Stephan Salisbury writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer:

There were few things the seemingly indefatigable Richard Allen was unable to do.

Born into slavery in Delaware in 1760, he worked tirelessly, purchased his freedom and came to Philadelphia, founded a civil organization, founded a church, and then an entire religious denomination.

He ran a successful chimney-sweep business (working on President Washington’s chimneys, among others).

He sought to end slavery, provided refuge for those escaping its chains, and organized black conventions. He wrote powerful political pamphlets and an autobiography. He preached and gave speeches. And he was finally laid to rest here in 1831.

Now his portrait will be on a stamp.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the church Allen opened in 1794 and the first home of the A.M.E. denomination he founded in 1816, the U.S. Postal Service will formally unveil its Richard Allen Black Heritage stamp, the 39th stamp in a series honoring African American leaders and “culture-shapers whose lives changed history.”

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