The Museum of the American Revolution, 3rd and Chestnut streets, is hosting the exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia through Nov. 26.
The exhibition brings together more than 100 historical artifacts to tell the story of free black Philadelphian James Forten and his family, from the Revolutionary era through the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Black Founders explores the Forten family’s roles in the Revolutionary War, business in Philadelphia and the abolitionist movement from 1776 to 1876, including their roles in helping to start both the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. During those 100 years, the family also took an active role in defending voting rights and civil liberties for blacks. The exhibit focuses on three generations of the Forten family, from James Forten and Charlotte Vandine Forten to their children and grandchildren, who supported the Union cause during the Civil War.
Created by the museum’s in-house curatorial team, the exhibition features historical artifacts, works of art, textiles and documents from nearly 40 lenders and the museum’s own collection. Rare historical objects on loan from descendants of the Forten family are on view for the first time in a public exhibit, including a family Bible that has been passed down through generations of the Forten family and has become a “living artifact” as births, deaths and marriages are recorded.
Black Founders is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The 5,000-square-foot exhibition is located in the museum’s first-floor Patriots Gallery.
The exhibition is included in regular admission. Tickets can be purchased at AmRevMuseum.org, by calling 215-253-6731 or at the front desk. Children ages 5 and under are free. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days. Group tickets for parties of 15 or more are available for a reduced price by calling 267-579-3623. Memberships are also available online or by calling 215-454-2030. ••