My Contribution: I was a leader of Harrisburg’s Underground Railroad network. I was the first African American teacher in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and brought that skill of teaching young pupils to Harrisburg. I was an advocate of reforms for African Americans, which included their liberation both domestically and in Liberia.
My Legacy: I improved the lives of others by putting my own security at risk. I valued freedom and worked for others to have the freedoms of their mind through education and body through freedom from slavery. As one of many, I changed many lives, through education and freedom. Through personal risks to safety and pushing social norms, my efforts had a rippling effect on many.
About Me: “While in Harrisburg, he cooperated with Garrison, Douglass, and Lewis Hayden in helping fugitive slaves to make their way to Canada. He was sometimes away from home for days helping the slaves to the next safe place in the “underground” system and has often amused his family by relating some the hair breadth escapes which he had from the owners of the fugitive slaves. He was president of that portion of the underground system in Pennsylvania.”
Full Name: John H. Wolf. Alternate spellings: Wolfe and Wolff.
Birth Date: : November 1817
Death Date: February 7, 1899 in Boston
Place of Birth: Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Race: “Mulatto” (1850 and 1860 Federal Censuses)
Places of Residence: Places of Residence: West Chester, Pennsylvania; Columbia, Pennsylvania; East Ward (1850) and Fourth Ward (1860), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 17 Phillips Street, Boston (1900).
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Underground Railroad
Family Members: Father: Aaron Wolf. Mother: Annie Bostick Wolf. Wife: Mary (Taylor) Wolf. Children: Harry Wolf, Bertha (Wolf) Cook, Mary (Wolf) Robinson, Josephine Wolf, Cora (Wolf) Bruce, Mary Wolf, Wendel Wolf, Edmund Wolf
Occupations: School teacher in Boston and Cherry Alley in Harrisburg. Book writer/seller. Founder/editor of New Republic and Liberian Missionary Journal. Under- ground Railroad conductor. Recruiter of African Americans for the Civil War. Father
Church Membership: A.M.E. Churches (associated with many, but specific churches unnamed)
Activism: State Convention of Colored Citizens of Pennsylvania (representative), 1848; founded first lodge of colored Odd Fellows (Brotherly Love) in Harrisburg; first Black man to teach in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Connections: Zacariah Johnson, Aquilla Amos, Thomas Morris Chester, Harriet McClintock Mar- shall (fellow activist in UGRR), Joseph Cassey Bustill (UGRR), Jane Chester (UGRR), Mary Bennett (UGRR), and William Jones, Sr.