Elfreth’s Alley — popularly known as “Our nation’s oldest residential street” – dates back to the first days of the eighteenth century. Twenty years after William Penn founded Pennsylvania and established Philadelphia as its capital, the town had grown into a thriving, prosperous mercantile center on the banks of the Delaware River. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, numerous artisans and craftsmen resided on Elfreth’s Alley, often living and working in the same building. Even at that early date, Elfreth’s Alley had a diverse population. English colonists who worshiped at nearby Chris Church lived next door to Moses Mordecai, a Jewish merchant who was a leader of Mikveh Israel Synagogue. Cophie Douglass, a former slave, began his life as a free man in post-revolutionary Philadelphia while living on Elfreth’s Alley. During the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century, the Alley became a neighborhood of immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and other parts of Europe who sought new opportunities in America.