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FULL: Peterboro: Adirondack Land and the Architecture of Suffrage

October 5, 2023 @ 8:00 am 5:00 pm

To level a blow against racism in 1846, wealthy New York landowner and avowed abolitionist Gerrit Smith gave away 120,000 acres of Adirondack land to nearly 3,000 African American men and their families so that they could have the right to vote in New York State. Tracing this land back to a small 1804 land office in the quaint hamlet of Peterboro widens the lens on the impacts of the settlement efforts like these and their broader role in Upstate New York’s history. On this outing, we will travel to Central New York to explore the people, places, and buildings central to the lives of Gerrit Smith, his family, and his associates. Join experts at the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark to learn how the family’s land dealings and voting rights came together and explore some of the well-preserved structures that help tell this story. We will also visit the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum at the historic Smithfield Community Center and see the homes and history that dot hamlet’s central green.

This outing is led by Peterboro historians Dorothy “Dot” Willsey and Norman Dann. This tour runs from 10 AM to 3:30 PM.

The fee is $50 for AARCH members and $60 non-members. Lunch is included.