COMMITTED SPIRITS– Abolitionists, Underground Railroad Operators & Civil War Soldiers in the Longwood Cemetery.

BRANDYWINE VALLEY TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER

300 Greenwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348

Park in the lot on the right side of the Brandywine Valley Visitor Information Center. 

History of the Longwood Progressive Meeting of Friends 

The issue of abolition created tension among Friends.  Most Quakers were sympathetic to the situation of the slave but adhered to a creed of tolerance, respect for laws, and quiet worship.  Members who took an active role in advocating for and assisting freedom seekers were admonished by their meetings; repeat “offenders” were disowned. These agitators gathered in 1853 at Old Kennett Meetinghouse to form the “Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends.” Instead of sitting quietly and searching inward, Progressive Friends welcomed discussion, and advocated the abolition of slavery, and for other social reforms. Recognizing the Equal Brotherhood of the human family, without regard to sex, color, or condition, they defined and illustrated their faith in God by their personal purity and works of beneficence and charity to mankind.

In March 1855, John and Hannah Cox sold 1 acre of their Longwood Farm to Kennett Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Progressive Friends for a meetinghouse, “to be open for religious, moral, scientific, and literary purposes… it being designed to accommodate, foster, and sustain the progressive spirit of the age.”

The same day John and Hannah Cox sold the lot for the meetinghouse, they sold to Longwood Cemetery Company, 2 acres and ten perches for a burial ground.  The original Longwood Cemetery Company bylaws stated it would “allow no unchristian distinction on account of color or condition in assigning burial plots.”

Longwood Progressive Meeting attracted many prominent reformers in its heyday. Some of the most active Kennett area abolitionists and Underground Railroad operators are buried here, along with those who fought (and some who died) in the Civil War, including members of the United States Colored Troops.

This is an operating cemetery. Please respect the grounds keepers, the privacy of any funeral which may be taking place, and the dignity of those who are buried here.

BEGIN TOUR: Cross the road and enter the cemetery on the paved driveway to the left of the sign. After passing the stone gate piers turn immediately to your right. Walk to front edge of raised area. Lots correspond with the lettered sections and numbers on the map.

C-92     John Howard Taylor, M.D. was the younger brother of Bayard Taylor, a surgeon in the Army of the Potomac, and later, a medical doctor with the Health Department in Philadelphia. He secured for Elizabeth Temple (Lot B 41) a position in a Washington, D.C. hospital under the direction of Dorothea Dix.

 C-7      Annie Taylor, a sister of Bayard Taylor, ran the family farm when her brother Fred left to fight in the Civil War. She fired the hired man for voting the secession ticket in 1862. Annie married Charles Carey, Chancelier d’Etat for the Canton de Vaud in Switzerland, on the evening before Lincoln’s assassination. The Carey’s lived in Lausanne, Switzerland before returning the Kennett Square.

C-14     Charles Burleigh Lamborn was the son of abolitionists Robert and Rachel Peirce Lamborn. He was named after Charles Burleigh, an ardent abolitionist and editor of the anti-slavery publication, The Unionist. He married Emma Taylor a writer and younger sister of Bayard Taylor. Charles was an officer in the 15th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War. Their daughter Gertrude Lamborn was named after abolitionist Gertrude Kimber, wife of Charles Burleigh.

C-12     John and Hannah Peirce Cox played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad. Many escaping slaves were hurried, under cover of darkness, into the Cox home*, where they were sheltered, fed, and clothed before being led to the next station. John was president of the Kennett Anti-Slavery Society. He and Hannah were friends and hosts of famous abolitionists.  In 1855 the Coxes sold two small parcels of their Longwood Farm to the Progressive Friends for a meetinghouse and cemetery. *The white-washed house which can be seen from Route 1, just south of Greenwood Road.

C-16     A memorial stone was placed for Hoopes Yeatman, in the Yeatman family plot behind the Lamborn plot.  Hoopes was just 19 when he enlisted with Company I of the 4th Delaware Volunteers in 1862. He served two years and seven months, was killed at Petersburg, Virginia, and buried there. He died just nine days before Lee surrendered.   

C -18    Levi Preston was a leading citizen of Kennett and was active in many of the moral and intellectual movements of Kennett for forty years (beginning in the 1840s). His sister, Ann Preston, was an abolitionist and a medical doctor.

C-20     Eusebius Barnard became a member of the Progressive Friends movement and upheld its active affirmation of the ideals of temperance, equality of women, and abolition of slavery. The Barnard home in Pocopson Township was one of the most active “stations” on the Underground Railroad for fugitives using the Wilmington-to-Philadelphia route to gain freedom. He was married twice; first to Sarah Painter, and then to Sarah Marsh.  Both wives were active in Longwood Progressive Meeting and assisted in Underground Railroad operations.

C-28 through 35          PENNOCK FAMILY PLOTS        Moses and Mary Pennock were among the founders of Longwood Progressive Meeting. Their children witnessed Underground Railroad activity while growing up on Pennock farm in East Marlborough Township, and were also supporters of the abolitionist movement. 

Isaac & Thamazine Pennock Meredith’s secluded farm, Indian Deep, in Newlin Township was a popular station on the Underground Railroad. Their anti-slavery activities led to them being disowned from Kennett Meeting. 

Jesse Pennock was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and is listed among the founding members of the Longwood Meeting of Progressive Friends. He partnered with his brothers, Samuel and Morton, buying and selling tracts of land along E. Linden and E. State Streets.  He married Hannah Yeatman.

Samuel Pennock was the most well-known and much respected member of the Pennock family and a prominent member of the Kennett community. Friends related a story of Thomas Garrett leading a fugitive dressed in Mrs. Garrett’s Quaker gown and bonnet, out of the house, directly in front of a constable searching for the man.  Garrett told the constable he was “taking his wife to meeting,” when he was really leading the runaway slave to the home of Samuel Pennock. His 1903 obituary described him as “an ardent abolitionist, a warm friend to the slave, and an officer of the Underground Railroad…an earnest equal suffragist and prohibitionist, a radical advocate of the principles of American democracy and a liberal thinker on religious questions.”

Samuel married Deborah A. Yerkes in 1853.  In addition to her work as an abolitionist, Deborah was active in several movements for social reform. One of her biggest passions was woman suffrage. She became acquainted with many of the leaders (including Susan B. Anthony), welcomed them into their home, and maintained an ongoing correspondence with them for years. 

Joanna Pennock (youngest child of Moses and Mary) married Vincent Barnard. Vincent came from a family of active abolitionists. His father William Barnard, his uncle Eusebius Barnard, and their cousin Simon Barnard, as well as Vincent and his wife Joanna, were among the Progressive Friends who were disowned by Kennett Monthly Meeting for leaving that meeting to pursue the abolition of slavery more aggressively.

Barclay, Morton, and Edith Pennock shared their parent’s sentiments on the abolition of slavery but were less actively involved in Longwood Progressive Meeting than their siblings. Barclay spent seven years of his adult life in Europe and married Lydia A. Caldwell in February 1857, while she was very sick with consumption.  Lydia was a poet and professor at New York Central University.  She died two months after their marriage, and Barclay died eleven months later, having contracted tuberculosis while caring for his wife.

Morton and his wife Sidney Darlington moved from Kennett to Wilmington, Delaware to open a warehouse for the S & M Pennock Company of which he was a partner with his brother Samuel. Morton died young.

Edith remained single, helped raise her nephew, Pennock Barnard and lived to the age of 92. She was described as a tireless champion of abolition, temperance, and equal suffrage.

C-59     Allen & Maria Agnew were abolitionists and opened their home to fugitives on the Underground Railroad, including Harriet Tubman on her famed 1854 Christmas Eve rescue. Notice the size of the Agnew headstones; Quaker grave markers usually were low and simple in form.  The Agnews, though abolitionists, were not Quakers.

C 156   (No stones) Anthony and Hannah Jane Goodwin were the parents of Susie Goodwin.  In 1872, Susie was the “first colored applicant for the position of teacher in Chester County….and passed a very creditable examination.” She was quickly hired as second assistant to the principal of the Howard School in Wilmington, DE. Just a few years before taking the teacher examination, she was employed in the home of abolitionists, Isaac and Thamazine Meredith.

C 164   John C. Winters served with Company K, 127th US Colored Troops. 

B-65     Moses Garrison Hepburn was the son of a former slave, an intimate friend of Frederick Douglass, and the first African American to serve on the West Chester Brough Council, having been elected in 1882 on the Republican ticket.  He was a businessman, political organizer, and proprietor of the Magnolia House Hotel and Restaurant at Miner and Franklin Streets. He marketed Magnolia House as a place where African Americans could find nice accommodations in the second half of the 19th century.

B- 62    Richard Beebe was a member of the 42nd PA “Bucktails” Rifle Regiment in the Civil War.

B-52     Francis Henry Nicholson served with Company E, 3rd Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry.  He died in 1870.

B-44     Esther Hayes was a founding member of Longwood Progressive Meeting. She supported the anti-slavery and temperance movements and opposed the consumption of products of slave labor. She followed her adopted daughter, Hettie Painter, to Virginia to care for the sick and wounded Civil War soldiers.  She died there in 1868, age 81 years.  An unnamed friend brought her remains here, where she shares the plot with Civil War veteran Samuel Wheatley, Lorenzo B. Walker, and Lorenzo’s wife, Mary Ann Walker. Lorenzo was the son of black abolitionist James H. Walker, who served on several committees of Longwood Progressive Meeting. 

B-43     TAYLOR FAMILY PLOT Bayard Taylor was one of Kennett’s most famous residents.  He was an author, poet, artist, world traveler, and diplomat. In 1855, he gave two lectures at the newly constructed Longwood Progressive meetinghouse to raise finds towards paying for the new meetinghouse. Until 1860, Taylor had been too busy traveling and writing to take an active part in politics. It was the period of extreme tensions leading up to the Civil War that his anti-slavery sentiments moved him to ardently support Lincoln.  During the war, Taylor served as correspondent for The Tribune in Washington, D.C. In December 1863, President Lincoln attended and was impressed by Taylor’s lecture on Russian history. In 1869, Bayard published his Ballad of Abraham Lincoln, “one of the earliest compositions in verse about Lincoln, prepared especially for children.” Taylor was married twice; first to his childhood sweetheart, Mary Agnew in 1850 (she died two months after their wedding), and Marie Hanson while in Germany in 1857.

Col. Charles Frederick Taylor was Bayard’s youngest brother. He organized and led the 1st PA “Bucktail” Rifle Regiment during the Civil War. He was called a hero at Gettysburg, although he died the second day of the battle while leading his regiment in a desperate charge on the Wheatfield. He was only 23 years old.

Joseph and Rebecca Way Taylor were Bayard’s parents. Rebecca was an enterprising woman, having taken up the home industry of raising silk-worms.  She raised the funds to erect the monument to the veterans and casualties of the Civil War. (Lot 46-49)

B-34     John and Lydia M. Agnew’s home often served as a hiding place for fugitives on the Underground Railroad. One story tells of John walking a runaway slave disguised in a Quaker dress and scoop bonnet to the Cox farm (part of which was sold for the Longwood Cemetery). The Agnew home was where Bayard Taylor married their daughter, Mary Agnew.

B-32     (No stone) John Conlin was a private in Company B, 49th Regiment of PA Infantry. 

B-13     Oliver Johnson, an ardent abolitionist, was the provocateur of the so-called “Marlborough Riot” of 1852. His attempts to speak against slavery at a Meeting for worship led to his arrest and was one of the events that led to the formation of Longwood Progressive Meeting of Friends. He was one of the most active organizers of this new Meeting and served as its clerk for a number of years. He edited the anti-slavery newspapers, Pennsylvania Freeman, The Liberator, The Anti-Slavery Bugle, and The Tribune.  His first wife, Mary Ann White, was assistant matron of the female prison at Sing Sing at Ossining, New York and was an advocate for prison reform.

B-4       Chandler and Hannah Darlington were another well-known Chester County couple and figured prominently in the operation of the Underground Railroad.  Chandler and Hannah brought the property known as “The Pines” from Dr. Bartholomew and Lydia Fussell. The home was a well-known stop on the Underground Railroad, open to fugitives and abolitionists alike. 

B-3       Tacie Townsend Purvis was a poet and author of Hagar the Bond Maid and Abi Meredith. She was the second wife of Robert Purvis, a multi-racial abolitionist. Robert and his first wife Harriet were among the signatories to the Call of the 1853 Religious Conference which established the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends.

B-1       Isaac and Dinah Hannum Mendenhall Slaves escaping to freedom along the Underground Railroad were often sheltered in the home of the Mendenhalls. Local legend tells of a woman and children who were secreted in a room in the springhouse, while the men were sheltered in the barn. Isaac and Dinah were members of Longwood Progressive Meeting and the Kennett Anti-Slavery Society. Dinah represented Kennett at the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in 1838 and 1839. Both Mendenhalls signed the call for the Woman’s Rights Convention held in West Chester in 1852. Dinah was a member of the delegation sent from Longwood Meeting to meet with President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to advocate the immediate abolition of slavery. Notes from nationally famous abolitionists such as W.L. Garrison, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Oliver Johnson were sent to the Mendenhalls on their Golden Anniversary in 1881.

A-2      J. Williams Thorne & his wife, Mary J. Pusey (two worn, unreadable stones between their daughter Annie T. Hershey and Mary’s sister, Sarah Pusey). Thorne was a member of and a frequent speaker at Longwood Progressive Meeting.  He was a tenacious abolitionist and was active in the Underground Railroad. He and his wife supported religious freedom, temperance, and woman suffrage. After the Civil War, the Thornes bought a farm in North Carolina, where he became a legislator and earned a reputation as a Radical Republican. He was known as a Carpetbagger (someone who seeks elected office in an area where they have no connections.) They eventually returned to Chester County.

A-10    HAMBLETON FAMILY LOT Thomas Hambleton was active with the Underground Railroad and Longwood Meeting. He was a founding member of the Clarkson Anti-Slavery Society and he represented Chester County at the founding convention of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society in 1838.  His son, Gerrit Smith Hambleton, enlisted as a private with Company C of the 97th Regiment of the PA Infantry in September 1861. He was quickly promoted to Sergeant and was sent to Hilton Head Island in December 1861.  Shortly after arriving, he came down with a fever and never recovered. He died a month later, in January 1862. Gerrit’s sister, Lucretia Grace Hambleton and her husband Elias B. Weaver also share the plot. Elias died of over-exertion while tending the wounded after the Battle of Gettysburg. Another sibling, Angelina Hambleton, studied medicine and graduated as a physician in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A-17    Enos P. Barnard, his wife Abbie Steel Barnard, and their son Ethelbert M. Barnard are buried in this Barnard underground crypt. Many members of the Barnard family were abolitionists. Enos was the youngest conductor on the Underground RR, having led a “train” when he was only seven years old.

A-36    Sarah Townsend Harvey Pearson operated a “Free Produce” store in Hamorton from 1844 to 1858.  Free Produce was grown and harvested by free people who were paid wages, not slave labor; Hamorton being a village with a degree of abolitionist activity and associated resources unmatched by any other town in Chester County.  Sarah’s husband was George Pearson, a shoemaker, and in the 1850 census, shoemaker Levi Hood, a 16-year-old free black man, lived in their home.  He was the son of Reverend Levi Hood, a founding member of the African Union Church of New Garden Township.

A-44    Hannah J. Price, MD (daughter of Caleb S. and Mary Jackson) Hannah’s father read Uncle Tom’s Cabin to his children and instilled in them sympathy for the oppressed.  Hannah ran a school for black students for a few years before becoming a doctor.

A-46    Civil War Monument “God – Freedom – Fatherland” Bayard Taylor’s mother, Rebecca, raised the funds to erect this monument to honor the Kennett men, and one woman, who served in the Civil War.  Among those named, are nurse Elizabeth Temple and Charles Connor, a member of the U.S. Colored Troops.

A-47    R. George Jones served in the Civil War, with Company E, 24th Regiment of the U.S. Colored Troops.

A-78    Joseph Brinton Miller was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in Company C, 24th Regiment USCT. Jacob Glasco served with Company G, 127th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, and afterwards suffered from rheumatism and scurvy due to exposure during the war.

B-41     Elizabeth Temple (near John Anderson) was an English seamstress for the Taylor family. When the Civil War broke out, “her sympathies were so great for the sick and wounded that she longed to go to the hospitals and nurse them.” Dr. J. Howard Taylor (Lot C-92) got her a position in a military hospital.  She served for several months but contracted “camp fever” and died in a Georgetown, Washington, D.C. hospital while nursing Civil War wounded. Her name is on the Longwood Civil War monument.

B-40     Benjamin Smith Jones and his wife, Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock Jones, were the editors of the Ohio newspaper, The Anti-Slavery Bugle. They moved to Kennett in 1861 and built a house at the end of E. Linden Street. Benjamin died the following year and was buried here. Jane Elizabeth and their daughter returned to Jane’s hometown of Vernon, New York. After the Civil War, Jane turned her energy to the suffragist movement.

B-39     Lt. Barnard Gause was a member of the 1st PA “Bucktails” Rifle Regiment in the Civil War. He was captured and died in a Salisbury, NC, rebel prison of “privation and exposure” in 1864.

B-38     Rebecca Taylor & Harlan Gause were involved in the secret activities of the Underground Railroad. Their farm on S. Walnut Street was known as ‘Barton Farm’ in Bayard Taylor’s Story of Kennett.

B-28     Castner Hanway was a miller living near Christiana, Pennsylvania who was arrested for treason for his refusal to aid slave-hunters and federal marshals during the Christiana Resistance. On September 11, 1851, slave hunters and federal marshals descended on a house near Christiana in search of runaway slaves and were met by armed resistance on the part of fugitives and local African-Americans. Hanway and the other defendants were Imprisoned in Philadelphia for two months before their trial. The trial lasted just over two weeks but the jury found them not guilty after only fifteen minutes of deliberation. Hanway was one of the original members of Longwood Progressive Friends in 1853. His first wife, Martha Lamborn died in 1855. Two years later he married Hannah Pennock, the second daughter born to abolitionists Moses and Mary Pennock. Hannah was active in the temperance and suffrage movements. When Hannah died nine years after her marriage, Hanway added his second wife’s name to his first wife’s gravestone, moved west, and married a third time. Hanway died much later in Nebraska, at the age 71. His remains were returned to Kennett and were interred here.

B-21     Pusey & Hannah Gatchell Cloud were abolitionists, on anti-slavery committees, and left (were asked to leave) Marlborough Meeting for Longwood Progressive Meeting. They named one of their daughters after abolitionist and radical social reformer, Abby Kelley, and a son after Wendell Phillips, an abolitionist and advocate for Native Americans.

B-19     Isaac D. Johnson, M.D. was a prominent medical doctor in Kennett Square who was called upon to help an injured fugitive escaping along the Underground Railroad. Letters of the time say he and nurse Esther Hayes would “visit (the slave) every night under cover of darkness” at the home of black abolitionist, James H. Walker. Years later the patient reportedly returned to thank the doctor, introducing himself as Johnson Hayes Walker.  Johnson’s wife, Susanna Walton Johnson, and their daughter, Laura Johnson, are buried here. The Johnson family was active in the temperance movement.

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