APRIL, 1856 - 5:30pm
198 Lumber Street, Albany, New York
Jefford: Dorian, how come you wanted to arrive so
early? The Vigilance Committee meeting doesn't
start for another thirty minutes! And what is
this Vigilance Committee business?
Dorian: First things first. I wanted to arrive early
so that we can see who's going to be here. Look,
you see that stately man over there? That's Dr.
Jefford: Yeah, so?
Dorian: He's a doctor who works with the
Committee. He provides medical care to freedom
Jefford: I didn't think African-Americans could be
Dorian: It's very hard for People of Color to enter
the medical profession. Dr. James McCune Smith
of New York City had to study in Scotland.
Prejudice exists even among abolitionists.
Jefford: What do you mean, Dor?
Dorian: Well, according to Mr. Myers, some
abolitionists want to see slavery abolished but
they don't want to see people of color working
in their stores or living in their
Jefford: That's crazy!
Albany Vigilance Committee flier,
Courtesy, Antiquarian Society,
Dr. Thomas Elkins The Autobiography of William Henry
Abigail Mott were Quaker sisters who moved from Berne, New
York to Albany, New York by 1830. They were very industrious
sisters, supporting themselves through a variety of jobs.
They managed a boarding house, a linen goods store, a men's
furnishing store, and they even tutored Frederick Douglass's
Boat captain Austin Bearse tells us, in Reminiscences of
Fugitive-Slave Law Days in Boston, that, upon his arrival in
Albany, I called on the Mott sisters, ladies well known to
the Anti-slavery friends in Boston and elsewhere. Miss Mott
told me they had a slave secreted just out of the city, who
was in danger. His name was George Lewis, . . . She brought
him to my vessel at night . . . And I stowed him away.
George Lewis was safely transported to Boston, where he met
up with his daughter Lizzie, also a freedom seeker.