Owens Joins Tenney for Tours of Abolitionist Sites Across upstate New York

Oct 23, 2021

Peterboro, NY – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) joined Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22) for tours of historic abolitionist sites located across upstate New York, including in New York’s 22nd Congressional District.

The Representatives started their tour at the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, which was the home and office of Gerrit Smith. Smith was a staunch proponent of abolition who is considered one of the most powerful figures of the historic movement. It was at Smith’s home that many abolitionists would gather to advance and grow their vitally important cause. Smith was responsible for securing the freedom of hundreds of African Americans, assisting for their safe passage to Canada, and helping freed slaves establish new lives in our region.

Following their visit to the Smith Estate, Owens and Tenney made their way to the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, which hosted the inaugural meeting of the New York State Antislavery Society in 1835. The museum features many of the most renowned figures of the abolitionist movement, including Frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, and Harriet Tubman, to name a few.

Finally, Representatives Owens and Tenney traveled to Auburn, New York to tour the home of the late Harriet Tubman, a true trailblazer and unwavering fighter for abolition. Born into slavery in Maryland, Tubman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad and assisted in securing many slaves their freedom. Tubman also worked as a scout and spy for the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, Harriet Tubman purchased a home in Auburn, where she spent the remainder of her life.

“As the great-great-grandson of a slave, I’m inspired by Harriett Tubman, Gerrit Smith, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, and so many others, who, during the abolitionist movement, overcame unspeakable odds to secure the dreams of future generations,” said Congressman Owens. “It was an honor to join Rep. Claudia Tenney for today’s tour of Peterboro’s historic landmarks that tell extraordinary stories of freedom, liberty, and opportunity.”

“It was an honor to host Congressman Burgess Owens and showcase our region’s rich history in advancing the noble cause of abolition. It is so vitally important that we come together and recognize those throughout our history whose contributions advanced the causes of freedom, liberty, and justice. Congressman Owens has been leading the charge in Congress to tell the stories of America’s abolitionist heroes, and it was an honor to host him for these incredibly moving tours today,” said Congresswoman Tenney.

“Madison County and Peterboro appreciate the opportunity to host Congresswoman Tenney and Congressman Owens at the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark and the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum – which are two of the twenty-two sites on the New York State Underground Railroad Heritage Trail. Madison County is proud of its contributions to our state and national history,” said Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz.

To see photos from the visits, CLICK HERE.

To see videos from the visits, CLICK HERE.


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