8. President's House
George Washington lived here when Philadelphia was our nation’s capital. George Washington was not a Methodist, but Richard Allen’s successful chimney-sweeping business counted this early “White House” as one of its customers. Historians do not know if Allen ever met President Washington, but he could have. George Washington donated money for the construction of a future African Church in the early 1790s.
Richard Allen also admired Washington a great deal having composed a beautiful eulogy to honor Washington for his sympathy to the anti-slavery cause. Washington was a slaveholder, but his will declared that they were to be set free upon the death of Mrs. Washington. Allen highlighted this decision in his eulogy which was reprinted in New York and Philadelphia newspapers. An excellent preacher, Richard Allen used Scripture to simultaneously praise Washington’s anti-slavery sentiment and also to condemn Americans who did not follow his lead. The National Park Service has erected a couple of displays about Richard Allen here in the President’s House site, so be sure to note those as well before you move on to your next stop.