The North Star Underground Railroad Museum has announced the return of its popular mini-bus tours of antislavery and underground railroad sites in Keeseville and Peru.
New this year, photo albums will help passengers follow the narrative, new information has been added on the Episcopal and Wesleyan Churches, and passengers can hear the recently discovered story of a man who escaped from Baltimore, Maryland, and reached Canada via Albany, Saratoga, Warren, Essex and Clinton Counties. Continue reading
A Historic Palmyra Underground Railroad event has been set for April 19th, from 6:30 to 9 pm at the Alling Coverlet Museum, 122 William St., Palmyra, Wayne County, NY. Continue reading
The 17th Annual Underground Railroad Public History Convention is set for March 9-11, 2018, at the Cultural Education Center and Albany Capital Center and The Visitors Center of Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Convention will include workshops, round tables, exhibits, vendors, art exhibitions and raffles. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in period attire. Continue reading
Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and Son of the Slave Trade with Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf will be held on Friday, March 9th at 7 pm.
Morgan and DeWolf will answer the question “What is the legacy of the institution of slavery?” and offer hope that reconciliation and healing are possible in a nation rife with conflict, division, and racism. Continue reading
On Thursday, July 27 from 8 am to 2 pm, the Myers House in Albany will host an Archaeology Open House.
A six-week archaeological field school is now exploring the backyards of the Myers house, Thomas Elkins residence, and Ten Broeck Mansion in search of clues about the lives of African Americans who helped establish the Arbor Hill community during the early 19th century and the role of prominent community leaders in the struggle for justice and freedom.
Stephen and Harriet Myers were instrumental in the success of the Underground Railroad during the mid-nineteenth century. Today, their former residence is preserved as a significant historic site in Albany and a cornerstone of African American heritage in the Arbor Hill neighborhood. Continue reading
Marjory Allen Perez, former Wayne County Historian, has announced the completion of her new book, Final Stop, Freedom!: The Underground Railroad Experience in Wayne County, New York (Herons Bend Productions, 2017).
The book includes biographical sketches of men and women who boarded the Underground Railroad between 1800 and 1865. Thomas and Agnes Watkins were brought as slaves from Virginia to Sodus Bay by Captain William Helm about 1800. In 1810 they fled from slavery, taking with them their infant son, Edward. Loyd and Susan Chase and their six children arrived in Macedon, New York about 1844, but within a few years felt compelled to continue their journey to freedom, moving to Canada. In 1863, William Scott, then known as William Bacome, took advantage of the disruptions of the Civil War in Tennessee to begin his odyssey to freedom, traveling first to Massachusetts and eventually to Huron, New York, where he set down deep routes and raised his family. Continue reading
339 West 29th Street, aka the Hopper-Gibbons House in the Lamartine Place Historic District is a former Underground Railroad stop in Chelsea, Manhattan.
The house and the row was designated as an historic district for cultural reasons – the family of no. 339 was violently attacked in the 1863 Draft Riots for harboring runaway slaves. The abolitionists escaped via the rooftop, hopping house to house until ultimately making a safe exit through a neighboring home. Continue reading
Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, will spend Friday night, September 9th, in a cellar kitchen at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz as part of the historian’s ongoing mission to bring awareness to former slave dwellings’ existence, history, and need for preservation.
Six SUNY New Paltz students and several members of the public will be invited to join McGill and his associate Terry James to share in this symbolic return to a time when even northern households enslaved Africans. Continue reading
In April, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Harriet Tubman will be featured on the front of new $20 bills. Tubman is the first woman to appear on modern U.S. currency. She displaces former president Andrew Jackson, whose image will move to the back of the bill.
Lew’s decision came after a year’s discussion, including soliciting public input, on images for redesigned currency. Continue reading
While recently investigating the dismal record of the Amistad Commission, I came across the Underground Railroad portion of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (State Parks) – there I found reference to the New York State Freedom Trail, which began as a state project with similarly high hopes and followed the same trajectory to substandard results.
According to the State Parks webpage: “The New York State Freedom Trail Act of 1997 proposed the establishment of a Freedom Trail Commission to plan and implement a New York State Freedom Trail program to commemorate these acts of freedom and to foster public understanding of their significance in New York State history and heritage.”