Laypersons gathered at Plymouth Church in 1847 and called as their first minister the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. In early years, Henry C. Bowen, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Lewis Tappan were in the congregation. They and others had such a wide range of activities related to the Underground Railroad that it was not an overstatement for an early historian of the church to assert that the church was "the Grand Central Depot of the Underground Railroad." They helped fund the New York State Vigilance Committee which delivered fugitives from slavery to the church as an Underground Railroad station. They purchased the freedom of persons who had been captured when fleeing slavery or who were seeking freedom. In some of these purchases of freedom, Rev Beecher performed mock slave auctions to communicate the horrors of the purchase and sale of human beings. At a time when many northern churches were reluctant to take a stand against slavery, the congregation and minister opposed the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and, when it passed, opposed its enforcement. Through her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe introduced Americans to stories of bondage and also of escapes through the Underground Railroad.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 75 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, 11201
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Council Plymouth Church
Location Type: Site
People/Organizations Associated with the site: Harriet Beecher Stowe
UGRR Operatives: Henry C. Bowen,Henry Ward Beecher,Lewis Tappan