Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront
British Barracks at Campington and Lydia Darragh
There once was a hamlet called Campington where we're walking. It was also known as Camptown. The name was attached to this locale because British troops stationed in and around Philadelphia had camped around here beginning in 1745. Barracks were built in about 1753 to lodge some five thousand of the king’s men.
Right along where the self-storage firm is today, there was once a military post during the occupation of Philadelphia from 1777 to 1778. British soldiers stationed at Campington manned it. Anyone exiting or entering the city to or from the north had to use that gate and present the proper military pass.
On December 3, 1777, Lydia Darragh coolly walked out Philadelphia through this post to deliver information to General George Washington about British plans to attack his troops at Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania. This modest Quaker woman was truly a spy in the American war for Independence.