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Richard Allen Essay

735 words - 3 pages

Richard Allen was enslaved at birth to a family in Philadelphia of a prominent lawyer and officeholder, Benjamin Chew. Allen was sold with his family to Stokely Sturgis, a farmer in Delaware in 1768. In 1777, Allen experienced a religious conversion to Methodist. And then he later purchased his freedom in 1780. Allen was co-founder of the Free African Society in 1787, he helped many during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of Philadelphia in 1793, and he established Mother Bethel’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816.
On a Sunday morning Richard Allen and Absalom Jones attended church at St. George’s Church. Jones was asked by one of the trustees to not kneel during prayer, but Jones asked ...view middle of the document...

Richard Allen and Absalom Jones answered the call quickly and volunteered. The members of the Free African Society and other African American Philadelphians stayed in town to serve as nurses. And under the order of Dr. Rush the society member would bleed the sick trying to remove the disease. Other members of the society would put the dead into coffins and bury them. Of those who came forward, many would fall ill, including Richard Allen who later recovered. Some friends of Allen and Jones who put themselves in harm’s way were not as fortunate. Although, African Americans nurses and caretakers were dying due to the lack of immunity to the illness, they kept serving through the epidemic. About 300 African Americans and 5000 white people died that summer. Allen and Jones were to appear in front of the Mayor Clarkson to explain why they had created such a debt. They explained that they would bury the poor with no charge at all. That they never fixed rates, or asked for pay. The Society had found out that the hire of carriers and purchase of coffins had been much more expensive than the small income received for interring the dead and burning the bedding of...

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