LETTER TO HISTORIANS AND HISTORICAL SOCIETIES

Dear Dutchess County historians:

I am writing on behalf of the recently formed Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project, to invite you to an event in the fall that we hope will be of
interest to you and to members of the public throughout Dutchess County.  “A History Harvest: Slavery, Antislavery, and the Underground Railroad in Dutchess County,” will help us gather information about a critical and
underrepresented part of our past. 
 
We will host two events:  a Harvest on Saturday, Sept. 15, 11 to 3, at the First Congregational Church/UCC, 269 Mill Street, Poughkeepsie; and a second mirror event in the southeastern part of the county, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 1 to 4, at the Akin Library, Quaker Hill, Pawling.  All members of the public may attend either or both events.

We invite three forms of participation:
 
1)  We encourage members of the public to bring documents, photographs,
family histories, or any other evidence they may have, relating to slavery, antislavery, or the Underground Railroad in Dutchess County. We will have a scanner and document camera available so participants can share information while retaining their valued originals.  We will also have videotaping available for those willing to participate in interviews, to share local and family stories.

The Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project will use this information, drawn from the collective knowledge of our community, to develop a fuller
understanding of the history of slavery, the antislavery movement, and the Underground Railroad in our area.
 
2)  We invite historians or research groups working on related topics to
bring exhibits and share their findings. We hope to feature small exhibits
on such topics as the Stormville Slave Cemetery, Oblong Friends Meeting and the Emergence of Antislavery, and the Underground Railroad in Poughkeepsie. Those interested in bringing an exhibit should contact one of the Project board members listed on the flyer. In general, we suggest that the cut-off date for both exhibits and for historical documentation be roughly the end of the Civil War.

3)  We cordially invite all members of the public, whether or not they have
documents or information of their own to share, to stop by and view the
exhibits.
 After the Poughkeepsie event, First Congregational Church/UCC will host a community block party; you are cordially invited to join church members for a free picnic, festivities, and music (outdoors, weather permitting) on Saturday, Sept. 15, starting at 4 pm.

If you could share and circulate this information, we would be deeply
grateful.  Many thanks, and we look forward to your participation.

Yours,
 
Rebecca Edwards, Chair
Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project
reedwards@vassar.edu
(845) 437-5675