Philadelphia Alumnae Brings Women’s History to Life

Submitted by Arts & Letters Co-Chairs Emilee Taylor & Crystal Clark

During Women’s History Month, on a beautiful Saturday, the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter (PAC) Arts and Letters Committee met for an afternoon of fellowship and Philadelphia history.  The committee was invited by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (NSCDA/PA) to the Stenton Museum on March 18, 2023 for its “HER-ITAGE: Women’s History at Stenton Brunch Tour.  This beautiful historic home is a hidden gem nestled beyond fencing and trees in Philadelphia’s Logan neighborhood.  In addition to a lovely brunch and tour of the museum and grounds, the members were captivated by the rich history and presentation of artifacts from the site.

A group of Philadelphia women, who had colonial ancestry, founded the NSCDA/PA in 1891.  It was established to acknowledge an interest in America’s past through the preservation of historic collections and buildings, as well as education and founding ideals and development.  The group now meets at the Stenton Museum, which was built in the 1700’s and was the home, for generations, to James Logan, who was the secretary to William Penn. It is documented that the Logan family owned the land in intersecting points of what is considered now to be Germantown, Nicetown and the Logan sections of Philadelphia.

Descendants of the family archived much of the history, and like many families of that time, owned enslaved African people.  One such enslaved women was known as Dinah.  It is recorded that Dinah was brought to the site as dower property in 1753, and was manumitted in 1776 by William Logan.  In fact, there are many accounts of Dinah’s bravery and loyalty, as it is believed that she saved Stenton from being burned by the British in 1777.  In fact, there is a mural at the end of the property depicting Dinah pointing and looking onward.  Despite enduring to work at the home, after she was freed it is believed that Dinah had descendants that continued to live and flourish in the Philadelphia community.  One such notable was the first National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sadie T.M. Alexander. 

The Stenton Museum is part of a consortium of 18 historic houses, destinations and museums in Northwest Philadelphia.  Members of the Arts and Letters Committee of Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter, look forward to other collaborations with the Stenton Museum and other Philadelphia historical sites in the future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *