Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, by William L. Breton, 1829.
flipFlip to Pepper-Pot: A Scene in the Philadelphia Market,/i>, by John Lewis Krimmel, Philadelphia, PA, circa 1811.
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Credit: The Library Company of Philadelphia

In the late 1700s Philadelphia became home to the new nation's largest free black population. Founded in 1794, the Mother Bethel was the home church of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the United States' first independent African-American denomination.