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Celebrate Underground Railroad At Oswego Public Library

OSWEGO, NY:  History will come alive as the Oswego Public Library presents a Celebration of the Underground Railroad in Oswego County on Sept. 11, to support the library’s new Local History Room and unveil the new interpretive sign which describes the role that local Oswego citizens played in the Abolitionist movement of the 1800s.

The new Underground Railroad sign funded by the National Park Service Underground Railroad Heritage Trail will be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. on the west side of the Oswego Public Library East First at the intersection of Oneida Street parking lot.

Vanessa Johnson, Griot/ Storyteller will portray stories of Slavery and the Underground Railroad on Sept. 11 at noon at Bridie Manor.
Vanessa Johnson, Griot/ Storyteller will portray stories of Slavery and the Underground Railroad on Sept. 11 at noon at Bridie Manor.

The celebration continues at 12:15 p.m. with a luncheon at Bridie Manor overlooking the Oswego River south of Utica Street at 1830 Bridie Square next to 331 West First St.

Oswego County’s Underground Railroad history will come alive with a performance by Vanessa Johnson, a Griot,  African Storyteller, who will relate the experience of the people who escaped slavery  and the people who assisted and supported their cause during the decades before the American Civil War.

Johnson will portray scenes from the period including the famous “Jerry Rescue” which culminated with an escape through Oswego County.

The performance will be prefaced by Dr. Judith Wellman’s presentation on Oswego County’s first black residents, the Abolitionists of Oswego County and the risks they took to free people from the scourge of slavery.

Tickets for the celebration are available at the Oswego Public Library, Pathfinder Bank, the main sponsor of this program, the H. Lee White Marine Museum, river’s end bookstore and the YMCA.

Tickets for the luncheon and raffle are $30 per person; tickets for the raffle alone are $10 each.

This celebration is part of Oswego History and Culture Weekend, Sept. 11 and 12.

Other events include the 2010 Fort Ontario Arts & Kites Festival and the Oswego County Antique Show at Laker Hall on the SUNY Oswego Campus, Route 104 west sponsored by the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County.

For more information, call 341-5867 or visit www.oswegopubliclibrary.org