Manlius, Madison County, and Abolitionists Talk Planned


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Seceder Cover JPEGAfter six years of research Alethea “Lee” Connolly has published her book on “forgotten trailblazers” in early 19th Century Central New York. Connolly will present her research on her book The Seceders: Religious Conviction & the Abolitionist Movement in the Town of Manlius, 1834-1844 at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum at 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro NY 13134.

As Barbara S. Rivette, Manlius Town Historian, states “The network of families and church affiliations involved in The Seceders spread through Canastota, Clockville, and Peterboro.” Seceders, like early Manlius settler Elijah Bailey, “believed the church had veered off the simple path of Bible religion into pride and folly.”

Explaining the abolition activities in Manlius requires describing the linkages to other communities in the “hot-bed” region and the local family connections to national antislavery activities, such as the Welds in Cazenovia and Manlius, the Loguens in Syracuse, and the Jacksons and Smiths in Peterboro. Connolly ably covers these explanations. She illustrates the religious character of these early organizers whose understanding of their faith, and personal conversion experiences, energized their commitments.

Connolly’s research on early abolitionists in the Town of Manlius in Onondaga County depicts the energetic personalities in creative, and sometimes, oppositional tension, with the evolving political strategies of Gerrit Smith of Peterboro, whose influential leadership in the Madison County anti-slavery movement, stretched throughout New York State and eventually into national prominence. The interplay of these passionate local and regional leaders provides a glimpse of the challenges that a quickly emerging social reform movement may encounter.

The public is encouraged to attend. Admission is three dollars for adults and free for students (K – College).

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark and the Peterboro Mercantile, is open from 1 – 5 pm on July 26. For more information, contact www.nationalabolitionhalloffameandmuseum.org and 315-684-3262.

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