National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum Inductions

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Abolition Hall of Fame 2The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) in Peterboro NY is finalizing its 2013 programs for the induction of four 19th Century abolitionists.

A program on each nominee will be presented for the Colgate University Upstate Institute Abolition Symposia on Saturday afternoon, October 19th at the Peterboro United Methodist Church, across the road from NAHOF at 5255 Pleasant Valley Road:

  • 1:00 Elijah Parish Lovejoy (1802 – 1837) was nominated and will be presented by Ary J. Lamme III PhD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Geography, University of Florida in Freedom’s Breath Comes Not from the Mouth of a Cannon: Lovejoy, American Religion and Abolition. Abolitionist Lovejoy gave the ultimate sacrifice in his efforts to end slavery – he was violently murdered in Alton, Illinois, by a pro-slavery mob because he would not stop publishing his anti-slavery newspaper. Dr. Lamme will review Lovejoy’s life, examine the relationship between 19th C. American religion and abolition, and discuss the need to establish abolition in America’s moral pantheon.
  • 2:00 Myrtilla Miner (1815 – 1864) was nominated and will be presented by Christopher Anglim for the University of the District of Columbia. Miner was born in Brookfield NY and was later educated at the Young Ladies Domestic Seminary in Clinton NY. After teaching several years in New York State, Miner took a teaching position in Mississippi, and opposition to slavery. Despite a barrage of bigotry, harassment, and threats of violence, Miner remained defiant and determined to teach African-American girls in the south before the Civil War.
  • 3:00 John Rankin (1793- 1886) was nominated and will be presented by John R. McKivigan PhD, Mary O’Brien Gibson Professor of American History at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Rankin was one of the nation’s best-known Underground Railroad station masters assisting fugitives coming across the Ohio River to Ripley OH from Kentucky. Rankin was the source for the real-life story that inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fictional character, Eliza Harris, in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • 4:00 Jonathan Walker (1799-1878) was nominated by Alvin F. Oickle of Florida and John I. Hoh, Jr. from Wisconsin, and will be presented by Hoh. Walker was born in Massachusetts and worked against slavery in Florida, Wisconsin, and Michigan. A merchant marine, “Captain Walker“risked physical punishment and death for sailing slaves to freedom. Abolition poet Whittier wrote a poem about Captain Walker’s branding punishment: “The Man with the Branded Hand.” Walker was a prolific writer for The Liberator newspaper and wrote three books on abolition activities.

Following the afternoon symposia, The Copper Turret of Morrisville will serve a 19th Century anti-slavery dinner at the Smithfield Community Center, the site of the inaugural meeting of the NYS Anti-Slavery Society in 1835. (Reserve dinner by October 7.) The evening ceremonies will include formal oral nominations by relatives and affiliates interspersed by readings and music directed by Hugh C. Humphreys. The Lingo Family Singers and Max Smith will perform the anti-slavery musical selections. This program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, administered by CNY Arts. Commissioned portraits by artist Joseph Flores of Rochester will be unveiled.

Sunday morning October 20 the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark (GSENHL) and the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) will open early at 9:00 a.m. A tour of the GSENHL will be conducted by Norman K. Dann PhD at 9:30, and Jessica Clarke will conduct a tour of NAHOF at 10:30 a.m.

Peterboro’s recognition of the NYS Harriet Tubman 2013 Commemorative Year will include an afternoon of Tubman programs at the Smithfield Community Center:

  • 1 pm    Milton C. Sernett, PhD presents Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History about his research and publication by the same name. This Speakers in the Humanities event, which is free and open to the public, is made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • 2 pm    North of the Law, a video on Sarah Bradford the first biographer of Harriet Tubman, will be shown by Linda Robertson, Hobart William Smith College in Geneva.
  • 3 pm    Beyond the Underground Railroad: Harriet Tubman, Moses of her People shared by Joyce Stokes Jones and Michele Jones Galvin.

The Peterboro United Methodist Church will offer a sandwich buffet on Saturday (reserve by October 7). The Deli on the Green (315-684-3131) in Peterboro is open with soups, sandwiches, and salads. The public is encouraged to participate. Walk-ins welcomed. Reservations needed only for sandwich buffet, anti-slavery dinner, and for Induction Package. Registration and reservation information is available at,, 315-684-3262.

 Photo courtesy The Freethought Trail.

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