A Bench by the Road

Photo: Hilary Solan

The Toni Morrison Society’s Bench by the Road Project is delighted to announce the upcoming placement of our 22nd Bench, dedicated to the memory of the many freedom seekers who made their way along the Underground Railroad to the town of Adrian, Michigan. Among the heroes who made this journey, and who the placement of this Bench and historic plaque will be honoring, are George Branegan, Robert Coxe, George Taylor, John White, and Elsie and Willis Hamilton. Their journeys from Southern slave-holding states to Adrian, Michigan, were inspirational, as they not only had to make the perilous trek to secure their freedom, but they were often the subject of fugitive slave-hunters’ detestable attempts at re-enslavement as well.

A hub of abolitionist activity in the North and host to numerous state-wide anti-slavery conventions, Adrian, Michigan was the home of a number of leading figures in both Michigan’s and also the nation’s Anti-slavery Movement, including the Quakers Laura Smith Haviland and Thomas and Elizabeth Chandler. In addition, two prominent Detroit-area African-American abolitionists, George DeBaptiste and William Lambert, also aided in numerous efforts to assist freedom seekers in their quest to make their way to Adrian.

Please join us on Friday, October 20th, at 3:00 PM at the Lenawee County Historical Museum, located at 110 East Church Street Adrian, Michigan 49221, to honor the memory of the courageous lives of these freedom seekers. This Bench placement is co-sponsored by the Toni Morrison Society and the Lenawee County Historical Society.

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