Stay Connected- Subscribe
Make a Donation
Sign Up for our Newsletter
This area does not yet contain any content.
Sponsors & Contributors

Richardson Museum 

Earth Conservation Coprs

Rappaport Comp.

Skyland Town Center

Humanitites Council

River Park Friends in Southwest Washington, D.C.

Joseph and Lynn Horning CFNCR

Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

Randle AME Church

Asbury UMC 

Lloyd D. Smith Foundation

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Eric Gordon 

The Nixon Family

Tendani Upulubusi El

Capitan Maxwell and Vicky Kennedy


Far NE Weed and Seed

About Lloyd D. Smith (1933-2004)

Voyage Of Freedom Day - April 15th  

On April 15, 1848 a bay schooner called the Pearl set sail from the southwest waterfront in the District of Columbia, carrying about seventy-seven enslaved African Americans on a secret mission to freedom. While the daring escape failed with the capture of the ship in the Chesapeake Bay, it was the largest documented slave escape and a milestone in the tortured road from slavery to freedom in the United States. This largely untold story has recently emerged and shines a spotlight into American history and our collective past.

Join The discussion:

Monday April 15th, 2019, to hear directly from decendents of the Pearl escape and the local experts who work to preserve this history.  

DC City Council Resolution CER 20-13.


Building the replica of the 1848 Pearl schooner Spirit of the Pearl with youth and volunteers as an educational, training, and creative enterprise experience.


Register Your School and/or Volunteer/Click Here:

The Pearl Coalition (TPC) in partnership with the Richardson Museum in Cambridge MD, has officially kicked off a two-year capital campaign to build the Spirit of the Pearl schooner. The partnerships major goal is to: #buildthePearl; to increase awareness of The Pearl’s voyage and its passengers contribution to American history that led to the end of slavery in DC and nationally; engage 1,000 students in experiential education opportunities by participating in the building of the a replica of the Pearl schooner and programming. 

Learn More, Help #BuildThePearl

"Make A  Donation Today And Your Donation Will Be Matched Up To $50,000!"

Make a small donation of $10, $25, $100 or more to help us reach our Capital Campaige goal to build the Pearl schooner.  Thanks to the Horning Family Foundation, Pepco, Strauss Foundation, and the Smith Family, Donations up to $50,000 will be matched!  Volunteer to connect your children’s schools, community organization, church group or business to help build the “Spirit of he Pearl” schooner. 



Building on the Heritage of Washington, D.C.

The Pearl Coalition's mission is Building the replica of the 1848 Pearl schooner Spirit of the Pearl with youth and volunteers as an educational, training, and creative enterprise experience. This organization is a growing educational institution that will facilitate cultural offerings, destinations, and experiences that highlight the array of racial, social, economic factors and contributions of the people and places involved in the Pearl escape, and the inner workings of the Underground Railroad.

Heritage Tourism & Community Development

The Pearl Coalition's vision is to bring to the Metro region a comprehensive tourism destination connected to the Southwest Waterfront, letting both tourists and residents reconnect with African American heritage linked to Washington D.C.

The flagship of this destination will be a replica of The Pearl, setting sail on a daily basis on the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers.  The beautiful Pearl and connected experiences will be operated across the board as a social enterprise that will provide job training and educational programs for local youth, create awareness of African American history, and educate visitors to our nation's capital.  Programs and activities will ultimately be operated in collaboration with contracting entities centered around youth development and maritime history.  The Pearl Coalition will also work with historical institutions such as The City Museum of Washington, D.C. or the National African American Museum to present a holistic view of African American history. Read more about our programs.

Living History - Visual & Media Arts Program