Whipper, William S.

William S. Whipper (1805-1885)

Abolitionist and businessman

Former Home Address: 919 Lombard Street

(See place marker no. 8 on map)


William Whipper was an early advocate of nonviolent resistance who petitioned for the freedom of African Americans in Philadelphia. He was born free and lived in a station on the Underground Railroad in Columbia, Pennsylvania. As one of the nation's first African-American capitalists, he was co-owner of a lumber yard and was a partner in both coal and railroad boxcar businesses. In addition to these accomplishments, Whipper was co-founder of the Reading Room Society, edited a magazine, and served as treasurer of the Philadelphia Building and Loan Association, founded in 1869.

(From: Blockson, Charles L. Philadelphia's Guide: African-American State Historical Markers. Philadelphia: Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection / William Penn Foundation, 1992.)