Jack Schick, clerk of Richland Friends first discovered the legacy of Quaker Abolitionist Richard Moore while doing research for the meeting’s tricentennial commemoration in 2010.
While he knew the history of Quakertown (PA) Friends involvement in the Underground Railroad, it was only while searching the annals in the Richland Library Company, a research facility founded by Friends, that he discovered the full story of Richard Moore.
Richard Moore settled in the village of Quakertown in 1813, became a member of the local Quaker meeting and opened a pottery business. The home he built for his family, which still stands at 421 South Main Street became a station on the Underground Railroad in the years before the Civil War.
“I’d know about past efforts to get a state historical marker erected for Richard Moore and that those applications had been denied for lack of regional significance,” Jack relates.
“After 2010, the meeting got involved in applying and we started scrutinizing the names of 600 African-Americans who had passed through Richard Moore’s station on the Underground Railroad,” he continued. These names were originally discovered by Thomas Moll in the Library Company collection.
“We started making connections to other areas in the region like Norristown and Christiana, Delaware.” These connections and the events surrounding them, gave the application regional significance.
The publication of Richard Moore and the Underground Railroad at Quakertown by Robert Leight also helped to raise awareness of the significance of Richard Moore’s courageous work.
“Our member, Kim Landon was instrumental in getting our application through the final approval process with the state, which was quite an effort. But, it finally happened!” added Jack.
“We are hoping to create an opportunity through the unveiling event to present Quakers and their radical response to the evils of the enslavement of African-Americans as a heroic part of our history,” Jack concluded.