Syracuse in Onondaga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
George and Rebecca Barnes House
The Freedom Trail
— The Underground Railroad —
” …take into consideration the Principles of the American Government, and the extent to which they are trampled under foot by the Fugitive Slave Law.”
—a call for a mass convention, signed by George Barnes, 1851
George and Rebecca Barnes represent European American business and reform families, many of them identified with the Syracuse and Utica Railroad and the Unitarian Church, who were committed abolitionist organizers and Underground Railroad supporters and who used their resources to exert public pressure and to raise money for the cause. Married in 1849, they built their Italianate-style home in 1853.
Born in England, Barnes was a law partner of Charles Sedgwick, attorney for abolitionist Gerrit Smith, and close friend of John Wilkinson, organizer of the New York Central Railroad, which provided free passes for many freedom seekers. Barnes, Sedgwick, and Wilkinson formed a core group of Underground Railroad supporters. All three of the men served as members of the thirteen-person Vigilance Committee appointed for Syracuse in October 4, 1850. George Barnes signed a call for a mass convention to be held
Erected by Preservation Association of Central New York, City of Syracuse, and Onondaga Historical Association. (Marker Number 11.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Civil Rights. In addition, it is included in the Unitarian Universalism (UUism) series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. 43° 3.461′ N, 76° 8.243′ W. Marker is in Syracuse, New York, in Onondaga County. Marker is on James Street (New York State Route 290) 0.1 miles east of Highland Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, directly in front of the Barnes House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 930 James Street, Syracuse NY 13203, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other Rose Hill Cemetery / African Americans on the North Side (approx. 0.3 miles away); Enoch Reed (approx. half a mile away); Poster Project (approx. ¾ mile away); Double Enders (approx. ¾ mile away); Erie Canal (approx. ¾ mile away); Locks (approx. ¾ mile away); Erie Boulevard Was Once the Erie Canal (approx. ¾ mile away); Prince Jackson House Site (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Syracuse.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Syracuse Freedom Trail & Underground Railroad
Also see . . .
1. George and Rebecca Barnes Home. In succeeding years, George Barnes continued his anti-slavery work. Local tradition suggests that the family held anti-slavery meetings in their library. In March 1854, he signed a call for a meeting to support the rescue of a freedom seeker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In April 1854, he was one of the Directors of a newly-formed City Anti-Slavery Society. The following July, he was one of several hundred Syracuse men to issue a call for a convention to appoint local delegates to a state-wide convention opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. (Submitted on September 4, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Wikipedia entry:
The Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as (Submitted on September 4, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 273 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on September 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 4, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.