Anti-Slavery Activist and WriterWilliam Wells Brown, an escaped slave from Kentucy, earned his living as a cook on lake freighters in the early days of the Erie Canal. In 1836, he moved his family to Buffalo, and soon became involved with the city's African-American community. Always attentive to the anti-slavery movement, Brown soon discovered his oratory skills and began to lecture frequently. His prominence grew during an 1843 convention of anti-slavery activists that included Frederick Douglass, Charles Redmond and William Lloyd Garrison. Brown proceeded to travel widely as a popular speaker, and eventually resettled in Boston. Brown later penned a popular autobiography, and is widely considered to be the first African-American novelist, through The Narrative of William G. Brown, a Fugitive Slave (1842) was first published in Europe. He is also acknowledged as the first African-American playwright, having penned The Experience (1856) and The Escape (1858). The author and his mother arrested and carried back into slavery. Brown and his mother captured after attempting to escape from slavery. Illustration from The Narrative of William W. Brown (1842), his autobiography. Used with permission of Documenting the American South, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. Michigan Street Baptist Church. Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. Path of Freedom. The Underground Railroad was an informal organization of white and black abolitionists, enslaved African-Americans, Native Americans, and members of various religious groups including Quakers, Methodists, and Baptists. Buffalo, lying on the Canadian border, was a magnet for escaped slaves and free blacks alike. While thousands continued onward, others remained in Buffalo, seeking a living in the city's rough and tumble industries, particularly along the waterways. Buffalo's black population, although proportionally small, grew into an industrial, lively community, many of whom were committed to the abolitionist cause. Michigan Street Baptist Church was not only a legendary station on the Underground Railroad, it was also an important meeting place for 19th century abolitionists and reformers, and remained central to the city's African-American community for more than a century.
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Saturday, June 20th, 2015 at 6:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17T E 673194 N 4749387|
|Decimal Degrees||42.87745000, -78.87938333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 42° 52.647', W 78° 52.763'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||42° 52' 38.82" N, 78° 52' 45.78" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 3-7 Marine Dr, Buffalo NY 14202, US|
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