Join us for a guided, virtual tour of the Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia exhibition at the Museum of the American Revolution (Philadelphia, PA).
When James Forten walked the streets of 1770s Philadelphia as a young man, he was surrounded by the sights and sounds of transformation. He heard the words of the Declaration of Independence read aloud for the first time in 1776 before setting sail to fight for independence in 1781. Born a free person of African descent, Forten built upon his coming-of-age in a revolutionary city and his wartime experience to forge himself into a changemaker in Philadelphia and the young United States, becoming a successful businessman, philanthropist, and stalwart abolitionist.
In this special, virtual exhibition, a museum docent will introduce you to Forten and his descendants as they navigated the American Revolution and cross-racial relationships in Philadelphia to become leaders in the abolition movement in the lead-up to the Civil War and the women’s suffrage movement. Through objects, documents, and immersive environments, we will explore the Forten family’s roles in the Revolutionary War, business in Philadelphia, and abolition and voting rights from 1776 to 1876.
Co-hosted by the Historical Society of Plainfield / Drake House Museum and Plainfield Public Library.
Our programs are made possible in part by operating support grants from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State – additionally through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Recreation; and by a 2024 HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant from the Union County Board of County Commissioners.