Sorrow and Joy

Sorrow and Joy (HM5QU)

Location: Philadelphia, PA 19106 Philadelphia County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 56.848', W 75° 9.095'

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Until the 19th century this was often a sorrowful place. Many people knew it as a potters field, a "publick burying place for all strangers," for soldiers, sailors, convicts, and the "destitute whose remains are walked over." A lonely Acadian refugee found eternal rest here, along with epidemic victims, Catholics, and African Americans.
Only free and enslaved African Americans brought a measure of mirth to this Square which, according to oral tradition, they called "Congo Square." One 19th century historian recorded that during fairs and holidays perhaps as many as a thousand Black Philadelphians came here to dance "after the manner of their several nations in Africa, speaking and singing in their native dialects...over the sleeping dust below." He also wrote of those from Guinea (a term once used to encompass several African areas) "going to the graves of their friends early in the morning, and there leaving them victuals and rum."
HM NumberHM5QU
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 10:25pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 487050 N 4421937
Decimal Degrees39.94746667, -75.15158333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 56.848', W 75° 9.095'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 56' 50.88" N, 75° 9' 5.70" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)267, 484, 215, 610
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 600-630 Walnut St, Philadelphia PA 19106, US
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