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William Parker scrapbook


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

William Parker (ca. 1822-1891) was born circa 1822, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, on the Rowdown plantation, the son of Louisa Simms, an enslaved woman. His father may have been a white man, though the identity of his father is not conclusively known. His mother died while Parker was young, and he was raised by his grandmother. In his late teens, Parker escaped slavery and settled in Christiana, Pennsylvania, where he married Eliza Ann Elizabeth Howard, with whom he had three children. Parker was a part of the Lancaster Black Self-Protection Society, and occasionally secretly housed freedom seekers on the run. In 1851, a group including enslaver Edward Gorsuch and a United States marshal arrived at Parker's farm in search of freedom seekers Parker was harboring. Parker, his wife, and their anti-slavery neighbors confronted Gorsuch's group. Gorsuch was killed and another member of his group was wounded.

This collection is comprised of clippings of an article on the Christiana Riot, published in 1910 by the Atlantic Monthly, but originally published in 1866. The article, "The Freedman's Story," was written by William Parker, a formerly enslaved person who escaped slavery and became an abolitionist and activist in Pennsylvania. He was a key actor in the Christiana Riot, and the article describes his memory of the event. It is not known who compiled the scrapbook.

The William Parker scrapbook was donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1933 by Walter L. Moore.

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed September, 2015.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
September, 2015
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Scrapbook, 1910.
Volume 1

Print, Suggest