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Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: September 9, 2008
Byline: Editorial

Slaves Memorial

Honoring the forgotten Founders

With a fund-raiser at the National Constitution Center headlined by Mayor Nutter, tonight begins the important final push to raise the remaining funds for a memorial to the nine slaves who were quartered in Philadelphia by President George Washington.

Donors who provide the $1.4 million for construction, as well a sizeable reserve for upkeep of the memorial, will help the nation in performing a solemn duty.

The memorial being built by the National Park Service at the site of the first White House, a mansion at Sixth and Market Streets, will honor the memory of the slaves kept in the first president's household.

In doing so, the President's House exhibit will for the first time ever provide visitors to the nearby Liberty Bell and Independence Hall with a comprehensive retelling of this little-known chapter in the saga of the nation's founding.

In terms of the upstairs-downstairs history of the President's House, tonight's fund-raiser will be an "upstairs" event: Donors of up to $1 million are being courted, with the minimum set at $500 apiece.

But the well-to-do donors will be joining a diverse group of supporters, including the Avenging the Ancestors Coalition, whose relentless advocacy secured key government funding, without which this memorial would have remained an unfulfilled dream.

 

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