Burial Place of Thomas Garrett
The first Meeting House on this site
was built in 1738. It was replaced in 1748 when a larger
building was constructed. The old Meeting House was then
converted into a school known as Wilmington Friends School, it
was relocated to a new facility in 1937, and is the oldest
existing school in the state. The present Meeting House was
built in 1816.
Wilmington was the last major stop
on the East Coast overland route of the Underground Railroad.
One of the central figures of this clandestine network was
Thomas Garrett, a Wilmington resident and member of this Meeting
who was known as the “Stationmaster of the Underground
Railroad.” Found guilty of violating the Fugitive Slave Law in
1848, he was forced to sell his possessions to pay his fine.
Many were purchased and returned to him by members of the
Meeting and other supporters. Garrett is credited with helping
more than 2,700 slaves escape to freedom. His last public
appearance was as presiding officer of a suffrage meeting
continuing his dedication to the still held Quaker tenets of
Simplicity, Equality, and Peace. Following his death in 1871 he
was laid to rest in the adjoining burial ground.
Delaware Public Archives –
Location: Wilmington, Corner of 4th
and West Streets (302) 652-4491.
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
Russ McCabe at (302)