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

The Anti-Slavery Community

The Anti-Slavery Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 23, 2013
1. The Anti-Slavery Community Marker
Inscription.  Present-day Florence is the site of one of the most active centers of the anti-slavery movement in America. In 1842, members of the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, among them Samuel L. Hill and George Benson, established a utopian community organized around a communally owned and operated silk mill. Those who were drawn to this community sought to challenge the prevailing social attitudes of their day by creating a society in which “the rights of all are equal without distinction of sex, color or condition, sect or religion.” They were especially united around the issue of the abolition of slavery. Most were followers of William Lloyd Garrison. Sojourner Truth was a member of the community and visitors like Frederick Douglas were regular lecturers.

Sojourner Truth, born Isabella, was a former slave from Ulster County, New York who came to Northampton in 1843 to join the Association. It was here that Truth came into contact with abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas and Wendell Phillips. Through them and other members of the Association, Truth was introduced to a wider world of nineteenth
The Anti-Slavery Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 23, 2013
2. The Anti-Slavery Community Marker
Wide shot of the marker
century reform. Thereafter, Truth would become well known not only in anti-slavery circles, but in the women’s rights and temperance movements as well. The Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue stands at the corner of Pine and Park streets.

Florence was also a major station on the Underground Railroad. David Ruggles, who assisted over 600 slaves to freedom and owned the first African-American publishing house in New York, arrived at the Northampton Association in November of 1842, broken down in health and nearly blind. Here, he found much needed supportive companionship and rest. He also became an advocate and one of the first practitioners of hydropathy, popularly known as the “water-cure.” After being successfully treated in Boston, he became a student and then a doctor of hydropathy, establishing the first hydropathic hospital in the nation in Florence
Erected by Historic Northampton.
Location. 42° 20.117′ N, 72° 40.4′ W. Marker is in Florence, Massachusetts, in Hampshire County. Marker is at the intersection of Park Street and Meadow Street on Park Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Florence MA 01062, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Florence Eagles (here, next to this marker); Entrepreneurs and Philanthropists
The Anti-Slavery Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 23, 2013
3. The Anti-Slavery Community Marker
Four markers on one stand
(here, next to this marker); Florence Manufacturing (here, next to this marker); Town Center (approx. 2.4 miles away); Upper Main Street (approx. 2.4 miles away); West Main Street (approx. 2.4 miles away); Pulaski Park (approx. 2.4 miles away); Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsWomen

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Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 530 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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