A new city, two new people, and three new sites have been added to the Freethought Trail, the Councilís celebration of sites important to the history of radical reform within a rough hundred-mile radius of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum.
Newly added is Peterboro, New York, a small village near Utica of great importance to the abolition and womanís rights movements. Three Peterboro locations are included:
The Gerrit Smith Estate preserves and interprets the legacy of nineteenth-century millionaire philanthropist Gerrit Smith, a leading figure in the abolition movement who donated some $8 million (equivalent to about $250 million today) to the abolition movement, the Underground Railroad, and womenís rights causes.
The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum is housed in the 1820 church building to which Smith invited 600 delegates to hold the first complete anti-slavery meeting in America on October 22, 1835.
The Elizabeth Smith Miller house was the residence of a Gerrit Smith daughter who developed the reform-associated mode of dress for women that became known as Bloomers.
A biography page on Gerrit Smith has also been added.
There is also a new biography page on Amy Post, a Rochester-based abolitionist, womanís rights campaigner, and participant in freethought meetings who worked closely with Frederick Douglass on abolition and Underground Railroad activities.
West Central New York was the nationís most fertile cauldron of radical reform and social activism during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, owing in part to the continuing influence of the Erie Canal and other major transportation arteries in the region that connected the east coast with quickly developing areas to the west. The Freethought Trail recounts that heritage.
A brochure on the Freethought Trail is available at tourist information booths along the New York State Thruway.