Stewarts to discuss Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland Historical Society’s Oct. 17 program will feature Paul and Mary Liz Stewart describing Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad.

During the years prior to the Civil War, the Capital District had numerous abolitionists, both white and black, actively involved in aiding escaped slaves who sought safety and freedom in the North. The program will provide details about routes and hiding places in and around the Albany area, focusing on local free African-Americans who acted as “conductors” and “stationmasters.”

The Stewarts have been researching the Underground Railroad in our area for years, founding the not-for-profit Underground Railroad Project of the Capital Region in 2003 to increase awareness of the history and participants in the Underground Railroad. Under their leadership, for the past 13 years, the group has sponsored an annual Underground Railroad Conference, next year scheduled at Siena.

In Albany, the project has acquired the historic Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, home to one of Albany’s leading African-American Underground Railroad activists, and is in the process of restoring and creating a museum there.

Non-members are welcome to join us to hear what the Stewart’s research has discovered and become acquainted with this little-known chapter in area history.

The Thursday, Oct. 17, Guilderland Historical Society meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Mynderse-Frederick House at 451 Route 146, in Guilderland Center (GPS Altamont 12009). Parking is available next door at the church. Refreshments and a social hour follow the program, giving you the opportunity to chat with the Stewarts. For more information, call 861-8582.

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