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

Enoch Reed

The Freedom Trail

 

— The Underground Railroad —

 
Enoch Reed Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
1. Enoch Reed Marker
Inscription.  "No man ever possessed a more generous heart, or more honorable feelings."
— from Enoch Reed's obituary, Syracuse Standard, June 10, 1853

Born free in Ohio about 1813, African American Enoch Reed was one of more than a dozen people indicted in the rescue of William "Jerry" Henry in 1851. Reed's wife Jane, born in Jamaica, kept a boarding house, while Reed worked as a boatman on the Erie Canal. Enoch Reed spent his youth as a sailor on whaling ships in the Pacific Ocean. In 1840, he sailed on the Acushnet out of New Bedford, with Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick.

Offered a chance to go to sea to escape trial for his part in the Jerry Rescue, Reed refused. He was the only person convicted in this rescue, and he died of consumption on June 9, 1853, a week before his appeal. "Possessed of herculean frame and strength and generous disposition," noted his obituary, "he was extremely popular with his commander and shipmates… No man ever possessed a more generous heart, or more honorable feelings."
 
Erected by Preservation Association of Central
Marker detail: Enoch Reed Obituary<br><i>Syracuse Standard</i>, June 10, 1853 image. Click for full size.
By Syracuse Standard
2. Marker detail: Enoch Reed Obituary
Syracuse Standard, June 10, 1853
Death of Enoch Reed
Enoch Reed, who was convicted at the January term of the U. S. Court, for participation in the "Jerry Rescue," died at the residence of James Waggoner, a colored man, on Wednesday afternoon last, of Consumption, aged about 38 years.

Reed's life was a checkered and eventful one. He was a native of New England, born a freeman, and during the early portion of his life followed the sea for a livelihood, in the Merchant service, and the Whale Fishery. Being Possessed of herculean frame and strength and generous disposition, he was an able seaman and extremely popular with his commander and shipmates. Since his arrest for participation in the Jerry Rescue, his former Captain, with whom Enoch had spent nearly four years in the Pacific Ocean, offered him the post of Second Mate on one of the best Whaleships out of New Bedford, but Reed was too honorable to leave his bail to suffer for his absence.

Of late years Enoch has been engaged during the summers as boatman on the Erie Canal, and in the winter in whatever business he could obtain, and always, so far as known, he earned his living by hard labor. His sailor habits and social nature often led him into scenes of dissipation, but no one ever charged him with dishonesty. It will be recollected that he was concerned in a riot on Salina Street, on the 1st of January, 1852, in which one of his antagonists, an Irishman, was killed, and two others badly wounded, and upon a searching investigation before a Coroner’s Jury, and afterwards before the Police Justice, Enoch was entirely exonerated from all blame, and set at liberty. He was badly hurt at that time by the blows of his assailants and his disease, which was undoubtedly brought on by exposure, was probably aggravated by injuries he received in the affray.

He was tried and convicted of resisting an officer of the government in the performance of his duty, (not under the Fugitive Slave Act) and, at the instance of Judge Hall, his sentence was postponed until the result of a motion to grant a new trial was known. The motion was to be argued at the next term of the Court in Canandaigua, on the third Tuesday of the present month. Perhaps it may not be improper to say that the friends of Reed deny his participation in the rescue, until after Jerry was brought out of the office, when it was discovered that he was unable to walk in consequence of the manacles on his feet, and the fugitive was taken up in the arms of stout men, and carried through the streets.

Reed had many faults, but no man ever possessed a more generous heart, or more honorable feelings.
New York, City of Syracuse, and Onondaga Historical Association. (Marker Number 9.)
 
Location. 43° 3.606′ N, 76° 8.857′ W. Marker is in Syracuse, New York, in Onondaga County. Marker is on Lodi Street west of Butternut Street, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located on the south side of Lodi Street, between a parking lot and the sidewalk. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 Butternut Street, Syracuse NY 13208, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rose Hill Cemetery / African Americans on the North Side (approx. ¼ mile away); Prince Jackson House Site (approx. 0.3 miles away); George and Rebecca Barnes House (approx. half a mile away); Erie Canal (approx. 0.6 miles away); How Much Does a Canal Boat Weigh? (approx. 0.6 miles away); Erie Boulevard Was Once the Erie Canal (approx. 0.6 miles away); Onondaga Indians (approx. 0.6 miles away); Pitts Park (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Syracuse.
 
More about this marker. Enoch and Jane Reed lived here at the corner of Lodi and Butternut Street (where the Rite-Aid Drugstore is now).
 
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 RightsLaw Enforcement
 
Marker detail: List of Persons from whaling ship <i>Acushnet</i> image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the New Bedford Whaling Museum
3. Marker detail: List of Persons from whaling ship Acushnet
Shows that Enoch Reed set sail with Herman Melville in December 1840.
Enoch Reed Marker<br>(<i>wide view • looking west along Lodi Street</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
4. Enoch Reed Marker
(wide view • looking west along Lodi Street)
 

More. Search the internet for Enoch Reed.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 65 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on September 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3. submitted on September 6, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   4. submitted on September 5, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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