Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Sorrow and Joy
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."
Location. 39° 56.848′ N, 75° 9.095′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker can be reached from Walnut and 6th Streets. Touch for map. Marker is on the left of the path from the northeast entrance to the center of Washington Square Park. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Linked in Memory (here, next to this marker); Congregation of the Dead (here, next to this marker); Tom Foglietta (here, next to this marker); Penn's Plan (a few steps from this marker); The Capital City (a few steps from this marker); A Fashionable Promenade (a few steps from this marker); Washington Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Bicentennial Moon Tree (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Other Washington Square markers.
Categories. • African Americans • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Entertainment • Military •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 10, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 919 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 10, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.