Bedford Street Mission

Bedford Street Mission. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania

617-625 Kater Street

The mission was established by a Methodist Episcopal group in 1852 to "promote physical, moral and religious well being" by providing food, clothing, shelter and education for children and adults. In his 1860 book, Sorrow's Circuit, Benjamin Sewell described his year of service at the mission. His Dickensian descriptions portray the degradation and squalor of life in the neighborhood — the "wretchedness" of the "cribs" where Irish and blacks lived, the drunkenness, the brawling and the dire need for salvation.

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