Brooklyn Historical Society to Present Exhibition on Abolitionists

Historians in the News
tags: Brooklyn, Brooklyn Historical Society, abolitionists




A major five-year exhibition opening Jan. 15 at the Brooklyn Historical Society will bring to life the stories of largely unknown Brooklyn abolitionists who led the anti-slavery movement. The exhibition, “In Pursuit of Freedom,” will display maps, pamphlets, advertisements, letters, landscape painting, and even a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln to document the battle for black rights.

While Brooklyn abolitionists like Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe) are well known, the exhibition, which covers the period 1790-1865, focuses on many overlooked activists. Most are black. Some who will be included are Sylvanus Smith, one of the original land investors in the free black community of Weeksville; Peter and Benjamin Croger; William Wilson (a.k.a. Ethiop); James Pennington; James and Elizabeth Gloucester; and William and Willis Hodges. They lived in the Brooklyn neighborhoods now known as Dumbo, Williamsburg, Fort Greene and Cobble Hill, among others....




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