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The Johnson House
Historic Site, Inc.

Germantown’s vital stop on the Underground Railroad

The Johnson House

Constructed in 1768, the Johnson House in Germantown was owned by four generations of the abolitionist Johnson family. Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Description

Overview

It’s easy to imagine 19th-century freedom fighters Harriet Tubman and William Still meeting at this Quaker home in Germantown, owned by four generations of the abolitionist Johnson family. Rustic hardwood floors, cabinets and the building’s stone and brick exterior, as well as a third-floor attic where runaway enslaved Africans were hidden, reflect the building’s auspicious past.

The house, built with outside-and-inside shutters, still has damage from musket rounds and cannonballs shot during the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Germantown in 1777. Despite the Quakers’ disdain for the large and extravagant, the Johnson House was one of the largest homes in Philadelphia.

Various slavery artifacts, including collars and ankle shackles, are on display with an exceptional array of educational material in rooms that feature history lectures, art shows and other special programs.

Watch: The Johnson House in “We Got You: Philly by Tarik” Video Series

Join Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of the Legendary Roots Crew on a tour of Philly arts and culture, food, history, shopping and green spaces, including The Johnson House.

Click the link below to watch.

watch “we got you: Philly by tarik” video series

History

Constructed in 1768, the Johnson House was inhabited by the Johnson family until 1908. During the 1800s, the home became vital to the Underground Railroad movement. Harriet Tubman was sheltered and fed here with the enslaved Africans she would often later guide to Lucretia Mott’s nearby home in Cheltenham.

Nearby Historic Marker

A few blocks south, at 5109 Germantown Avenue, is a marker commemorating Francis Daniel Pastorius, a prolific writer fluent in seven languages and the leader of America’s first formal anti-slavery protest.

More Information

For more information about the Johnson House, click the button below.

More about the Johnson House

Details

6306 Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144
(215) 438-1768
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