Swann (left), along with Larry Lawrence, chairman of the John Brown Society
(NYC) in 2008, at the John Brown Farm, Lake Placid, N.Y. (L. DeCaro Jr. photo)
Martha Swan, founding director of John Brown Lives! Lake Placid N.Y., will bring reports from the North Country to the Smithfield Community Center in Peterboro on Saturday, June 12 at 12:00 noon. During her program, "The World that Made John Brown---and The World Yet To Be Made," Swan will review the many activities held throughout 2009 commemorating John Brown and Harpers Ferry, as well as the John Brown Day 2010 to be held at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site on Saturday, May 8 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Swan will give an overview of the political and social backdrop of the United States during the fifty-nine years of John Brown’s life, from 1800-1859, that led to Brown’s formation as an abolitionist and man of action. She will also reissue the call reminiscent of our abolitionist forebears that was first issued last December for 100 Anti-Slavery Conventions to galvanize New Yorkers to commit to the unfinished task of abolishing slavery and achieving racial justice in our world today. She will report on the efforts to restore state funding for the John Brown Farm, a state historic site since the 1890s, and provide an update on its status. The program is free and open to the public.
Martha Swan initiated and produced the Dreaming of Timbuctoo Traveling Exhibition that forced a re-thinking of Gerrit Smith’s antebellum “scheme of justice and benevolence” championing black voting rights and the redistribution of land to 3,000 free black New Yorkers. That “scheme” led Brown to settle in the Adirondacks and choose it as his final resting place. The work of John Brown Lives! has been featured in the New York Times, on National Public Radio, and in newspapers and other media outlets across the state. The John Brown program is part of the National Abolition Hall of Fame & Museum (NAHOF) Open House at 5255 Pleasant Valley Road in Peterboro which will be held during the 18th Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13, 2010. Members of the Cabinet of Freedom for the Hall of Fame will be at the abolition exhibit and the newly installed audio-visual exhibit on the inaugural meeting of the New York State Anti-Slavery Society held October 22, 1835.
Peterboro Civil War Weekend is an educational and fundraising event sponsored by the Town of Smithfield, the Smithfield Community Association, and private donors. Proceeds from the event support the preservation and promotion of the heritage of the Town of Smithfield. During the event Peterboro relives the period of the mid 1800s when the hamlet held national recognition because of Gerrit Smith’s Underground Railroad station, the visitations of famous abolitionists, and the connection with John Brown that sparked the War Between the States. Peterboro sites are on the Heritage NY Underground Railroad Trail and on the National Park Service Network to Freedom Underground Railroad Trail. New exhibits at four sites will be open. Saturday June 12 hours for the event are 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday June 13 from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for ages 6 – 12, and free for children under 6. Admission to the to the special Civil War concert at 8 p.m. may be paid at the door. Parking is free.
For more information on John Brown Day May 8, 2010 contact www.johnbrowncominghome.com
For more information on Peterboro Civil War Weekend: 315-684-9022, and www.sca-peterboro.org
The World that Made John Brown---and The World Yet To Be Made presented 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 12, 2010 at Smithfield Community Center, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro NY 13134. Free.
--Dot Willsey, National Abolition Hall of Fame