Mary and Grace Clark

May 5, 2022
Sharece Blakney

On November 26, 1792, Mary and Grace Clark were manumitted by Ann Bartram (1741-1824), the youngest daughter of Bartram’s Garden founder, John Bartram (1699-1777). Mary Clark purchased her freedom from Bartram for 54 pounds and arranged the manumission of Grace Clark. The reverse side of Mary’s manumission document outlined the details of an agreement to secure Grace’s freedom. Ann Bartram received 12 pounds, 13 shillings, and 5 pence on that day, and the pair agreed that the Clark’s would pay the balance within one month.[1] While the manumission document did not outline how the remaining amount was paid, financial arrangements between the enslaved and their enslavers sometimes allowed them to work down the debt.

Little is known about the lives of the Clarks during their time in bondage or after manumission. Although Ann Bartram lived in present day-Old City (Second Street between Walnut and Chestnut Streets) rather than at Bartram’s Garden, the Clarks’ manumission document is an example of the Bartram family’s involvement in the institution of slavery. Download Stories We Know for more on the Black history of Kingsessing and the Bartram family.


Notes

[1] Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Abolition Society Papers. Collection 0490, Box 2, folder 5.

I'm interested in:

Biking & Walking

Birds

Boating & Fishing

Flowers, Plants & Trees

Gardening

History

Kids' Activities

Sankofa Community Farm

Southwest Philadelphia

Water Quality

Workshops, Wellness & Culture

Youth Internships

I'm interested in:

Biking & Walking

Stroll the Schuylkill River Trail or join us for biking!

Birds

Look up! More than 100 species of birds rely on this ecosystem.

Boating & Fishing

Enjoy all that the Tidal Schuylkill River has to offer.

Flowers, Plants & Trees

See what’s blooming, find a favorite tree, and stroll the gardens and natural lands.

Gardening

Bring the Garden home! Shop for plants and grow your own food.

History

Uncover the interconnected stories of this historic site.

Kids' Activities

Join us year-round to learn, make, share, and wonder.

Sankofa Community Farm

“Go back and get it!” Growing food sovereignty with an African Diaspora focus.

Southwest Philadelphia

Resources and opportunities especially for neighbors in Southwest Philly.

Water Quality

Find our latest data on the river’s bacteria levels and recent rainfall.

Workshops, Wellness & Culture

Enjoy upcoming workshops, self-care, and events. Are you a Southwest artist? Let’s partner!

Youth Internships

Calling Southwest students: paid internships available with the river, the farm, and the trees.