Gerrit Smith Birthday Party

The Stewards for the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark (GSENHL) invite the public to the annual Gerrit Smith birthday party at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, 2014 to hear of what was happening in Peterboro in 1864.

  • How is the 1864 opening of Andersonville Prison in Georgia connected to the Civil War Statue in Peterboro?
  • How is the 1864 donation of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation draft connected to Peterboro?
  • How is Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1864 connected to Peterboro?
  • How is the 1864 Battle of the Crater VA connected to Peterboro?
  • How is the 1864 Battle of Olustee FL connected to Peterboro?
  • How is the 1864 Battle of Honey Hill SC connected to Peterboro?
  • How is the military song for the end of the day (Taps) connected to Smithfield?
  • When did Gerrit Smith of Peterboro introduce Solomon Northup after his twelve years as a slave?

Born in Utica March 6, 1797, Smith came to Peterboro when nine years old and, withthe exception of his years at college and Congress, spent his life in Peterboro managing his landbusiness in order to support his reform initiatives. Smith’s influence connected Peterboro to national issues. At 2 p.m. Gerrit Smith biographer Norman K. Dann PhD will describe the 1864 activities of abolitionist Gerrit Smith, his family, and his community as they relate to the nation at that time. Dann’s scene setting for 1864 will introduce the Sesquicentennial programs planned in Peterboro in 2014. The program will include Smith’s monetary commitment to the Civil War effort, the donation of his copy of Lincoln’s draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, his role in the development of Lincoln’s Republican Party, his reactions to the Election of 1864, and the letters from his son Greene written immediately after the Battle of the Crater during the Siege of Petersburg.

The Stewards for the GSENHL, the Cabinet of Freedom members for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, the Committee for the 22ndCommittee for the 5th Heritage Calendar. Jacob Donovan-Colin, Secretary of the Smithfield Community Association (SCA), will briefly explain the focus and direction of the Association, and recent improvements at the Smithfield Community Center at which the program will be held (5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro NY 13134) The Stewards will serve refreshments at the closure of the afternoon program.

The programs is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.