If you represent an underground railroad related site or organization, the New York State Underground Railroad Heritage Trail is offering Travel Grants to support attendance at this year’s AASLH Annual Meeting in Rochester.
The Underground Railroad Heritage Trail Travel Grants will provide museum staff members and volunteers, from URHT sites, the opportunity to expand their horizons by participating in the American Association of State and Local History Annual Meeting.
Organizations may apply for travel grants of up to $350. This travel grant can be used towards conference registration fees, travel expenses and accommodation fees associated with attendance at the 2008 AASLH Annual Meeting. For further information on the AASLH Annual Meeting visit: www.aaslh.org/anmeeting.htm
Applications for URHT Travel grants to attend the AASLH Annual Meeting must be postmarked by August 3, 2008. Applicants will be notified within 30 days of receipt. To apply, contact Catherine Gilbert directorATupstatehistoryDOTorg at the Upstate History Alliance for an application form.
According to New York State’s Underground Heritage Trail website:
New York State was at the forefront of the Underground Railroad movement. It was a major destination for freedom-seekers for four main reasons:
Destination & Gateway
New York was a gateway to liberation for freedom-seekers (often referred to as escaped slaves). Its prime location, with access to Canada and major water routes, made it the destination of choice for many Africans fleeing slavery along the eastern seaboard.
Freedom-seekers knew they would be protected in New York’s many black communities as well as Quaker and other progressive white and mixed race communities. A large and vocal free black population was present after the manumission (freeing) of slaves in New York State in 1827.
Powerful Anti-Slavery Movement
Anti-slavery organizations were abundant in New York State – more than any other state. The reform politics and the progressive nature of the state gave rise to many active anti-slavery organizations.
Strong Underground Railroad Leaders
Many nationally-known and locally influential black and white abolitionists chose to make their homes in New York. Among them were: Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, Henry Ward Beecher, Sojourner Truth and John Brown.