Angelina GrimkesPeterboro, N.Y. – The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) commemoration ceremonies for the 2016 inductees to the Hall of Fame will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017 at NAHOF, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro NY 13134. The inductees are Rev. John Gregg Fee, Beriah Green, Angelina Grimké, and James W.C. Pennington. This is the last year of the two year induction-commemoration cycle. Beginning in 2018 inductions and commemorations will be completed in one year.

Angelina Grimké has ties to Madison County. She and her husband Theodore Dwight Weld visited Weld’s brother Ezra Greenleaf Weld, the daguerreotypist in Cazenovia whose daughter is buried in the village cemetery. The Grimkés were friends of Gerrit and Ann Smith of Peterboro, and the Smith’s son and grandson went to the Weld school in Eaglewood NJ. Relatives of the Grimké-Welds live today in Cazenovia and Oneida, where once hung a portrait of the reformer for which there is a current search.

At 2 p.m. Louise W. Knight will present The Remarkable Transformation: Angelina Grimké’s Journey for the Abolition Symposia. Angelina Grimké was a white Southerner who became a northern advocate for the immediate end to slavery in the South and for racial equality. Born to a wealthy, slave-owning family in Charleston SC she came to see the cruelties of slavery after embracing evangelical Christianity. At age 24 she moved to Philadelphia to escape the witness of slavery and to join a religious denomination that disowned slaveowners. Five years later, in 1835, she became a member of the Philadelphia Female Antislavery Society, and the next year she, and her sister Sarah, became the first female grassroots organizers for the American Anti-Slavery Society. The egalitarian case Angelina was making was radical for her times.

Louise W. Knight is an author and historian.  She writes about nineteenth and twentieth century American reform and women’s history.  She first learned about Angelina Grimké while teaching a rhetoric course on women’s nineteenth century speeches. Though she knew a lot about women’s history, she had never heard of Grimké. Eventually she read a 1967 biography about Angelina and her sister Sarah, and was drawn to tell their story for a new generation. Knight’s current project is a dual biography of the abolitionists-feminists, Angelina and Sarah Grimké. The book will be published by Flatiron Books in the fall of 2018. Knight is a Visiting Scholar in the Gender Studies Program at Northwestern University. Knight’s research has been funded by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and grants from the Spencer Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. She was a Research Fellow at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center in 1996, and a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Humanities at Northwestern University in 2002-03. Knight earned her B.A. and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Wesleyan University in 1972.

The other three inductees will also be presented during the afternoon Abolition Symposia: Alicestyne Turley PhD will present Rev. John Gregg Fee, founder of Berea College, Berea KY, Milton C. Sernett PhD will present The Odd Couple: Beriah Green and Gerrit Smith at 1:00, and Christopher L. Webber will present James W.C. Pennington: Pastor and Abolitionist.

During the 7:00 pm Saturday Commemoration Ceremonies Knight will briefly describe the legacy of Angelina Grimké as an inductee to the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum. Relatives, friends and associates who are sponsors of the Grimké inductee banner for the Hall will introduce themselves and their relationship to Grimké. The sponsors will unveil the banner to be installed in the Hall.  The Grimké banner will include Grimké’s official NAHOF portrait created by artist Melissa Moshetti, biographical information, her abolition legacy, and the name of the sponsors. (Seventy-five dollar sponsorships are due to NAHOF by October 8.)

Max Alden Smith, CoChair of the Annual Peterboro Emancipation Day will provide musical renditions of slavery, abolition, and freedom throughout the evening.  Jan DeAmicis, Co-Chair of the Oneida County Freedom Trail Commission, will commemorate the 182nd anniversary of the inaugural meeting of the New York State Antislavery Society. Abolitionists convened in Utica October 21, 1835 to form an abolition organization, but were mobbed more than once by a mob headed by Congressman Beardsley. The meeting resumed in Peterboro the next morning and completed the organization of an antislavery society.

The evening ceremonies will follow the 5:00 pm annual 19th C. Antislavery Dinner catered by the Peterboro General Store Deli on the Green with a menu inspired by Elizabeth Smith Miller’s In the Kitchen cookbook. Tisha Lock, Head Merchant for the Peterboro Mercantile will have books, buttons, stationery and other items related to the inductions, and Peterboro history, available at the event. Book signings by presenting authors will be available.

At 8:00 am Saturday, October 21 Norman K. Dann PhD, will guide a tour of the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark (5304 Oxbow Road, PO 6, Peterboro NY 13134) with attention to the 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees who visited the Estate. The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum will open at 9:30 am on Saturday, October 21.

At 9:00 on Sunday, October 22, 2017 Jan DeAmicis and Mary Hayes Gordon, Co-Chairs of the Oneida County Freedom Trail, will meet visitors in Utica for a driving and walking tour of abolition sites in Utica during Beriah Green’s life. The tour will include Green’s burial site and the site of the Oneida Institute, where Green served as President. At 10:00 the new interpretive signage for the Oneida County Freedom Trail will be unveiled. For more information: jandeamicis@roadrunner.com

At 12:30 Sunday, October 22, eight libraries in Madison and Oneida counties, and the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum will host a luncheon culminating  a month long CommUNITY Read of Sue Monk Kidd’s popular historical novel The Invention of Wings. Using an unusual format the book describes the early lives of slaves Charlotte and Hetty and of their owners Sarah and Angelina Grimké in Charleston SC, and the later abolition lives of the Grimkés, including visits to Peterboro. The CommUNITY Read was launched September 24th during the Peterboro Women’s History Weekend following a program on the abolition movement’s spawning of the women’s movement of which Angelina Grimké was a pivotal person. Betsy Kennedy, Director of the Cazenovia Public Library, will share information on Kidd and the meaning of the title of the book – with its connections to history. After the luncheon prepared by the Peterboro Deli on the Green with a menu inspired by the 19th Century In the Kitchen cookbook written by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Peterboro, Louise Knight will explain the facts and answer questions of the history used in Invention of Wings. At 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 22 author Louise Knight will share her research for the preparation of her upcoming biography on the Grimké sisters. American Sisters: Sarah and Angelina Grimke and the First Fight for Human Rights will be published in late 2018.

This event is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant. The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) honors antislavery abolitionists, their work to end slavery, and the legacy of that struggle, and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition – the moral conviction to end racism. NAHOF is located in Peterboro NY in the building where the New York State Anti-Slavery Society held its inaugural meeting October 22, 1835. NAHOF Museum is chartered by the New York State Education Department, on the Heritage NY Underground Railroad Trail, on the Path through History, on the I LOVE NY LBGT Trail, on the Madison County Freedom Trail, and a founder and primary of the Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State.

Sponsorships for Hall of Fame banners are due October 8. Registrations for meals are due by October 12. Reservations for both days of the Abolition Weekend, including meals and programs, are $75. Reservations for Saturday, October 21, including meals and programs, are $50. Reservations for Sunday, October 22, including meals and programs, are $35. Admission to each program is $5 and may be paid at the door. (Meals must be reserved.) For registration forms and for more information: www.nationalabolitionhalloffameandmuseum.orgNAHOFM1835@gmail.com,  PO Box 55, Peterboro NY 13134, or 315-280-8828. For online reservations: mercantile.gerritsmith.org. For lodging: www.madisontourism.com

Angelina Grimké was born in South Carolina to a slave holding family in 1805. She refuted slavery, moved to Philadelphia, and became a Quaker. She quickly became one the most important female activists in the movement because she wrote and spoke from her personal experience of slavery. Sponsors will unveil the Grimké banner which will be installed in the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro NY Saturday, October 21, 2017. Angelina Grimké has ties to Madison County. She and her husband Theodore Dwight Weld visited Weld’s brother Ezra Greenleaf Weld, the daguerreotypist in Cazenovia whose daughter is buried in the village cemetery. The Grimkés were friends of Gerrit and Ann Smith of Peterboro, and the Smith’s son and grandson went to the Weld school in Eaglewood NJ. Relatives of the Grimké-Welds live today in Cazenovia and Oneida, where once hung a portrait of the reformer for which there is a current search.