Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Having twins means you get to go on some school trips twice.

I knew Plymouth Church was a big part of the Underground Railroad, but I never really knew how big.  I din not know that the members of this church actually passed around the collections plate so they can buy slaves.  The 9 year old girl in the painting below was purchased with money raised at a "mock action" in 1860.  Not just money but a ring was put in the collection plate.  From the May 23, 1927 Time Magazine
 "One of his hearers, Authoress Rose Terry, put a ring in the collection plate. Dramatic, Dr. Beecher slipped the ring on Pinky's finger, cried: "With this ring I thee wed — to freedom!" After her freedom had been purchased, "Pinky" went to live with a Brooklyn family, was re-named Rose Ward, dropped from the public eye."

She came back to give the ring back to the church.  They still have it.

We also went into the sanctuary.  They have an impressive set of horns....


But more than that it had an impressive list of visitors.

In 1868 Fredrick Douglas gave a speech there.  He said that slavery might have ended but it will be a hundred years before there is justice in the United States.  In 1963 Martin Luther King gave a speech there that was called "The American Dream"  Our tour guide said it was much like the speech Dr King gave in Washington D.C. that summer called "I Have a Dream"  She should know, she was there.

I sat where Abraham Lincoln sat.

I also stood in the stood were freed slaved hid.

Except it probably was not so nice because they did not have any electric lights, or heat, or plumbing, or know where they were, or know if know where they would be the next day.

I have been known not to say the best thing about organized religion.  Places like Plymouth Church can change my mind.

and they have a real piece of Plymouth Rock in the lobby.  There is no sense of scale in the photo.  It is about a foot tall.


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  3. Great post. This stuff gives me chills.
    The orchard where we pick our apples each fall is also an Underground Railroad site: http://wp.me/p13PvH-ot.

    Thanks for posting this.
    Henry Ward Beecher was an important pre-Civil War figure.

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