Quaker abolitionist founds school for blacks – June 28, 1770
This week marks the anniversary of when Quaker abolitionist Anthony Benezet opened a school for black children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with 22 students initially enrolled.
A native of France whose family fled to colonial Pennsylvania to escape religious persecution, Benezet had long sought to abolish slavery and to educate local blacks.
“Benezet witnessed the opening of the school, with twenty-two children enrolled. They learned reading, writing, and arithmetic, and received moral instruction,” wrote Dan Graves of the Christian History Institute.
“So dear was this project to his heart that in 1782, when he was sixty-nine and the school without a teacher, he resigned his girls’ school to teach the African Americans.”