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Online history program offered

SHARON SPRINGS — The Sharon Historical Society will be hosting the second of their new online history program series for 2021 with a program at 7 p.m. Feb. 3, called “Exploring the Underground Railroad in Schoharie County — Upstate New York.” All of the Sharon Historical Society history programs for 2021 will be available online due to COVID. Advanced registration is required and once registered, participants will receive the link through e-mail to join the program online. The program is open to anyone and registration can be found at www.sharonhistoricalsocietyny.org. A limited number of seats are available, so early registration is suggested. The webinar is approximately one hour in length.

New York was a gateway to liberation for freedom-seekers (often referred to as escaped slaves). Its prime location, with access to Canada and major water routes, made it the destination of choice for many Africans fleeing slavery along the eastern seaboard. Freedom-seekers knew they would be protected in New York’s many black communities as well as Quaker and other progressive white and mixed-race communities. A large and vocal free black population was present after the manumission (freeing) of slaves in New York state in 1827. Many nationally-known and locally influential black and white abolitionists chose to make their homes in New York. Among them were: Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, Henry Ward Beecher, Sojourner Truth and John Brown.

The webinar will be presented by Ken Jones who is the Esperence town and village historian of Esperance.

The webinar topics will include: Slavery in Schoharie County; Gradual Emancipation in New York state; The Churches Fracture over Abolition; Local names involved in the Anti-Slavery Movement; Possible Agents of the Underground Railroad; Possible routes that went through Schoharie County.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.sharonhistoricalsocietyny.org or call (518) 860-5513.

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