The Battle Cry For Equality

The Battle Cry For Equality

Pennsylvania was the cradle of the Abolitionist Movement, and the state’s roots are intertwined with the quest for a truly free nation. Pennsylvania provided African American Patriots an opportunity to defend their rights in the long journey towards equality before, during and after the Civil War. The Battle Cry for Equality roadtrip allows you to experience the sites and tales of those heroic African Americans who helped make true freedom a reality for generations to come.

Thaddeus Stevens Iron Works - Chambersburg

Thaddeus Stevens was a political leader and one of the most powerful members of the United States House of Representatives. He defended and supported those who were persecuted for their color, ethnicity or religious beliefs. The defense of freedom seekers and the abolition of slavery became his primary political and personal focus. He was instrumental in advancing the great civil rights amendments to the U.S. Constitution banning slavery, providing equal protection under the laws, and expanding the right to vote to secure justice for the freedmen during Reconstruction. Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith, a free woman of color who acted as Stevens' housekeeper and confidante, worked as conductors on the Underground Railroad and assisted many freedom seekers. The Thaddeus Stevens/Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site is currently under construction and restoration, the home of Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith will become a historical museum. However, the ruins of Thaddeus Stevens’ Iron Works, an official Network to Freedom site, can still be seen near the Price of Freedom CMU Story site, a legacy of Pennsylvania’s past as a critical source of raw materials to the Union war effort.

John Brown – Mary Ritner House – Chambersburg

In the summer of 1859, John Brown, a passionate abolitionist, occupied an upstairs bedroom in this former boarding house belonging to Mary Ritner. He spent much of his time here, under an alias, formulating his plan for an attack on the Federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry. During his stay in Chambersburg, Brown was visited by abolitionist leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Francis Jackson Meriam. All while going completely unnoticed to most of the townspeople. Today, the folks at the John Brown – Mary Ritner House will be happy to tell you the tales of what led up to the Harper’s Ferry rebellion and the Chambersburg residents’ shock that such a radical event was brewing right under their noses.


Eat Here: The Orchards - Chambersburg

Fine dining in south central PA. Open for lunch and dinner and offering cocktails throughout the day. The Orchards also serves a special Sunday brunch at 11am.

Sleep Here: Craig Victorian B & B - Chambersburg

This beautiful Victorian home located along a tree-lined street of gracious homes in the north end of Chambersburg was built in 1880 by John Watson Craig (1830-1908) and remained in the family for three generations until 1978.