Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brooklyn Star: City Acknowledges Abolitionist Past, Sort Of

The Brooklyn Star covers the Duffield Street co-naming as "Abolitionist Place" in City Acknowledges Abolitionist Past, Sort Of. The article reports on the irony of the recognition the City is giving the block while at the same time, Bloomberg intends to destroy the properties in question. Nevertheless, the depth of the history of Duffield Street and all Downtown Brooklyn is getting more and more attention:

Numerous known abolitionists lived, worked, and worshipped in Downtown Brooklyn, from Henry Ward Beecher, who auctioned slaves into freedom from the pulpit of Plymouth Church, to Nathan Egelston, a leader of the African and Foreign Antislavery Society, who also preached at Bridge Street AME and lived on Duffield Street.

His fellow Duffield Street residents, Thomas and Harriet Truesdell were leading members of the Abolitionist movement. Mr. Truesdell was a founding member of the Providence Anti-slavery Society before moving to Brooklyn in 1851. Harriet Truesdell was also very active in the movement, organizing an antislavery convention in Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia. The hall was set on fire by an angry mob.