Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

All too often in these Chambers we might debate who has the best district in the City of Philadelphia. Those District Councilpeople will always tussle and argue about who represents the finest district in the City. But no one can debate where the finest view can be found of the City of Philadelphia. It resides on Belmont Plateau and can be seen at Belmont Mansion.

In 1742, the Peters family purchased farmland at the site at Belmont Village, which became Belmont Mansion. We are celebrating the expansion of Belmont Mansion, the restoration of Belmont Mansion to include a banquet hall, and we are going to name it after Cornelia Wells, who was a freed slave, who traveled and was picked up by a family that allowed her to convert into indentured servitude where she, after four years, purchased her own freedom and was given the freedom of her daughter. I think that's important to recognize today here in Women's History Month. We are cumulating and honoring a dream of a living legend by the name of Audrey Johnson Thornton.

Since 1986, she has led the American Women's Heritage Society to restore the Mansion and bring it to its glory, and many of us have experienced that treasure that resides, once again, in the 4th Councilmanic District, the best view in the City of Philadelphia anywhere.

Ms. Thornton is the living example of entrepreneurial spirit, guided by principles, guided by the spirits of her ancestors, and particularly Ms. Cornelia Wells. Ms. Wells, again, was a slave purchased by abolitionists, immediately turned into an indentured servant, and paid for her freedom and that of her child.

I am very glad as an enlightened male on Women's History Month to honor you. I got good strong Councilwomen that remind me of that importance.

So this resolution is recognizing Women's History Month, honoring the outstanding contributions of Ms. Audrey Johnson Thornton on behalf of the American Women's Heritage Society for her tireless efforts to restore the Historic Belmont Mansion and Underground Railroad Museum located in the Fourth Councilmanic District in Philadelphia and proclaiming the banquet facility as Cornelia Wells Banquet Hall and Conference Center.

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