A state historical marker was unveiled on Saturday morning to honor Byberry Hall, situated on the grounds of Byberry Friends Meeting at Byberry and Thornton roads, which was built in 1846-1847 by noted abolitionist Robert Purvis and others to serve as a community meeting place and safe venue for anti-slavery activists to gather.
Many of the nation’s leading abolitionists spoke in Byberry Hall, and Byberry became a center for anti-slavery activities in the mid-19th century.
Purvis (1810-1898) was sometimes referred to as the “President” of the Underground Railroad.
Born in 1810 in Charleston, S.C., he moved with his family to Philadelphia in 1819. In 1843, he moved to Byberry Township, then a largely rural community. He used his home in Byberry as a station on the Underground Railroad and by his own estimate helped more than 9,000 slaves escape to the North.
Byberry Hall is now part of the Byberry Monthly Meeting property and administered by the trustees of the Byberry Monthly Meeting of Friends. ••