Monday, July 17, 2006

Introduction

This website provides material on David Ruggles, one of the great unsung heros of the anti-slavery struggle. It concentrates particularly on the years he spent in Northampton, Massachusetts in the section now known as Florence. It is, in that respect, an exercise in sharing local history. But because Ruggles’ activities had such widespread influence in the areas of journalism, education, civil disobedience, organized resistance, fugitive assistance, and naturopathic health care the threads will lead back to his years in New York City and out from Florence (then Bensonville) to his many coadjutors.

By focusing minutely on the resources available locally, such as the extensive probate records and deeds relating to his business arrangements, we hope, as we fill in the knowable facts, to provide a clearer portrait of this activist’s activist who died in his prime in 1849 at the age of 39. Unlike many of his friends and colleagues who make an appearance here—David and Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Samuel J. May, and many others who passed through Florence in the Ruggles years—he was prevented from reflecting on his life as he remembered it. With this website and in the pages of the upcoming biography of Ruggles by historian Graham Russell Hodges his story will finally be told in detail. We invite you to participate.

If you have a related website and care to make a link to this one we would appreciate it. If you have questions or contributions to the site send them to s.strimer@excite.com and I will be happy to put them up. Except for this introduction, new posts will appear for the first week or so at the beginning of the page. Occasionally the site will be reorganized for the most coherent expression of the content. While we plan to concentrate on Ruggles’ time in Florence we would appreciate any new found material from any period.

2 Comments:

Blogger Linda Cousins-Newton said...

Thank you for this informative blog on one of the lesser known luminaries albeit great contributors to the Underground Railroad. I am a teacher/storyteller whose focus is the UGRR. Had decided to do some storytelling on unsung heroes and sheroes, including Br. Ruggles, at a presentation this weekend. It was a pleasure to find your blog in the website listings for him.

Keep up the excellent work in spreading the word re this wonderful lover/servant of his people in particular and humanity in general.

11:47 AM  
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1:49 AM  

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