Richard Allen, Free African Society, Philadelphia, Murder Confession


As Richard Allen Headed to the prision to help facilitate the confessions of a murder that shook the city of Philadelphia, he let his mind wander. It felt just like yesterday that he arrived in the city and started preaching and helping his Black brothers and sisters. They had made so much progress over his few decades in Philadelphia: an independent church they were still fighting to hold onto, the new law against the Atlantic slave trade, and a large Black community that was active in his church. Despite all of this success, racial tensions were rising in the city. This recent murder was a shock to the community and was not going to help Allen win the conflict over his ability to lead the Black church. Allen knew this as he headed to the jail. The White Methodist leaders did not want his church to gain its independence and this murder created a serious question that must have been on their minds and Allen's; was Richard Allen able and qualified to lead this Black congregation and community in a racuakky divided city? More importantly, were Black people capable of holding religious services on their own?