MHAHP Sponsors Lecture on Slavery and the Churches

The MHAHP is pleased to sponsor a lecture by the Reverend Chuck Kramer, Rector of St. James Church in Hyde Park. The lecture will be held at the Wallace Center of the FDR Library in Hyde Park, on Sunday, April 10, at 2pm. Fr. Kramer’s topic is “Slavery and the Church in New York.” Opposing views of slavery produced internecine fighting throughout New York State, not least among the religious communities. Fr. Kramer will discuss the various aspects of these conflicts, with emphasis on how they played out in the Hudson Valley.

Fr. Kramer was born in Illinois. He earned his BA at Indiana University with a double major in German and Journalism, and an MA in teaching. He attended the General Theological Seminary in New York City and was ordained a priest in 1990. After serving churches in North Carolina and New York, he came to St. James in 1997. Fr. Chuck writes a weekly column for the Hudson Valley News, touching on issues of the day. A collection of these has just been compiled and published, in “God, Life and Everything.” You can find information about St. James Church here.

We are grateful to the Wallace Center for hosting this event, and especially to Cliff Laube for his assistance. For information on the Wallace Center and FDR Library, click here.

Please mark your calendar to join us for this important presentation!


Reminder: Race Unity Circle Meeting Tomorrow Night

Please join us tomorrow night, February 24th, at the meeting of the Race Unity Circle, featuring a lecture by Rebecca Edwards on the history of slavery and antislavery activities in the Hudson Valley. This is the last of a series of meetings celebrating Black History Month. The meeting takes place at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, 317 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, from 7-9pm.

New Databases Tracking Identities of Freedom Seekers

There is important and exciting work being done to uncover the lives and stories of the hundreds of thousands of enslaved men, women and children who took the ultimate step of resistance by running away from their owners. New databases — Runaway Slaves in Britain and Freedom on the Move – are compiling comprehensive records on the names and lives of these freedom seekers. For more information on these and related efforts to uncover this lost history, click on the link below.


Rebecca Edwards to Address New

Race Unity Circle Organization

Rebecca Edwards, Eloise Ellery Professor of History at Vassar College, will address the next meeting of the Race Unity Circle, being held at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center on Wednesday, February 24th. Ms. Edwards, co-founder and current Secretary of the MHAHP, will speak on the topic of “Slavery and Abolition in the Hudson Valley.” This meeting is the last of four during February celebrating held by the Circle to celebrate Black History Month.

The Race Unity Circle, formed recently, describes its mission as follows:

“The Race Unity Circle grew out of an urgent call to action felt by a few members of the Baha’i Faith in response to the news coming out of Ferguson, Missouri. Though started by Baha’is, the Circle quickly became multi-cultural and multi-faith.

“We believe that all people are members of one race: the Human Race. The elimination of racism from our communities is not just an aspiration; it is a spiritual imperative that requires sustained, persistent action.

“THEREFORE: we resolve that the Race Unity Circle will organize events and activities, individually and collectively, that support the vision of the Oneness of Humanity and collaborate with other organizations and individuals who do the same.”

The meeting begins at 7pm. The Heritage Center is located at 317 Main Street. Please join us!!

UGR Consortium at NYS Caucus

MHAHP In Presentation on Promoting  Underground Railroad Consortium 

Joins Other Coalition Organizations in Workshop at Black & Puerto Rican Caucus

The Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State (URCNYS) presented a workshop for the 45th Annual Legislative Conference of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. in Albany on Saturday, February 13. The workshop was sponsored by Assemblyman David F. Gantt of Rochester and was facilitated by Nick Thony from Gantt’s legislative office in Albany.  The 2016 conference theme was Restoring Faith & Justice: In Pursuit of Empowering Our Communities. The twenty-two partners of the newly incorporated Consortium were represented by a panel: Mary Liz Stewart, the leader and Co-Chair in the establishment of the Consortium, and a Co-Founder of the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., presented a PowerPoint outlining the rationale, mission, and vision of URCNYS, as well as the partner locations across the state. Peter Bunten (Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project in Poughkeepsie NY), Jacqueline Madison (North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association and The North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm NY), Paul Stewart (Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence in Albany NY), and Dorothy Willsey (Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark and the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro NY) provided information on the activities and the ongoing work at partner sites. Thony shared David and Ruth Anderson’s description of the AKWAABA: The Heritage Associates, Inc. program in Rochester NY.

The MHAHP is one of the 22 founding members of the Coalition. The mission of the Underground Railroad Consortium is to advance and promote New York State’s  historic role in the Underground Railroad movement. For more information on the Consortium, contact Mary Liz Stewart at For information on MHAHP’s role in the Consortium, contact Peter Bunten at

Please join us for our upcoming meeting! The MHAHP will meet on Monday, April 27th, from 7 – 8:30pm. We meet at the First Congregational Church, 269 Mill Street, Poughkeepsie, NY.

Meeting of the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project

Monday, April 27, 2015

First Congregational Church, Poughkeepsie, NY

7:00 pm

I. Roll Call

II. Approval of Minutes of February 16, 2015 Meeting

III. Financial Report

a. Balances

b. Book Sales

c. 2015 Budget

IV. Bylaws Review

V. 2015 Program Updates

a. Dutchess Antislavery Singers

b. Underground Railroad Consortium

c. New Website

d. Research

e. Speaker Program

f. Other

VI. Election of Officers / Committee Assignments

VII. New Business

VIII. Next Meetings

* Monday, May 18

* Monday, June 22



Agenda for January 26th Meeting

Monday, January 26, 2015
First Congregational Church, Poughkeepsie, NY, 7:00 pm

I. Roll Call

II. Approval of Minutes of December 8, 2014 Meeting

III. Financial Report
a. Balances
b. Book Sales

IV. Organization Changes
a. Bylaws Review and 501 (c) (3)
b. Independent Organization

V. 2015 Program Updates and Proposals
a. Dutchess Antislavery Singers
b. Underground Railroad Consortium
c. New Website
d. Book Printing
e. Participation in Local History Events
f. MHAHP Sponsored Events and Speakers
g. Research
h. Publicity
i. Other

VI. New Business

VII. 2015 Meeting Calendar
a. Next Meeting: February 23, 2015