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North Street Meeting House

Constructed between March and December 1834, the North Street Meetinghouse was, said Emily Howland, one of the Orthodox Friends who attended it wrote, “a storm center for reformers.” African American members included Gidean Wainwright, nephew of Paul Cuffee, who joined before this building was constructed, and probably Richard Gaskin, born in Virginia, who arrived in 1864. European American abolitionist members of this meeting included the Slocum and Hannah Howland family, David and Edna Thomas, Isaac and Susan Jacobs, Susannah Marriott, and Joseph and Sarah Tallcott. In November 1837, the Cayuga County Anti-Slavery Society held one of its first meetings here (having been refused space in the Presbyterian Church in Aurora). “The meeting was well attended principally by the Friends who are numerous in this quarter and quite generally abolitionists,” reported the Friend of Man, newspaper of the New York State Anti-Slavery Society. In 1843, Garrisonian abolitionist Abby Kelley spoke here, as part of her tour of New York State. In 1850, the meeting helped raise bail money for William Chaplin, jailed in Maryland for attempting to rescue people from slavery. The meeting also raised money to give Chaplin an inscribed silver pitcher. During the Civil War, a women’s sewing circle made clothes for freed people. Harriet Hunt, one of the earliest woman physicians in the U.S. gave a lecture here.

Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.

Location: 2960 Brick Church Road, Aurora, 13026

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: William & Alison Downing & Van Dyke

Location Type: Site

Freedom Seekers: William (MD, 1836)

UGRR Operatives: David and Edna Thomas,Emily Howland,Gideon Wainwright,Isaac and Susan Jacobs,Joseph and Sarah Tallcott,Mary and Emily Edmunson,Richard Gaskin,Slocum Howland,Susannah Marriott,William Chaplin