Norman K. Dann, Ph.D., continues the series of programs he is presenting from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays. Coming up are:

Sept. 1, 2021: ‘Elizabeth Smith Miller: Quiet Advocate’

Sept. 8, 2021: ‘Greene Smith: Rebel and Outdoorsman’

Sept. 15, 2021: ‘Cousins of Reform: Smith and Stanton’

Sept. 22, 2021: ‘The Underground Railroad’

The new book, ‘Passionate Energies: The Gerrit and Ann Smith Family of Peterboro, New York Through a Century of Reform,’ covers similar content to the series of presentations entitled ‘Underground Railroad, Women’s Rights, and Optimism: The Gerrit and Ann Smith Family of Peterboro NY and the Crusade for Human Rights.’

Starting in the 1820s and continuing through the 1920s, the Smith family of Peterboro led the way in some of the greatest reform efforts in the nation’s history. Their work encompassed the abolition of slavery, women’s rights and woman suffrage, as well as dress reform, the preservation and study of the animal world and initiatives in politics and religion that still affect our modern world.

“As statues … are toppled and cancel culture invades every aspect of our lives, how encouraging it is to learn, through this book, that the Gerrit Smith family established a haven where those with opposing views were treated with courtesy and allowed to express their opinions,” said Donna Dorrance Burdick.

Dann is professor emeritus at SUNY Morrisville, the head docent at the Gerrit Smith Estate, a founder of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum and the author of nine books on Peterboro, including biographies of the Smith family.

He is the author of ‘Practical Dreamer: Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform.’

The public is invited and encouraged to attend; admission is free. Sessions will be held at the Smithfield Community Center, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro. Publications aligned with the programs are available at each session and by contacting For more information and updates, visit, email or call 315.380.9389.

The Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum and the Smithfield Community Association are taking measured steps in resuming Peterboro Heritage programs in 2021. The volunteer organizations thank the public for its understanding, patience and productive feedback. Check websites for updates and more information.

The Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark is open from dusk to dawn every day for people who respect property and current COVID protocol. The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum is open Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. July 11 through Aug. 29, 2021, for special events and for pre-arranged group tours.

By martha

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