“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

London Coffee House

London Coffee House Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 14, 2010
1. London Coffee House Marker
Inscription. Scene of political and commercial activity in the colonial period, the London Coffee House opened here in 1754. It served as a place to inspect Black slaves recently arrived from Africa and to bid for their purchase at auction.
Erected 1991 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Location. 39° 56.971′ N, 75° 8.531′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is at the intersection of South Front Street and Market Street, on the left when traveling west on South Front Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4 South Front Street, Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tamanend (within shouting distance of this marker); Philip Syng, Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Robert Aitken (1734-1802) (within shouting distance of this marker); Lorenzo L. Langstroth (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Christ Church (about 600 feet away); Resting Place of Seven Signers of the Declaration of Independence (about 600 feet away); James Wilson (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Christ Church (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Philadelphia.
Related markers.
London Coffee House Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 14, 2010
2. London Coffee House Marker
The No. 33 bus is turning from Market Street, and just one more turn away from its destination at Penns Landing.
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. These are markers at the locations of Merchant Exchanges throughout the years. Today the Philadelphia Exchange is in Center City at 19th and Market Streets.
Also see . . .
1. Philadelphia's Merchants Moved from Coffee House to Tavern to This “Temple of Commerce”. Excerpt: “The London Coffee House was situated at the once busy corner of Front and High Streets hard on the city’s docks. Here schooner-owners would advertise their inventory of goods over schooners of ale. Lots of lots of real estate were offered over pots and pots of coffee. This establishment was also the venue for vendues—public auctions of sundry merchandise.

Adding to the animated scene was a twice-weekly market selling grains and meats from the hinterlands. It was operated out of sheds on High Street across from the coffee house. at high noon on market days monetary showdowns would occur when rivals tried to outbid each other during a large horse auction.” (Submitted on January 1, 2012.) 

2. Buying a Slave in Pennsylvania. Article by George F. Nagle. Excerpt: “A popular location for the public sale of slaves in Philadelphia was the London Coffee House. Slaves sold by public auction at this location were less likely to be newly arrived Africans, but Blacks already owned by local slaveholders. Persons wishing to purchase a slave would watch the local newspaper for published notices of sales, and either bid in person or designate someone to act as an agent and bid on their behalf.

“The following advertisement is unusual in that fourteen slaves are up for auction. Most public slave sales at this location involved one or two slaves at one time; this event no doubt drew a large crowd for its novelty: ‘ TO BE SOLD, On Saturday the 27th Instant, at the London Coffee House, Twelve or Fourteen valuable Negroes, consisting of young Men, Women, Boys and Girls; they have all had the Small Pox, can talk English, and are seasoned to the Country. The Sale to begin at Twelve o’Clock.’ (The Pennsylvania Gazette, July 18, 1765)” (Submitted on January 1, 2012.) 
Categories. African AmericansColonial EraPolitics
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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