Peterboro Emancipation Day 2015

Post date: Jul 23, 2015 3:50:45 PM

Peterboro Emancipation Day 2015

The Peterboro Emancipation Day 2015 Committee invites the public to partake in a day of history, legacy, and reflection on Saturday, August 1, 2015 in Peterboro NY. Activities include 1925 precedents and 2015 current events. The plans for the freedom celebration include:

9:30 am Refreshments and Registration:

Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, 5304 Oxbow Road, Peterboro 13134

10:00 am Opening Assembly

The event begins with bell ringing at the Peterboro United Methodist Church and at the Smithfield Community Center, the location at which abolitionists in New York State formed the NYS Antislavery Society in 1835, and the home of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum. Thirteen rings will herald the Sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment (Proposed January 31, 1865 and ratified December 6, 1865) “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude …. shall exist within the United States.”

Co-Chair of the event and The Laundry Squad Jim Corpin, Carrie Martin, and Max Smith will welcome guests to the event and to the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark. Corpin is a member of the Smithfield Community Association and the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark governing board. Max Smith is the Mayor of Oneida and a passionate speaker about his roots in Peterboro. Martin is Co-Chair of the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, Secretary of the Smithfield Community Association, and the organizer of the Peterboro Civil War Living History Day. A prayer by Rev. James Fletcher, pastor of the Perryville and Peterboro United Methodist Church, will follow.

10:15 am Legacy of Emancipation Day

The Legacy of Emancipation Day for the nation and Peterboro will be explained as the program for the day is reviewed.

10:30 am Children’s Workshop

Gerrit Smith Estate docent and teacher, Carrie Martin, will lead a tour and encourage a lively discussion for the younger participants of the Emancipation Day program beginning in the Land Office and finishing at the Laundry. The focus of this workshop will be Gerrit Smith’s role in the abolition movement during the 19th Century, and Peterboro’s place on the Underground Railroad

10:30 am History Happened Right Here!

Why did the US Department of the Interior declare that the Gerrit Smith Estate “has been found to possess national significance in the history of the United States?” Norman K. Dann will describe the philanthropy, abolition, and Underground Railroad activities of Gerrit Smith (1797 – 1874) that took place directly where the participants are congregating.

11:15 Group Photo

The annual Emancipation Day group photo will be taken in similar fashion as the image recordings from the 1920s and 1930s in Peterboro. All visitors are included!

11:30 am Procession to Cemetery

The procession to the Peterboro Cemetery commences by foot and by vehicle. Two wreaths are carried to the integrated cemetery as done by generations before – one wreath for a gravestone reading Born a Slave. Died a Free Woman (or Man), and the other for the simple grave of wealthy abolitionist Gerrit Smith. On the way the procession will stop at the Civil War statue on the Peterboro Green to install 35 star flags for the African-Americans who served in the Civil War, and at the Veterans Memorial on the eastern side of the hamlet.


Visitors are invited picnic On the Green, Under the Tent, Beside the Brook or in the Smithfield Community Center. Bring your own lunch or reserve ten dollar bag lunches by July 24 at Deli on the Green 315-684-3131

1:00 pm National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum Opens

The Hall of Fame and the Abolition Museum will be open until 5 p.m.

2:00 pm Children’s Workshop

Carrie Martin will conduct another tour and discussion for youth.

2:00 Local 19th Century Protests were Foundations of Civil Rights Reform

Participants will walk or drive to 5255 Pleasant Valley Road reflecting on the 400 abolitionists who arrived at that site October 22, 1835. Hugh C. Humphreys, a founding member of the Cabinet of Freedom for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, and author of Agitate! Agitate! Agitate! The Great Fugitive Slave Law Convention and its Rare Daguerreotype will greet the visitors to the historic structure explaining the 19th civil rights protests that occurred there and in Cazenovia. Humphreys’ PowerPoint program will trace the connection of Peterboro to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Copies of the Madison County Historical Society’s Heritage (Number 19 1994) with Humphreys research will be available for sale and signing.

3:00 pm Ferguson, Charleston, and Peterboro

A panel facilitated by Drea Finley, Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising and Director of the First Generation Initiative, at Colgate University in Hamilton NY will open a community conversation about situations in Ferguson, Charleston, and In Our Backyard. The panel will include Jackie Nelson (Rome Area NAACP), Al Riley (Madison County Sheriff), John Smith (St. Ann’s School Dean and Director of Middle School), and Max Smith (Mayor of Oneida).

The panel discussion will close with invitations

  • from Donna Dorrance, Smithfield Town Historian, who will be at the Peterboro Area Museum on Sunday August 2 from 2 – 4.
  • by Drea Finley to Equality Weekend, August 22 & 23, 2015
  • by Tom Hogle to the CONSTITUTIONAL REVOLUTION; The 13TH and 14th Amendments and the ongoing "Incorporation" of the Bill of Rights for all Americans.
  • by Jody Luce to In the Kitchen Tea September 20, 2015 at 12:30
  • by Tim McLaughlin to Created Equal: October Film and Discussion Series
  • by Tim McLaughlin Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator Weekend, October 23 – 25,
  • and by Owen Corpin to the Annual Watch Night for Emancipation December 31, 2015 at 4 p.m.

Admission to Peterboro Emancipation Day is a donation.

For further information contact: or 315-280-8828