Local Learning Resources on The Underground Railroad

Sojourner Truth: Connecting Local Places with National History

The David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History & Underground Railroad in Florence, MA, features The Ross Homestead which is on both the National  Register of Historic Places and the National Park Services Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The center offers walking tours of Florence including the African-American history trail, Sojourner Truth’s house, and other abolitionist sites. Additionally, there is a memorial statue of Sojourner Truth in Florence, MA, to honor her life and work. A former slave, abolitionist and social activist, Truth lived in Florence from 1843-1856. The Sojourner Truth Memorial organization offers a free map on their website of a self-guided walking tour of Sojourner’s house and historic sites. Read more in our post, Sojourner Truth Memorial: American and Western MA History. Read the rest of this entry »

Sojourner Truth Memorial: American and Western MA History

Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue Committee Offers Educational & Cultural Events to Support History Curriculum

As an area rich with history, it is no surprise that the Pioneer Valley has deep connections to the movement that eventually lead to the ending of slavery in the United States.  Sojourner Truth,  an African-American woman famous for her anti-slavery and women’s rights activism, lived in Florence for nearly fifteen years during the mid-19th century.  Born a slave and freed after more than 25 years of labor, Truth used her experiences as an enslaved woman to fuel her passion for speaking out for human rights.

Families can learn about Sojourner Truth’s important role in American history (as well as local history) and the details of her life in Florence by utilizing the many resources offered by the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue Committee.  Of these resources, the most easily accessible of them is a walking tour, which families with kids of all ages can take with the help of a downloadable map.  Outlined on the committee’s website, the self-guided tour begins at the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue, located at the corner of Pine and Park Streets, and follows the African-American Heritage Trail on an educational journey through town.

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