Pennsylvania Abolition Society

Organizations, programs, and donations to help others


The Pennsylvania Abolition Society was founded in 1775 at the Rising Sun Tavern in Philadelphia, as a Society for the "Relief for Free Negroes unlawfully held in Bondage." Its mission was later expanded in the 1780s to include "improving the Condition of the African Race." For the founders, this primarily meant offering jobs and education to black youth, whether escaped slaves from the South or native Philadelphians.


Education: Pennsylvania Abolition Society strove to improve the conditions of free blacks through education and moral instruction. In 1790 the PAS appointed 24 members to a Committee for Improving the Condition of the Free Blacks, which was subdivided into a Committee of Inspection, a Committee of Guardians, a Committee of Education, and a Committee of Employ.
Jobs: “improving the Condition of the African Race.” For the founders, this primarily meant offering jobs and education to black youth, They are going out and pulling people to give and place them in jobs.The PAS were asking people to submit and request what jobs they would like because it was after Civil Rights and people still needed to make a living.
Impact: The free blacks were moving from the south to Philadelphia for opportunity and an environment that they could start a life and a family. The problem was they didn't know where to look so the PAS gave them advice and direction of how to get a high paying job and help them get one. This is how they started to help in Philadelphia and education.
Currently Now/ Take Action Summary: The Pennsylvania Abolition Society continues its work through grants to organizations and programs that seek to improve conditions of African Americans throughout Pennsylvania, particularly in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Funded activities include projects confronting racism, preserving African American monuments, fighting housing discrimination, promoting multicultural arts, exposing children to multicultural education, and improving the quality of race relations in Pennsylvania.