info 03.9.10

227 Abolitionist Place Museum

The Abolitionist Place Museum may be in its fledgling stage as a museum, yet the wooden door discovered in the cellar opens up a piece of history that should not be lost to New York's relentless, look-ahead DNA. There are tunnels to the past and to the truth here.

"227 Abolitionist Place, also known as 227 Duffield Street, was the home of abolitionists Thomas and Harriet Lee-Truesdell. The current owner and resident uncovered a wooden door, which led to the actual tunnel that was an active part of the historic Underground Railroad. In order to celebrate the history of the movement and the Truesdells, they decided to turn the house into a museum.

The Truesdells occupied 227 Duffield Street from 1850 to 1865. When Harriet died Thomas moved to New Jersey and remarried. The family kept the 227 residence until 1921. In the basement of 227 there is a door where the enslaved people dropped eight feet from the back yard into the sub-basement and made their way to the front where the tunnel lead from house to house."

There's more history here than museum just now, though in a more perfect world, the museum would be equal to the history. Of course, in a more perfect world, such a museum wouldn't ever have been necessary.

Today on Wish You Were Here:
Tartine Bakery and Cafe

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.

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