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Free African Society

Richard Allen and Absalom Jones founded the Free African Society in 1787. The society providde financial aid to free blacks, specifically newly free blacks, with the goal of advancing Philadelphia’s black community. Members were required to pay dues and adhere to a strict code of conduct. The organization’s success inspired similar groups to form within Philadelphia and in other cities throughout the North. In 1794 it began operating as the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas.

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This program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program.