The Cassey House – One of the Most Prominent African-American Homes to Many Generations

0 Posted by - March 8, 2023 - Black History, BLACK POWER

The Cassey House, located at 243 Delancey Street, formerly known as 63 Union Street, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was owned by the renowned Cassey family for around 84 years and was a proper home to many generations of the Casseys from 1845 to 1929. The Cassey family was one of the prominent and prosperous African-American residents who were also the loyal workers working in Philadelphia. They were known for their activism in the abolition of slavery, anti-colonization, and anti-slavery. After the civil war in the country, they supported the African-American community of Philadelphia by providing intellectual, educational and benevolent organizations.

Joseph Cassey, who was the patriarch of the Cassey family, moved to Philadelphia from the French West Indies just before 1808. He started a barber trade and prospered in his business in just a while. He also worked as a wigmaker, perfumer, and money-lender. Joseph also tried his hands in real estate and bought and sold many different properties in Philadelphia. He tried this real estate business with sometime business partners and his fellow African-American abolitionist, Robert Purvis. Cassey acquired several properties in the neighborhood of his residence near the Society Hill, which was part of the 243 Delancey Street property. He also shared a Bucks County farm with his partner Purvis which was frequently visited by well-known political figures such as William Lloyd Garrison and Lucretia Mott.

In 1847, Cassey became a landlord who collected rents from seven different families with a total of 26 people living at 243 Delancey Street that was later known as The Cassey House. The main structure of the house was facing the street along with three small apartments built on the rear of the courtyard.

Son of Joseph Cassey, Alfred S. Cassey, was a political activist and a postal worker, who lived with his family in the Cassey House until he left in 1897. His Granddaughter, Matilda Inez Cassey was an accomplished and hard working classical pianist, resided in the Cassey House until she died in 1916. As Matilda had no children, the house was passed to her cousin, Maud Cassey Mosely, from Jersey City, New Jersey. Maud along with his children sold many portions of the property when a small portion of the house was left for the remaining family in 1929. Today, this beautiful historic property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  • LASHUNDA MONIQUE ERVIN July 29, 2017 - 8:09 am


  • Hilda Saulsbury September 11, 2019 - 1:00 pm

    How nice.