Richard Allen founded and became the first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816. Born into slavery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 14, 1760, Allen and his family were sold to a family near Dover in 1772. While there, he purchased his freedom, became a minister and joined the Continental Army as a non-combatant during the Revolutionary War. After returning to Philadelphia, he and Sussex Countian, Absalom Jones, founded the Free African Society in 1787. He helped organize and was elected president of the “The First Convention of the People of Colour” in 1830.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at

LOCATION: Loockerman Street Dover.