Gerrit Smith Estate
National Historic Landmark
The Gerrit Smith Estate was the lifetime home and office of Gerrit Smith (1797-1874). Driven by his liberal ideas and empowered by his wealth, he was one of the most powerful abolitionists in the United States. Scores of abolitionists received support and renewed commitment to the cause of freedom at Smith’s home in Peterboro.
Smith helped hundreds of African Americans by purchasing their freedom from slavery, arranging safe passage to Canada, helping families establish their lives locally, gifting land, providing educational opportunities, and working for human rights. Due to Smith’s persuasive and exemplary efforts, Peterboro became a crossroads for human benevolence.
Today, this historic location has become mostly forgotten. The name Gerrit Smith has little recognition. But this man and this place have earned their place in the history books.
The Gerrit Smith Estate is designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is a National Park Service Network to Freedom Underground Railroad site, a Heritage NY Underground Railroad site, and also a Madison County NY Freedom Trail site.
The Estate is operated by the Smithfield Community Association, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Gerrit Smith Estate as both an educational resource and as a tourism destination.