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Next Meeting of MHAHP on June 10th; All Invited !


The next meeting of the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project will be held as follows:

Monday, June 10, 2019

First Congregational Church

269 Mill Street, Poughkeepsie

7:00 – 8:30pm

If you have  an interest in the history of slavery and antislavery in the Mid-Hudson region, 

Please join us!

At the meeting we will be providing updates of recent programs and a look ahead at some new ideas. Included will be information on the following:

  • Ø  New MHAHP website information
  • Ø  Report on a recent discovery of an important anti-slavery history poster
  • Ø  MHAHP’s participation in the Network to Freedom Underground Railroadconference and New York State Fair
  • Ø  Progress report on planning for a new memorial in Poughkeepsie recognizing thelives and contributions of enslaved and free African-Americans
  • Will Tatum, Dutchess County Historian, will report on the new digital tool to research the county’s early history
  • Ø  Long-range planning – countywide and locally: our ideas … AND YOURS! Please join us and bring your questions and ideas!!!RSVP or if you need more info, please contact
    Peter Bunten at or call at 301-335-0196.


Underground Railroad Consortium to Co-Sponsor 2019 Network to Freedom Workshop

The National Park Service Network to Freedom program, held bi-annually, will take place this year from September 11-14, in Niagara Falls, NY. This year’s program is being co-hosted by the Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State, the Niagara Falls Heritage Area, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

The Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project is a founding member of the Consortium and is participating in the planning for the program.

This year’s program theme is “Crossings: Bridging the Authentic Underground Railroad Past to Present.” The four day training will feature renowned speakers, panel discussions, an exhibit hall, and tours of local museums and historic sites. The program will move away from the normal format of research papers and instead focus on training participants in how to conduct Underground Railroad research and programming for their respective sites. The NTF Program Committee welcomes proposals for case study presentations. The deadline for proposals is May 31, 2019. 

For more information, including the Call for Proposals and the submission process, please go to: 



4th Annual Lorraine M. Roberts Lecture

The Black History Project Committee of the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center

invites you to the

4th Annual Lorraine M. Roberts Memorial Lecture

Segregation Stress Syndrome:
Elderly African American survivors of Jim Crow, the long term impacts of racial violence, and the intergenerational transmission of trauma

Professor Ruth Thompson-Miller
Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at Vassar College

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Mid-Hudson Heritage Center

@ The Trolley Barn

489 Main Street in Poughkeepsie

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Ruth Thompson-Miller is Visiting Associate Professor of sociology at Vassar College. Her research specializations are race and ethnicity, mental illness, and the elderly. She received the American Sociological Association (ASA)–National Institute of Mental Health–Minority Fellowship.

She is the co-author of four books, including: Jim Crow’s Legacy: The Lasting Impact of Segregation; Systemic Racism: Making Liberty, Justice, and Democracy Real;  Not Your Grandmother’s Movement: Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter;  and Please Don’t Shoot: Children, Police Violence, and Trauma. She is the co-author of chapters in Counseling Psychology, Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Relations, and Violence Against Women.

Lorraine Roberts was the founding President of the Black History Project Committee and proudly served the committee and community until her passing in 2015. The Black History Project Committee of the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center continues to honor her legacy with the fourth annual lecture in her name.

Free public event, donations encouraged.

Light refreshments will be served.

MHAHP To Present at Center for Lifetime Study

MHAHP will be presenting a four-session class on the topic of “Slavery, Antislavery and the Underground Railroad in the Mid-Hudson Region” for the Center for Lifetime Study (CLS). The Center is part of the continuing education program of  Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. 

The class will examine the history of slavery, antislavery activities, and the Underground Railroad in the Mid- Hudson Valley. There will be one class devoted to slave resistance, which will examine closely the fugitives – ‘freedom seekers’ – who ran away from their owners. Other areas to be covered include how this local history fit within the broader national history of slavery and antislavery; the build-up to the Civil War and post-Civil War attitudes toward the emancipated men and women; and the legacy of enslavement in America. The evidence and myths surrounding the Underground Railroad will also be examined. 

The sessions run on four successive Tuesdays beginning April 2. 

The Marist Center for Lifetime Study provides opportunities for intellectual and cultural exploration and development for men and women of retirement age. CLS provides a rewarding experience of learning and fellowship in a relaxed atmosphere without exams or grades. Currently, 650 members enjoy courses, trips, and social events held in various locations.


LibertyCon 2019 Upcoming in New York’s Capital Region

The 18th annual Underground Railroad History Conference will be held March 29-31, sponsored by the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region. The theme of this year’s conference is Seeking Sanctuaty – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Programs will be held at Siena College and the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence. The program will include a variety of workshops, round tables, exhibits, vendors, an art exhibition, and raffle. Attendees are encouraged to come in period attire.

For complete information on the conference, please go to URHPCR website, at 



MHAHP Joins with Historic Hudson Valley for Teacher Workshop on Slavery


The MHAHP and Historic Hudson Valley – which runs several historic sites in Westchester County – will lead a workshop for teachers at the upcoming annual conference of the National Council for History Education. Exploring Runaway Art: New Strategies for Teaching About Enslavement, addresses the need for more teaching and learning about enslavement in American history. Workshop participants will explore 18th-century runaway slave advertisements, primary-source documents which indicate the size and scope of enslavement in the North – and also serve as documentation of acts of resistance taken by individuals in response to enslavement. Through Document analysis, critical thinking, and creative response, participants will gain confidence in engaging with this difficult but critical content.

The Runaway Artcurriculum was developed by HHV and the Center for Arts Education and has been used in dozens of New York City schools, reaching over 10,000 students. Margaret Hughes, HHV’s Associate Director of Education, and Peter Bunten of MHAHP will lead the workshop. The Annual Conference of NCHE takes place March 14-16 in Washington, DC. For the full NCHE program, go to The full Runaway Artcurriculum is available at Historic Hudson Valley,

African-American Burial Ground Reveals Larger Communities of Color In Dutchess County

Bill Jeffway, Director of the Dutchess County Historical Society, has recently reported on the results of new research on pre-Civil War African-American communities of color in the town of Milan. His report, first published by the New York State Museum in December, 2018, notes that the research led to the identification of a segregated burial ground.

Two burial grounds in Milan for African-Americans had been known prior to the current research. One location is a half-acre section in the cemetery of the adjacent town of Rhinebeck, set aside in 1853 for the burial of paupers and persons of color. A second location for burial of persons of color was found through oral history and newspaper accounts. It is located at the southeast corner of Yeoman’s cemetery. Recent research has now located a third likely burial place, known locally as “Turkey Hill”.

“To find evidence of the remains of these individuals … is challenging,” writes Mr. Jeffway, “because of the early 19th century practice … of burying persons of color not only separately, but with temporary or no markers.”

You can read the full article on Mr. Jeffway’s LinkedIn at

A New Proposal for Teaching About Slavery in America

In early 2018, a group of educators and museum professional met to discuss the inadequacies of how the United States’ history of slavery was being taught in schools and interpreted in museums. The National Summit on Teaching Slavery, as it was called, was sponsored by James Madison’s Montpelier and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and held at Montpelier. Out of the conference came a new model for teaching about slavery:

Engaging Descendant Communities in the interpretation of slavery at museums and historic sites: A Rubric of Best Practices Established by the National Summit on Teaching Slavery.

The “Rubric,” as it is called, was issued 25 October 2018. In the words of the document, “the Rubric builds a scalable methodology that sites can utilize to rate themselves as they engage descendant communities in their work. It contains concrete steps to ensure high-quality research, make connections and maintain relationships with descendants, and create inclusive, and accurate and empathetic exhibits and programs. It gives museums a place from which to start addressing difficult themes and traumatic legacies of slavery. Most importantly, the Rubric insists sites work with descendants of the enslaved at every step to ensure that they are interpreting slavery in a manner that is effective, informative, and respectful of the experiences of the millions of men, women, and children who were enslaved.”

For more information about the Rubric, the Summit, and Montpelier, go to 

HVFCU Provides Major Support for Upcoming Missouri Compromise Program

Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union has provided a generous grant in support of the upcoming public program on James Tallmadge and the Missouri Crisis of 1819-1821. The program — jointly sponsored by the MHAHP, the Office of the Dutchess County Historian, and the Stanford Historical Society — will be held on Sunday, February 10th, at BANGALLWORKS, a coworking and community space, in Bangall, New York. Our featured speaker is John R. Van Atta, whose most recent book, Wolf By the Ears, is the latest analysis of this important episode in the history of slavery and antislavery reaction in the United States. 

Particularly relevant is the fact that the original amendment to Missouri’s request for admission as a state — an amendment that would have banned slavery there – came from James A. Tallmadge, Jr., of Stanfordville, New York. The introduction of the amendment and the ensuing firestorm of controversy it created shows how widespread and volatile the issue of slavery was in our country at that time.

“The credit union is pleased to help sponsor this event,” said Lisa Morris, Assistant Vice President for Public Relations and Corporate Communications. “As a company committed to diversity, we’re happy to raise awareness of this important connection Dutchess County has to a historic milestone.”

The program begins at 1:30pm, and is free. The Merritt Bookstore will be selling copies of Wolf by the Ears for our speaker to sign.


Please join us!!!

200th Anniversary Commemoration of the Missouri Crisis

When A Dutchess County Congressman Nearly Provoked a Civil War: Revisiting the Missouri Crisis of 1819-1821
Sunday, February 10, 2019
1:30 pm
97 Hunns Lake Road, Bangall, NY

Future home of BANGALLWORKS, a coworking & community building space.

Adjacent to the Bangall Post Office and Bullis Hall in the center of Bangall

On February 13, 1819, Congressman James Tallmadge, Jr, of Stanford introduced an amendment to bring Missouri into the Union as a free state. Join us for the 200th anniversary commemoration of this historic moment in county and national history. What led Tallmadge to provoke a nationwide crisis? Why did pent-up feelings explode in 1819-1821—and not during earlier arguments over slavery? How could a nation struggling with the politically implacable issue of slavery hold the “wolf” by the ears?

Our guest speaker is John R. Van Atta, Ph.D. Mr. Van Atta is the Oaklawn Chair in American History at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, and is the author Wolf by the Ears: The Missouri Crisis, 1819-1821, the current defining volume on the Missouri Crisis. His other publications include Securing the West: Politics, Public Lands, and the Fate of the Old Republic, 1785-1850 and last year’s Charging Up San Juan Hill: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of Imperial America.

This program is jointly sponsored by the MHAHP, the office of the Dutchess County Historian, and the Stanford Historical Society.
Please join us for this important commemoration !!!!