Cemetery Tour to be offered by Peterboro Historian

Eighth annual Peterboro Emancipation Day Aug. 5

Descendants of fugitives who found refuge in Peterboro in the 19th Century have finalized plans for the eighth annual Peterboro Emancipation Day on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. The public is encouraged to join all or parts of the day:

9 am Exhibits Open:

  • Dreaming of Timbuctoo: Last day of exhibit from John Brown Lives project detailing Gerrit Smith’s 40-acre land grants to 3,000 African- American men to assure voting rights.
  • Equal Rights: Right Here: I LOVE NY’s Summer Equality Campaign A picture frame to show equality support
  • Heaven and Peterboro: Interior and exterior exhibits of African-Americans in 19th C. Peterboro,
    Underground Railroad, and Smith’s Philanthropy
  • Peterboro Mercantile: Community Heritage Shop will have National Park Service Passports available with the Network to Freedom passport stamp.

9:30 Registration

  • Morning assembly, announcements, group photo replicating 20th C. Emancipation Day Co-Chairs Jim Corpin, Carrie Martin, and Max Smith will update on year’s activities and detail plans for the day.
  • Homily by Rev. Jermain Wesley Loguen (1813-1872) delivered by actor historian Djed Snead. Loguen was the minister of AME churches in Central NY
  • Procession to Peterboro Cemetery to lay wreaths created by Carrie Martin at the grave of a freedom
    seeker & Smith. Participants can walk or drive behind the wreath carriers.
  • Tour of Graves of Freedom Seekers Guided by Donna Burdick, Town of Smithfield Historian.
    Burdick will lead the group to the gravestones of African-Americans and share their histories.
  • 1:00 National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum Exhibits: Banners of Inductees, Chronology of American Abolition from Colonial Period to Civil War, Women’s Transatlantic Andi-Slavery Networks, Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, displays from the NYS Museum exhibit The Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War (2014).
  • 2:00 Norman K. Dann PhD. Gerrit Smith: Practical Dreamer. Dr. Dann will explain the situation in NYS in 1846 that prompted Smith’s generous land gifts, remark on the progression of voting rights 1846 – 2017, and use Smith’s practical dreaming for discussion on the meaning of philanthropy
  • 3:00 Amy Godine: Dreaming of Timbuctoo. Curator of the Timbuctoo exhibit, Godine will explain her research, illuminate on the exhibit’s name, describe the agents and the grantees, show Smith’s deed book, and discuss how the land project fared.
  • 4:00 Panel on Voting Rights 1846-2017 The panel will deliberate progress since Smith’s 1846 land gifts to 2017 the NYS Centennial of Women’s Suffrage.

The Deli on the Green will be open from 8 am to 7 pm with the ice cream window open until 9 pm. Reservations for regular menu and weekend specials are suggested at 315-684- 3131.

This project is made possible, in part, with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts, and sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant.

The public is encouraged to join all or part of Emancipation Day. Admission is $5, free for students. Emancipation Day is a program of the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, 5324 Oxbow Road, PO 6, Peterboro. The GSENHL is a site on the National Park Service Network to Freedom (the national Underground Railroad trail), a Partner of the Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State, a site on the I LOVE NY LBGT Trail, and a site on the Madison County Freedom Trail. For more information PeterboroNY.org, info@gerritsmith.org, and 315-280-8828.

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