were only 8 businesses reported.  This data will be interesting to present to students as they compare and contrast these two wards.  For now, this data represents the density of population and number of homes and buildings per square foot in this ward.


50th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation


January 1, 1913 was the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  I imagine speeches, celebrations, newspapers and magazine articles describing the events surrounding President Lincoln’s signing the Proclamation.  Looking at the Philadelphia paper, The Public Ledger, I was surprised to see nothing written on the front page.  After reading through the newspaper, I finally found a small article on page 3 entitled, “To Celebrate Emancipation”.  It read in part:


“Street Parade of Colored Folks Will Recall Liberation of Slaves. There will be a general observance of Emancipation Day by colored persons in this city today in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the slaves in this country.  A street parade of civic and fraternal organizations will take place and will have as it escort the several Boys Brigades from different sections of the city”[xiii]


The rest of the short article noted the African American churches that were having prayers, reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, and an address on Frederick Douglass, Slave and Statesman. It was surprising to see that there were no other celebrations noted in the newspaper, including nothing written in the national news about commemorations taking place in Washington, D.C.  One would think that this first milestone, the 50th anniversary, would have been cause for celebrating this milestone around the country.  After all, it was the Emancipation Proclamation that turned the tide of the Civil War.  African Americans were finally able to enlist as Union soldiers which helped the North the win the war.


To understand the why celebrations were sparse; you need to look at the 50 years leading up to this anniversary.  Although the Emancipation Proclamation freed some African Americans, they were not all freed until the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865.  African American men were not given the right to vote until the 15th Amendment and by this time, 1870, Reconstruction was failing to bring about equality for those who virtually gave their sweat and blood to help this young country become strong.  With the introduction of the Jim Crow laws after the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision of separate but equal, by the turn of the new century, African Americans celebrated on their own, usually in churches or in their neighborhoods.


Keeping these traditions was important to African Americans as a way of educating their young about their experiences as slaves, as escaped slaves, and as freedman.  By the 20th Century, it became unpopular to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th and 15th Amendments together with white folks.  Folklorist, William Wiggins, found that in the early 1900s, the Freedom Day tradition was fading.  The 1913 Philadelphia Exposition was compared to a small country fair.  Mitch Kachun wrote in “Festivals of Freedom”:


“The dissolution of the Freedom Day commemorative tradition in most of the United States after the 1910s need not be regarded nostalgically as a tale of declension. It is more usefully considered as a process of adaptation….Black leaders’ priorities were to preserve and transmit the race’s heritage, to fight for civil and political rights, and to work for the improvement of the educational and economic state of the race”. [xiv]



  1. Gordon Baugh, Jr.


  1. Gordon Baugh, Jr. decided to celebrate the progress of “his people” by publishing a “souvenir” or booklet showing photographs of Germantown where he grew up. Baugh was listed in 1901 as a post office clerk and remembered as one of the organizers in 1914 of Faith Presbyterian Church. Baugh’s father, J. G. Baugh, Sr. was a caterer who bought a home in Germantown in 1880. His two sons, J. Gordon and Philander inherited this home when he died in 1912. Baugh and his brother started a printing shop next store to their home in the early 1900s.    We know that Baugh, Jr. died in 1946, but not much more about his personal life.


Germantown did not officially become the 22nd Ward of Philadelphia until 1854, when Senator Eli K. Price introduced a bill in the state legislature to consolidate the Philadelphia County government.  The 22nd Ward included the borough and township of Germantown and the township of Bristol. But its history begins in 1683, when 13 families from Crefeld purchase land to settle.  They decide to plan the town to maintain the village atmosphere that they were familiar with.  They divided the town into long relatively narrow strips of land perpendicular to the Indian trail.  They built their homes on the portion next to the trail that would one day become Main Street (later it would become Germantown Avenue) and would farm the land to the rear of the homes.  This land would remain farmland throughout the 18th and into the second half of the 19th centuries.  Eventually the land would be divided and sold into lots.  Germantown continue to grow in population and in homes due to economic opportunities that existed in three major areas:  farming and related work, commercial activities along Main Street, and manufacturing facilities long the town’s many creeks.


The commercial opportunities were generated by the town’s position on the major highway to Reading and Bethlehem, which allowed farmers to ship their produce to Philadelphia. Taverns, shops, and hotels appeared along Main Street and eventually in 1832 the first locomotive left the Philadelphia end of the line at Ninth and Green.  The opening of the railroad created opportunities for building connections among businessmen in Philadelphia, which in turn created jobs and attracted foreign immigrants and African Americans to the area.  By 1830, Germantown has a population of 5,482 including 80 African Americans.  That figure would grow, but very slowly, to 113 by 1850, and 121 by 1860.[xv]


After the Civil War, a number of large homes were built in southwest Germantown, which required the subdivision of large farms. Investors took this opportunity to build working-class homes for those who could find employment in the area.  In 1868, William W. Patton, a successful paperhanger and shopkeeper, purchased a parcel of the Coulter estate surrounding Potter’s Field (a cemetery for the stranger, the poor, the Negro, or the Mulatto), probably the cheapest land he could buy and divided it into approximately 20 by 60 feet lots.  By 1871, 75 homes were built and as many as 200 people lived in Patton’s tract.  This number would double, to 132 homes in six years.  By 1880, the population in this area had risen to almost 400 people.  It wasn’t until a new railroad to Chestnut Hill was build that an explosion of population happened.  The Philadelphia, Germantown and Chestnut Hill Railroad Company were created, which stopped in Pulaski (where Patton’s homes were built), and was completed in 1884.   Within 15 years, the area of Pulaski Town was fully developed.  The 1900 census reflects the growth in population in this area of 1,250 people including about 400 African Americans.  The town remained somewhat integrated, with a large number of residents listing skilled jobs as their occupation.


In 1887, the Daniel L. Keyser Public School was built. A separate school, A Colored School was opened at the same time.  “The growth of the Black population in the 1890’s caused the Board to develop plans for a larger school for “colored children”.[xvi] Meehan Public School was built in 1901 to fill this need on the corner of Pulaski and Penn Streets.  A number of institutions, including school and religious, appeared in the area from 1865 to 1900.  These included the Pulaskiville Mission Sunday School, St. Stephen’s Methodist Church, Ethel Memorial Methodist Episcopal Chapel, and in 1876, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, which was organized as the first Black church in Germantown.


Commercial opportunities grew in the area, and by 1902 there were “three grocers, two bakeries, a meat dealer, two ice companies, a cigar store, a florist, two liverymen, one hairdresser, a plumber, and two “wine and liquor dealers, and retail” businesses.


Baugh, in his foreword of the Souvenir of Germantown, wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by documenting the successes of his people in Germantown. He says that he selected those places that would show the greatest progress, describing Germantown as a beautiful suburb easily reached by two railroads and four lines of trolley.  He begins his pamphlet with a brief history of Germantown including illustrations of the Thomas Kunder’s house where the first meetings of the Society of Friends of Germantown were held and Stenton house, which was saved by “…the wit of the old colored woman left in charge”.[xvii]   She tricked a British officer, who was there to burn all the mansions between Germantown and Philadelphia into going after deserters, saving the house from destruction.  George Washington is also reported to have stayed in Germantown during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, while Philadelphia was the capital of the United States.


Baugh’s Souvenir shows many churches, with valuation of property and clubs that were attended by African Americans including the Wissahickon School Club. He also shows images of offices and shops, including his “Little Print Shop” on Jefferson Street.  He includes the offices of Charles P. Stubbs, M.D., and R. Wellesley Bailey, M.D.  He includes The Chelton Tailoring Establishment, the Julius Harris Cigars and Confections store, and the Robinson’s Restaurant, all successful African American businesses.  John C. Trower & Sons was one of the largest Negro businesses in Germantown.  Trower considered himself one of the wealthiest Negro in Pennsylvania.  In his obituary of 1911, was written that Trower was born on his father’s farm in Virginia in 1849.  He went to Germantown to work in a taproom where he supplied food.  By 1870, he was in business for himself and by 1876; he bought a building on Germantown Avenue for $13,000.  At his death, his estate was valued at $150,000 or more.[xviii]


Baugh’s Souvenir also showed the many streets and residences owned by African Americans, including a home owned by the first Negro to hold a position in a Germantown bank (named Harris). The last home featured in the pamphlet is his own on the corner of Jefferson and Duval Streets showing the print shop in the back along Jefferson Street.  He writes that the Negro population is made up of people from Virginia, Maryland and Delaware coming without money or anyone to depend on.  He lists 11 churches in the town and occupations (copied below).  He includes the 1910 Census for the 22nd Ward as:  total population 70,245, males of voting age 19,529, Negro population 4, 799, males of voting age, 1,205.  (He adds that the Police Department estimates the Negro population as 11,000).[xix]


Looking Forward


In the years following the Emancipation Proclamation, Mitch Kachun wrote in Festivals of Freedom that African Americans became increasingly wary of openly celebrating the important events during and after the Civil War that ultimately lead to their freedom.  Whites became more and more concerned about large numbers of African Americans celebrating in the streets each year.  They saw these celebrants’ behavior as immoral and so by the end of the 19th Century, most white people declined from participating in these events.  This in addition to different African American groups focusing on different events to celebrate freedom, (i.e., anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation, 13th and 15th Amendments), brought about the decline of large, public African American freedom festivals.  As years went by, many African American leaders saw these festivals as a way to educate young people and made efforts to keep these commemorations going.  These leaders felt it was very important to inform young children of African American’s role in acquiring their freedom.  W.E.B. DuBois wrote a historical pageant entitled, “Star of Ethiopia”.  He hoped that the pageant would “rectify a very great lack of information (among both blacks and whites) regarding the part the Negro has played in the civilization of which he is a part”.[xx]


How we honor and commemorate our ancestors and events in our communities and country defines who we are and what we hold as important and sacred to us. President Lincoln said as much in his Gettysburg Address:


“…It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.[xxi]

Essential Questions


  1. Is America a land of opportunity for all?
  2. To what extent had African Americans attained the “American Dream” by the early 20th Century?
  3. Does the U.S. Government have the responsibility to help the needy?
  4. How can a citizen participate in their neighborhood and community to help foster change?


[ii] Horne, Gerald (2010), W.E.B. DuBois: A Biography, ABC-CLIO, LLC., Santa Barbara, California, pg. 24.

[iii] DuBois, W.E.B. (1899), The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, pg. 47.

[iv] Ibid, pg. 47.

[v] Ibid, pg. 58.

[vi] Ibid, pg. 63.

[vii] Ibid, pg. 74.

[viii] Ibid, pg. 75.

[ix] Ibid, pg. 80.

[x] Ibid, pg. 91.

[xi] Ibid, pg. 96.

[xii] Ibid, pg. 99.

[xiii] The Public Ledger, Philadelphia. Hanuary 1, 1913. Volume CLIV, No. 99

[xiv] Kachun, Mitch, (2003). Festivals of Freedom. University of Massachusetts Press, pg. 260.

[xv] O’Grady, Joseph, “Pulaski Town: The Evolution of a Black Community”, The Germantown Crier, Spring 2003, Volume 53, Number 1, pg. 7.

[xvi] Ibid, pg. 14.

[xvii] Baugh, Jr., J. Gordon, “A Souvenir of Germantown”, The Germantown Crier, Winter 1983-84, Volume 36, No. 1, pg. 9.

[xviii] The Germantown Crier, Spring 1984, Volume 36, Number 2, pg. 43.

[xix] Ibid, pg. 40.

[xx] Kachun, Mitch, (2003). Festivals of Freedom. University of Massachusetts Press, pg. 247.





















































Students will be exposed to different strategies including a close reading of the Emancipation Proclamation which allows them time and practice of analyzing a primary document (steps of Close Reading are included in the Appendix). They will have a chance to analyze census information from W.E.B. DuBois’ study of the 7th Ward and make comparisons with information from the 1910 Census data from the 7th Ward and then to the 1910 Census Data from the 22nd ward to see if they can discern where residents migrated from, when the migrated, and the effect the numbers had on their respective communities.


Students will have a chance to look at the images from “A Souvenir of Germantown” which was issued during the 50th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  They will discuss the images, why the author chose these images, and what they showed about the Germantown community.


Students will read about W.E.B. DuBois and discuss his life as compared to someone like J. Gordon Baugh, Jr.  They will understand the directive that the University of Pennsylvania gave to Dr. DuBois as an investigator.  They will discuss how his early life may have “colored” the study and/or his conclusions about the 7th Ward.  Comparing and contrasting DuBois with Baugh will further enhance students’ ability to discern other studies, articles, and reports that they are exposed to in the future.


Finally, students will create a “souvenir” of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation using technology such as an ibook or a podcast by taking pictures of their neighborhood and writing a short description of each image.  They will have to decide how they want to present their souvenir to the public, whether they would like to show the progress that has been made since the Emancipation Proclamation was issued or show the continued difficulties that African Americans face in Philadelphia today.  Students will learn how to take pictures and import them into a computer program that will allow other students to view them and start a dialogue about the progress or lack thereof that has taken place in Philadelphia since the Emancipation Proclamation.



This unit will include approximately 8 to 9 lessons but can be expanded if more time is needed. Each lesson realistically is about 35 to 40 minutes.  I plan on completing lessons in this order:


Lesson 1 –


Objectives: Students will explore events surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation by creating and discussing a K-W-L chart and a close reading activity.


Activities: – Ask students what they know about the Emancipation Proclamation. Record under the “K” (what they know) on chart paper. Ask what questions they have about the document and record under “W”-what they wonder about the document.  Discuss any misconceptions.  Leave the KWL chart displayed in the room to complete the “L” at the end of the lesson.  Complete a “close reading” of the Emancipation.  Share out the responses to the close reading: what the author is doing and what the author is saying in the document.


Instructional Strategies: whole group, partner close reading, share out in class.


Materials: Copy of the Emancipation Proclamation for each student, copy of instructions on the board or printed copies for each student, Chart paper, markers.


Assessment: Informal assessment of partners sharing with the class their responses to the close reading.


Lesson 2 and 3 –


Objectives: Students will explore the life of a historic figure in the 19th century by reading and responding to text.  Students will explore the economic life of people in Philadelphia by analyzing data.


Activities: Read a short biography of W.E.B. DuBois. Discuss how his life experiences in New England would have been different from those living in the South in the 1800s.  Present information from his study in The Philadelphia Negro of the 7th Ward and model how to analyze the data.  Use his tables of population and source (place of birth) data to analyze life in the 7th Ward. Discuss his findings using the tables and data from his book. (See Appendix).


Instructional Strategies: whole group, small group responses to life in New England vs. life in the South, model analyzing data of population count, small groups to analyze source data.

Materials and Resources: Biography of W.E.B. DuBois (see historic background and Gerald Horne’s biography of DuBois, Data information on population and source (see Appendix), lined paper.


Assessment: Informal assessment of students’ response to the effect population and source have on a community.


Lesson 4 and 5 –


Objectives: Students will be able to compare and contrast data information by completing a data analysis of the 1910 Census.  Students will be able to read informational text to comprehend and understand issuing surrounding the economic and political status of African Americans.


Activities: Analyze 1910 Census data on the 7th Ward of Philadelphia and compare it to 1910 Census data on the 22nd Ward of Philadelphia. (See Appendix).  Discuss similarities and differences in the information.  Ask what the effect of these differences had on people living in the 7th Ward.  Introduce Joseph Baugh’s “Souvenir of the 50th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation”.  Show images on an overhead or Smart board.   Analyze photographs using the 4 corners strategy – dividing a photograph into 4 sections and discussing what students see in each section.  Discuss with students the purpose of Baugh’s Souvenir was to show progress made by African Americans 50 years after the signing of the Proclamation.  Ask why this would have been important enough for Baugh to create this booklet.  Ask if students think he succeeded in showing African Americans making progress – why or why not.


Instructional Strategies: whole group discuss 1910 Census data, small group analysis of data, whole group introducing Baugh’s Souvenir, small group to answer questions and share in class.


Materials and Resources: Appendix 1910 Census data, copy of Joseph Baugh’s Souvenir (see appendix), lined paper for responses.


Assessment: Assess student’s response to whether they thought Baugh was successful in showing African Americans making progress. Look for students’ thinking on why or why not they thought the booklet showed progress.


Lesson 6 and 7 –


Objectives: Students will be able to explore the similarities and differences in a text by reading and responding to informational text.  Students will analyze an informational text to discover the author’s purpose by reading and responding to text.


Activities: Compare and contrast occupation information from DuBois’s study of the 7th Ward and Baugh’s finding in the 22nd Ward, partners will create a Venn Diagram of this information, discuss the effect of this information on the economic life of residents in these two wards. Discuss with students the purpose of Baugh’s souvenir was (to show progress) and the purpose of DuBois’ study (to understand the Negro problem) and how this information was presented.  Get reactions.  Ask and discuss with students what would be an appropriate celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in American (1913), showing the article from the Public Ledger (Philadelphia, 1913) and discuss how the anniversary was celebrated in America.


Instructional Strategies: Partner students to compare and contrast occupation information from DuBois’s study and Baugh’s narrative, whole group discussion of The Public Ledger Article and how the 50th Anniversary was celebrated in 1913, independent reflection on how we should celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation each year in our local area, in our state and nationally throughout America.


Materials: The Public Ledger article (reprinted in the Appendix), data information from DuBois’s study (see Appendix), data information at the end of the Souvenir (See Appendix), lined paper.


Assessment: Venn diagram created by partnerships. Assess students’ response to what an appropriate celebration of the 50th Anniversary would be.  Look for national, state and local celebrations in their responses.

Ask students what would be appropriate for our country to do to celebrate this event for the 50th, 100th, 150th anniversary.  Discuss how the 50th was celebrated – in school, in the city, in the nation.


Lesson 8 and 9 –


Objectives: Students will explore how continuity and change has developed over time in Pennsylvania by creating a Souvenir of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.


Activities: Discuss how the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation was celebrated in America, in Pennsylvania, and in Philadelphia on January 1, 2013.  Ask what they think would be appropriate activities for the celebration.  For students in Philadelphia, I would get a copy of the local newspapers, including mainstream newspapers and African American newspapers.

In small groups, have students plan their souvenirs. Have groups decide the following:

What images would you include from their neighborhood? Would you want to show progress made in their neighborhoods or the difficulties that people continue to have today?

Why would you include their chosen images?

What do you want to show their audience?

What format would you use to create their souvenir? (Book, ibook, Calendar, Podcast, Power Point)

Once planned, groups will take pictures of their neighborhood using digital cameras, and create their souvenirs.

Instructional Strategies: whole group, model roles of small groups for planning, small groups for planning, small groups for creating a souvenir using technology, whole group present souvenirs in class.


Materials: articles from 150th anniversary, computers with Internet access, digital cameras, paper, colored pencils or markers.


Assessment:  Final assessment – 150th Anniversary souvenir of student’s city or neighborhood.



  1. DuBois, W.E.B., The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., 1899.


W.E.B. DuBois was given a temporary post as Assistant in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania to conduct a study of the Negro community in Philadelphia in 1897. This book is an in depth look of the 22nd Ward of Philadelphia and DuBois’s account of his study.


  1. O’Grady, Joseph, “Pulaski Town: The Evolution of a Black Community”, The Germantown Crier, Spring 2003, Volume 53, Number 1


Joseph O’Grady writes about Pulaski town, which is an old name for a small

Cluster of homes on the western edge of Germantown.  The article tells the story

of the people who built and lived there participating in the larger history of the

Germantown we know today.


  1. Baugh, Jr., J. Gordon. “A Souvenir of Germantown”, The Germantown Crier, Winter 1983-84, Volume 36, Number 1.


Joseph Baugh, Jr.’s souvenir is a small booklet of photographs of African-Americans living in Germantown. His pictures show churches, organizations, businesses, and schools in 1913, fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.  This volume shows the first half of the Souvenir.


  1. Baugh, Jr., J. Gordon. “A Souvenir of Germantown”, The Germantown Crier, Spring 1984, Volume 36, Number 2.


Joseph Baugh, Jr.’s souvenir is a small booklet of photographs of African-Americans living in Germantown. His pictures show churches, organizations, businesses, and schools in 1913, fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.  This volume shows the second half of the Souvenir.


  1. Horne, Gerald. W.E.B. DuBois: A Biography, Greenwood Press, ABC-CLIO, LLC., Santa Barbara, California, 2010.


The biography of W.E.B. DuBois chronicles DuBois’s life and work as founder of the NAACP, father of Pan-Africanism, and one of the most accomplished scholars of his day.


  1. Kachun, Mitch, Festivals of Freedom: Memory and Meaning of the African American Emancipation Celebrations, 1808-1915. University of Massachusetts Press, 2003.


Kachun studies the variety and complexity of nineteenth and twentieth century emancipation celebrations throughout the north and south showing the diversity in which African Americans sought to commemorate freedom festivals in their towns and cities and how they were used to uplift the race and claim their political rights.


  1. Young, David, “You Feel So Out of Place: Germantown’s J. Gordon Baugh and the 1913 Commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation”, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume CXXXVII, January 2013, No. 1.


This article, written for the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, describes “A Souvenir of Germantown Issued during the 50th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation” and compares it to W.E.B. DuBois’s study of the Philadelphia Negro.


  1. PA Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery


This website provides the original document of the Pennsylvania Act for the                      Gradual Abolition of Slavery.


  1. Population History of Philadelphia


This website provides information on population history of Philadelphia.




Georgia’s Blue and Gray Trail presents the Civil War includes history of Georgia’s   role in the Civil War and what they believe is the actual text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.


** Thank you to the staff at the Germantown Historical Society for their assistance. You can purchase the copies of The Germantown Crier directly from them, as these images are not currently online at





1.2 Reading Informational Text: Students read, understand, and respond to informational text – with emphasis on comprehension, making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence.


1.4 Writing: Students write for different purposes and audiences.  Students write clear and focused text to convey a well-defined perspective and appropriate content.


1.5 Speaking and Listening: Students present appropriately in formal speaking situations, listen critically, and respond intelligently as individuals or in group discussions.


Social Studies


8.1.5.A: Identify and explain the influences of economic features on continuity and change over time.

8.1.5.B. Classify and analyze fact and opinion from multiple points of view, and secondary sources as related to historical events.


8.2.5.A: Compare and contrast common characteristic of the social, political, cultural, and economic groups from Pennsylvania.


8.2.5.B: Illustrate concepts and knowledge of historical documents, artifacts, and places critical to Pennsylvania history.


8.2.5.C: Differentiate how continuity and change in Pennsylvania history are formed and operate. (politics and governments, social organizations)