The Quakers never officially declared the Society of Friends an abolitionist faith; however, several famous Quakers known to be fervent in their commitment to abolition attended services here. These includes Elisha Tyson, Moses Sheppard, Joseph Townsend, and John Needles. Quakers like Philip E. Thomas, founder of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) and Elisha Tyson were also deeply concerned with the welfare of several Native American tribes.
Bounty hunters, watchmen, slave patrols and informants would have had the Meeting House under constant surveillance because they knew of the sympathies of the Quaker abolitionists who attended services here.
The Meetinghouse was a witness site of the 1781 Yorktown Campaign during which runaway slaves from Maryland entered the French army lines at their nearby camp along Harford Run, now Central Avenue.
General Rochambeau received only a lukewarm welcome from some of Baltimore’s prominent citizen slave owners because he hesitated to return these early African Americans freedom seekers to their owners.