Letter to the editor: Ferrisburgh also hosted Douglass
I read with interest the article describing Middlebury’s celebration of Alexander Twilight and Frederick Douglass and the symposium that will take place later this month. I would like to point your readers north up Route 7 to Middlebury’s neighbor Ferrisburgh.
Frederick Douglass spoke in the Ferrisburgh Meeting Hall just days after he spoke in Middlebury and to a far more friendly audience. Called the Great Convention in Ferrisburgh, Douglass and several abolitionist speakers examined enslavement and the anti-slavery movement in the U.S.
Ferrisburgh was the home to Quakers Rowland and Rachel Robinson, radical abolitionists, and religious perfectionists. Rowland and Rachel were among the earliest and most outspoken opponents of slavery in Vermont and the U.S. He worked actively in antislavery societies from the local to the national, she kept their home free of slave-made goods, and together they sheltered dozens of Freedom Seekers from slavery at their farm, now known as Rokeby.
The Rokeby Museum is open through October 14 this year and will reopen in May 2024. Visiting the site is enlightening for all who want to learn more about the history of abolitionist advocacy and action in Addison County. I urge readers to visit and to read more about virtual winter activities at the website https://rokeby.org/.
Chair, Rokeby Museum Board of Trustees
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