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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Leominster in Worcester County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Drake Home and the Underground Railroad

 
 
The Drake Home Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, February 23, 2017
1. The Drake Home Marker
Inscription.  Here on February 16, 1851, Jonathan and Frances Drake participated in the rescue of the fugitive slave Shadrach Minkins. The case attracted national attention and the rebuke of President Millard Fillmore. Undeterred, abolitionists like the Drakes persisted in their efforts to end the immoral practice of slavery.

 
Erected 2007 by the Leominster Historical Society and the Citizens of the City of Leominster.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil Rights. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #13 Millard Fillmore series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 16, 1851.
 
Location. 42° 31.302′ N, 71° 45.705′ W. Marker is in Leominster, Massachusetts, in Worcester County. Marker is on Franklin Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 21 Franklin Street, Leominster MA 01453, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Second Meeting House (approx. 0.3 miles away); World War ll Vietnam Korean War Memorial
View of House and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, February 23, 2017
2. View of House and Marker
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(approx. 0.3 miles away); In memory of the men of Leominster (approx. 0.3 miles away); Town Pound 1816 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Oliver E. Hazard (approx. 0.6 miles away); Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park (approx. 1.8 miles away); Birthplace of Johnny Appleseed (approx. 1.9 miles away); Wickapickit Brook and Bridge (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leominster.
 
Regarding The Drake Home and the Underground Railroad. In the spring of 1850, Shadrach Minkins escaped slavery in Norfolk, Virginia, and made his way (probably by sea) to Boston. He worked for a while as a waiter in a coffeehouse, but the following winter authorities arrested and held him under the recently passed Fugitive Slave Act.

When legal proceedings failed to secure his release, a group of Boston abolitionists stormed a court hearing and helped him escape via “stops” (safe houses) on the Underground Railroad — first in Boston and then at the Drake house in Leominster, which is 53 miles west of Boston by road. Eventually Minkins got to Montreal, where he married, took jobs as a waiter
Front of House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, February 23, 2017
3. Front of House
and a barber, and lived out his life. His story is told by Gary Collison in Shadrach Minkins: From Fugitive Slave to Citizen (Harvard University Press, 1998).

 
Also see . . .  The Ordeal of Shadrach Minkins. A brief account by the Massachusetts Historical Society. (Submitted on February 24, 2017, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.) 
 
Sign Describing Preservation Study image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, February 23, 2017
4. Sign Describing Preservation Study
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 24, 2017. It was originally submitted on February 24, 2017, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 461 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 24, 2017, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 3, 2022