Newsletter, September – Underground Railroad Month

Newsletter, September – Underground Railroad Month

Here is a little-known fact to share with your friends who appreciate factoids:
September is International Underground Railroad Month!

To celebrate this month, the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Museum is honored to take over social media outlets of the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom on September 2. There you will see stories about the 1816 Meetinghouse and the Underground Railroad, including Farmington’s connections with freedom seekers Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Austin Steward, and Selby Howard.

Selby Howard’s gravestone in Farmington Friends Cemetery:
Selby Howard
Died February 18, 1885
aged 83y, 10m, 23d
Born a slave
Lived a freeman
Died in the Lord

Established in 1998, the Network to Freedom now lists almost 700 Underground Railroad sites across the nation. In 2009, the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse became one of sixty-six Network to Freedom sites in New York State.

To view postings on the Network to Freedom’s Social Media

For Facebook, see

For Instagram, see

For the website, see

We are so grateful to Amanda Pollock and Caitlin Dyche of the National Park Service for helping us through this process.

President Helen Kirker giving a tour of Farmington sites to
Network to Freedom coordinators, 2009.

Upcoming programs: Save these dates!

Meetinghouse Restoration: Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Architect Bill Brandow from John G. Waite Associates will talk onsite about plans for Meetinghouse restoration, funded by an Historic Preservation Fund grant, administered by the National Park Service. 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse.

Restorative Justice: Saturday, September 24, 2:00 p.m. This forum will highlight how three independent, Rochester-based organizations (Partners in Restorative Initiatives, the Center for Dispute Settlement, and the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence) fulfill their shared mission to bring peace to the community through practices of nonviolence, restorative justice, and mediation. The discussion will be moderated by Wilbur Bontrager, Board member, 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse. Wood Library, 134 North Main Street, Canandaigua.

“Reflections on a 50-Year Journey through Haudenosaunee Country: Major Insights Gained about the Six Nations,” Saturday, October 1, 2:00 p.m. Historian Laurence Haptman, SUNY New Paltz, (“Haiwadogesta’, “interpreter” or “he straightens or explains the words”) will talk about what he has learned from his lifelong work with Haudenosaunee history and people. Ganondagan State History Site, 7000 County Road 41, Victor.

“Haudenosaunee Representation in Elementary Education: Precedents and Possiblities,” November 12, 2 p.m. Museum educator Marissa Corwin Manitowabi will discuss Haudenosaunee history in New York State, with ideas about best practices in teaching about indigenous people. Ganondagan State History Site, 7000 County Road 41, Victor.

Thanks to a grant from HumanitiesNY, all programs are free and open to the public.

Come and join us!

Akwaaba Means Welcome

Cast, left to right: Sojourner Truth/ Eunice White; Harriet Tubman/ Maggie Moore Holley; Frederick Douglass’ Grandmother/ Robin Nowell; Harriet Jacobs/ Dr. Carolyn Edwards; Anna Murray Douglass/ Shirley Strothers.
And we welcome you all to the Cobblestone Arts Center (1622 Route 332, Farmington) on Saturday, August 20, 2022, 2:00 p.m., for another stunning performance by our friends from AKWAABA.

See the dramatic re-enactment of five women who deeply influenced the great abolitionist, orator, editor, and author Frederick Douglass: Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Douglass’ grandmother, Harriet Jacobs, and Anna Murray Douglass. These women’s lives and words speak to us today as we continue efforts for equality, justice, and peace. You will not want to miss this inspirational performance!

AKWAABA interprets the 19th-century freedom movement through tours, re-enactments, plays, and other educational presentations of the sites, personalities, and events that comprised the Underground Railroad, especially those identified with the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Some of you saw AKWAABA’s presentation of Fannie Lou Hamer last year, co-sponsored by the 1816 Meetinghouse and Wood Library. Join us for another unforgettable performance!

With help from a grant from Humanities New York and from generous supporters like you, all programs are free and open to the public.

Quaker Days Videos Up – Help Us Spread the Word!

Thanks to the fine work of Damien Spindler, videos are now available online of our programs for Quaker Days, June 18-19, 2022, held in conjunction with the Macedon Historical Society.

Click on the titles below to see videos of presentations:

Dedication of New Nature Trail Behind 1816 Meetinghouse, Canandaigua Courthouse

To commemorate Juneteenth: Talk by Wayne County Historian Peter Evans on General Gordon Granger from Sodus, New York, who announced the end of slavery to assembled crowds in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.

Panel on contemporary work for equal rights in western New York today:
Linda Braun, Macedon Historical Society Secretary and town historian,
Willie Bontrager, Farmington Friends, contemporary peacemaking initiatives
Nick Leykin, Rochester Friends, Alternatives to Violence Project
Rebecca Conklin, Syracuse Friends, Good Trouble
Jill McClellan, Buffalo Friends, Quaker programs in NYS prison system

Talk by Judith Wellman, “’The Promotion of Truth and Practical Goodness’: Seneca Falls, Quakers, and Race.”

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