African Free School, No. 2

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NYPL ID number: 119719
19th-century Miscellaneous Collection


circa 1828


Patrick Reason


Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
The African Free School no. 2 on Mulberry Street was one of several schools for black children established by the New York Manumission Society from the late eighteenth century on. It offered an exceptionally good education for a charity school of the time. Peter Guignon attended the Mulberry Street School as did his many young men who would later become prominent leaders in the black community, notably James McCune Smith, Alexander Crummell, George Downing, Henry Highland Garnet, Patrick and Charles Reason, and others. In his obituary of Peter, Crummell wrote that "he was the friend and intimate companion of every one of these eminent boys, not only in their boyhood, but afterwards in their manhood and maturity."

This engraving of the school was done by Peter's classmate, Patrick Reason.



Patrick Reason, “African Free School, No. 2,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,