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Syracuse in Onondaga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fayette Park

The Freedom Trail

 

— The Underground Railroad —

 
Fayette Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
1. Fayette Park Marker
Inscription.  ”… numbers of persons, who have never felt any interest in the cause of the slave, before, now seem to have all their sympathies awakened, in his behalf.”
—from Diary of Ellen Birdseye Wheaton (Boston, 1923)

Named after General Marquis de LaFayette, French supporter of the American Revolution, Fayette Park once was surrounded by many outstanding houses. Abolitionists Stephen and Rosa Smith lived on the north side of the Park. In 1843, they invited Frederick Douglass to speak in front of their home. Douglass, orator and editor of the North Star, was one of the country's most influential abolitionists. Born in slavery in Maryland about 1817, he escaped in 1838 and moved to Rochester, New York, from New England in 1847. Throughout his career, he was a frequent visitor to Syracuse.

Charles Wheaton, once called "the President of the Underground Railroad," and Ellen Birdseye Wheaton lived on Fayette Park at 406 East Genesee Street. Wheaton supplied tools from his hardware store to assist in the rescue of William "Jerry" Henry from a Syracuse jail in 1851. After Henry's escape to Canada,
Marker detail: Stephen Smith & Horace White image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association
2. Marker detail: Stephen Smith & Horace White
Stephen and Rosa Smith invited Frederick Douglass to speak in front of their home.

Horace White (on right) regularly gave free railroad passes to freedom seekers.
Henry presented Wheaton with "a splendid hickory cane with a deer's horn for a handle" as a sign of gratitude. Ellen Birdseye Wheaton noted in her diary that "numbers of persons, who never felt any interest in the cause of the slave, before, now seem to have all their sympathies awakened, in his behalf."

Hamilton White lived in the 1842 Greek Revival-style mansion at the east end of the park. White was a major supporter of the A.M.E. Zion Sunday School and the Syracuse Orphan Asylum. In 1854, White, along with several hundred local citizens, signed a call to oppose the extension of slavery into the territories through the Kansas-Nebraska Act, one of many such actions across the country that resulted in the formation of the Republican Party. Hamilton's brother Horace White was a key Underground Railroad supporter. Part owner of the Syracuse and Utica Railroad (later the New York Central), Horace White regularly gave free passes to freedom seekers.
 
Erected by Preservation Association of Central New York, City of Syracuse, and Onondaga Historical Association. (Marker Number 3.)
 
Location. 43° 2.897′ N, 76° 8.748′ W. Marker is in Syracuse, New York, in Onondaga County. Marker is on South Townsend Street north of East Genesee Street (New York
Marker detail: Charles Wheaton & Ellen Birdseye Wheaton image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association
3. Marker detail: Charles Wheaton & Ellen Birdseye Wheaton
Charles Wheaton supplied tools from his hardware store to assist in the rescue of William “Jerry” Henry.

Ellen Birdseye Wheaton kept a detailed journal of life in Syracuse, including abolitionist activities.
State Route 92), on the left when traveling north. Marker is located just inside the fence at the east end of Firefighter's Memorial Park (Fayette Park). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 407 South State Street, Syracuse NY 13202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. University Club (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Great Central Depot (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wesleyan Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Syracuse Grade Crossing Elimination (approx. 0.2 miles away); James K. McGuire (approx. 0.2 miles away); Daniel Webster's "Syracuse Speech" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Courier Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Erie Boulevard Was Once the Erie Canal (approx. ¼ 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
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil Rights
 
Marker detail: Frederick Douglass image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association
4. Marker detail: Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass, one of the country’s most influential abolitionists, was a frequent visitor to Syracuse and spoke in Fayette Park in 1843.
Fayette Park Marker (<i>view looking toward Townsend/Genesee intersection from inside the park</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
5. Fayette Park Marker (view looking toward Townsend/Genesee intersection from inside the park)
Hamilton White House<br>(<i>view across Townsend Street from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
6. Hamilton White House
(view across Townsend Street from near marker)
 

More. Search the internet for Fayette Park.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on September 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 5, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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