Isaac Hopper, abolitionist, prison reformer

Isaac Tatem Hopper (1771 – 1852) was an abolitionist who was active in Philadelphia in the anti-slavery movement and protecting fugitive slaves and free blacks from slave kidnappers. He moved to New York City in 1829 to run a Quaker bookstore. From 1841-1845 he served as treasurer and book agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1845 he became active in prison reform and devoted the rest of his life to the Prison Association of New York.

He influenced his daughter, who started the Women’s Prison Association to work for prison reform as well. His work was known by legislatures in Albany and the governor trusted his opinion on the pardoning of many prisoners.

The Isaac T. Hopper Home of the Women’s Prison Association

The Isaac T. Hopper House, a Greek Revival townhouse at 110 Second Avenue in the East Village of Manhattan stands in his honor and for the work he did with the Quakers and prison reform. The house has been part of the prison reform system since the 1870s. It continues to serve as a half way house for female prisoners.  The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, and was designated a New York City landmark in 2009.

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Cherie

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