The Civil War affected the African American community in central Pennsylvania in many ways.  Confederate invasions caused upheaval in all communities as free citizens, former fugitive slaves, and "contrabands," slaves who fled north as Union troops liberated their homes, scrambled to get away from advancing Rebels who they feared would capture them and take them south into slavery. 

 Study Areas:

Slavery

Anti-Slavery

Free Persons of Color

Underground Railroad

The Violent Decade

US Colored Troops

Civil War

Year of Jubilee (1863)

Others contributed to the war effort in many ways:  by raising aid for soldiers, working in camps and hospitals, recruiting men for the new African American regiments, and by enlisting to serve in those regiments.

These pages will document the varied contributions of African Americans to the war effort in central Pennsylvania.  


 

Obituary of Henderson Brown

Company D, 41st USCT
The following news articles were contributed by Dan Lindley.

 

COLORED VETERAN FOUND DEAD IN HIS HUT

Aged Henderson Brown's Lifeless Form Discovered By Friends Who Missed the Twang of His Guitar

In his little one-story, eight by twelve frame shack, on an alley south of Second street, near Ward, facing a public dump, where he lived in a quiet orderly way for many years, friends of Henderson Brown, a 79 year, colored veteran of Company D, Forty-first Regiment, United States colored infantry, found the aged man dead, yesterday afternoon. He was known throughout the West End for his kindly good humor as he went from house to house collecting paper and rags. No relatives are known to be living, although a son, who formerly lived with him left Chester nine years ago.

His small, two-roomed house, served as a bedroom and a living apartment, being separated by a thin board partition. On the wall hung an old guitar which neighbors say the old man would take down in the evening and amuse himself by singing old slave songs to its accompaniment till he fell asleep. His personal belongings consisted of a few books and papers, dishes and hair-cloth trunk.

Lately, the old slave had been too ill to venture out in the severe weather and friendscared for him, preparing his meals and giving him his medicine. Yesterday about three o'clock a neighbor entered the cabin and found the veteran soldier dead. His remains will be cared for by Mrs. A. E. Francis, an undertaker of West Third Street.

Chester Times, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, March 3, 1914

Colored Veteran Buried

The funeral services of Henderson Brown, the aged colored veteran found dead at his home near second and Ward streets, took place yesterday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Mamie Daniels, 3 Morton street. The funeral was largely attended. Members of the Independent Order of St. Luke's and John Brown Post, G.A.R., attended the services. Interment was made at Greenlawn Cemetery.

Chester Times, Saturday, March 7, 1914

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