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

Wesleyan Methodist Church

The Freedom Trail

 

— The Underground Railroad —

 
Wesleyan Methodist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
1. Wesleyan Methodist Church Marker
Inscription.  "The president of the railroad… humanely provided me with free passes for the fugitives on the road to Canada and freedom." — Charles Merrick, Reminiscences of the Jerry Rescue, 1893

The Wesleyan Methodist Church was a biracial abolitionist congregation and a major center of the Underground Railroad. Luther Lee, pastor (1843 and 1852-1855) and editor of the True Wesleyan (1844-1852), assisted as many as 365 freedom seekers a year. Church members Charles, Montgomery, and Chloe Merrick raised money and supplied passes on the railroad to freedom seekers. James Baker, a Georgia-born whitewasher, and Mary Baker, his Maryland-born wife, were freedom seekers themselves. The Bakers and some other fugitives residing in Syracuse worried that the 1851 arrest of William "Jerry" Henry might lead to more arrests. They fled to Canada soon thereafter.

The church hosted a prayer service for John Brown when he was hung on December 2, 1859. It also hosted a gathering of Syracuse black citizens on January 20, 1863, to celebrate Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Wesleyan Church members
Marker detail: Charles Merrick image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association
2. Marker detail: Charles Merrick
also supported the early women's rights movement. Susan B. Anthony spoke here in 1852 and demanded for women "all the rights enjoyed by men, even to the ballot box."
 
Erected by Preservation Association of Central New York, City of Syracuse, and Onondaga Historical Association. (Marker Number 4.)
 
Location. 43° 2.826′ N, 76° 8.904′ W. Marker is in Syracuse, New York, in Onondaga County. Marker is at the intersection of East Jefferson Street and East Onondaga Street, on the left when traveling east on East Jefferson Street. Marker is located along the sidewalk, directly in front of the former Wesleyan Methodist Church building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 304 East Onondaga 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. The Great Central Depot (here, next to this marker); Fayette Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); University Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); James K. McGuire (approx. 0.2 miles away); Syracuse Grade Crossing Elimination (approx. 0.2 miles away); Courier Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Daniel Webster's "Syracuse Speech" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pitts Park (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
Marker detail: Church record showing that James and Mary Baker had fled to Canada image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association
3. Marker detail: Church record showing that James and Mary Baker had fled to Canada
Freedom Trail & Underground Railroad
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansChurches & ReligionCivil Rights
 
Marker detail: Wesleyan Methodist Church, built 1845<br>(<i>circa 1870</i>) image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association
4. Marker detail: Wesleyan Methodist Church, built 1845
(circa 1870)
Map credit: H.H. Bailey, Bird’s-eye View of Syracuse, N.Y., 1874
Marker detail: Sculptured face found in the basement of the Wesleyan Church image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association
5. Marker detail: Sculptured face found in the basement of the Wesleyan Church
This is one of seven sculptured faces found in the basement of the Wesleyan Church that many people believe were created by freedom seekers. They are now on display in the Onondaga Historical Association Museum.
Marker detail: Rev. Luther Lee image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
6. Marker detail: Rev. Luther Lee
"Once as the clock struck 12 at midnight of December 31 (the last hour of the last day of the last month of the year) a fugitive knocked at his (Rev. Luther Lee's) door making just 365 he had rescued that year."
— Joseph A. Allen to Wilbur H. Siebert, August 10, 1896
Wesleyan Methodist Church Marker<br>(<i>wide view from East Jefferson Street</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
7. Wesleyan Methodist Church Marker
(wide view from East Jefferson Street)
 

More. Search the internet for Wesleyan Methodist Church.
 
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 25 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on September 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 5, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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