Steve Strimer, “Rediscovering Florence’s Abolitionist Past: Houses, Heroes, and their Stories”

Steve Strimer presents: “Rediscovering Florence’s Abolitionist Past: Houses, Heroes, and their Stories”

“The Northampton Association of Education and Industry, a commune of abolitionists and social reformers, preceded the founding of the village of Florence, Massachusetts. Just before their arrival in 1841, the Boston abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child, and her husband, David, came to the area to manufacture beet sugar as an alternative to slave-grown sugar cane. Along with the initiative of J. P. Williston, a Northampton industrialist and Underground Railroad agent, a safe haven for self-emancipated former slaves was established here where the daring black UGRR agent David Ruggles had come to recuperate. Many of their homes have been rediscovered in recent years along with the homes of their white allies. We’ll explore the once-forgotten homes of Ruggles, Sojourner Truth, Basil Dorsey, Henry Anthony, Joseph Willson, Ezekiel Cooper, Hannah Randall, Charles C. Burleigh, Elisha Hammond and others.”
-Steve Strimer, Historic Northampton

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