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Boston Black Abolitionists Sojourner Truth and David Ruggles

  • Broadcast in Culture
Gist of Freedom

Gist of Freedom


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Join historian Steve Strimer on The Gist of Freedom as he lectures on abolitionists Sojourner Truth and David Ruggles! 

David Ruggles opened the first black-owned bookstore in America, although it was burned too. He was an editor and printer and started a reading room and a circulating library. He published the first magazine by an African American in this country. All amazing accomplishments! But wait, there's more!

David helped found the New York Committee of Vigilance (A cross between The Black Panthers and N.A.A.C.P), a group dedicated to preventing blacks from being sold into the South. David wrote fiery pamphlets, daringly publishing the bounty hunters' names. He helped hundreds of fugitive slaves, traveled extensively as an anti-slavery agent, and became one of the chief conductors of the Underground Railroad. He helped a runaway slave from Maryland survive to become Frederick Douglas. 

Ruggles home, 36 Lispenard St., will be included The New York "Freedom Trail" the house where David Ruggles, a leading abolitionist, sheltered hundreds of runaway slaves as a stop on the Underground Railroad.