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Canastota to dedicate historic marker – Oneida Dispatch



CANASTOTA, N.Y. – The Village of Canastota will dedicate a historical marker that preserves Madison County’s stance against slavery. The county’s stand was represented by its support of the Liberty Party, and that stand will be honored during the dedication ceremony

The dedication of the Liberty Party historical marker will happen tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 2, at noon. The location will be in the skate park near the Watson Wagon exhibit. The exhibit is located on the south side of the railroad trestle on South Peterboro Street in Canastota.

David L. Sadler will host the ceremony. Sadler serves as the official historian of the Village of Canastota and the towns of Lenox, Lincoln and Stockbridge.

“I applied for a grant for this historical marker earlier this year from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation,” Sadler said. “It was delivered from Sewah Studios in. Marietta, Ohio in May and installed in late June.”

The Liberty Party was established in the early 1840s and had an Abolitionist platform. The presidential candidate was William Goodell, a native of what is now the Town of Coventry in Chenango County.

According to history.com, the abolitionist movement was an organized effort to end the practice of slavery in the United States. The first leaders of the campaign, which took place from about 1830 to 1870, mimicked some of the same tactics British abolitionists had used to end slavery in Great Britain in the 1830s.

The dedication will be on the 170th anniversary of the Liberty Party Presidential Convention.

“Named on the marker are Abolitionists Gerry Smith, Jermaine Loguen and Frederick Douglass,” Sadler said. “The Liberty Party was the only presidential convention in Madison County.”

According to the National Park Service, Gerrit Smith lived from 1797 until 1874. He was a nationally prominent and influential abolitionist and social reformer who played a critical role in the operations of the Underground Railroad.

During the 1840s and 1850s, Smith acted as a station master in the Underground Railroad. The railroad was a series of safe havens ranging from the American South to Canada. His Peterboro estate provided a widely recognized safe haven for runaway slaves fleeing to Canada and was recognized as a financial and intellectual center of the antislavery movement.

Smith’s estate has been converted into the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s located at 5255 Pleasant View Road in Peterboro. The museum’s internet address is www.nationalabolitionhalloffameandmuseum.org.

Frederick Douglass was born a slave in eastern Maryland in 1818. He was not allowed to learn to read and write, and so he taught himself. He escaped slavery when his future wife, Anna, gave him money for a train ticket. Douglass disguised himself as a sailor, and after his train left Baltimore and arrived in New York City he declared himself a free man.

Douglass, who was born Frederick Bailey, learned the importance of oration and education in securing basic human rights. He once met with President Abraham Lincoln to ask for equal pay for Black soldiers fighting for the Union in the Civil War. Those soldiers included two of Douglass’ sons.

Douglass and Anna married and moved to Massachusetts. After two years of speaking against slavery in Great Britain, abolitionists purchased his freedom. They returned to the U.S. and settled in Rochester. Douglass teamed with Gerrit Smith and  Loguen in the anti-slavery movement.

Douglass published two books and bought a printing press, from which he published his own newspaper, “The North Star.” He maintained later served under five presidents as U.S. Marshal for D.C., Recorder of Deeds for D.C., and Minister Resident and Consul General to Haiti.

 

 

 

 



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