On Dec 29, 1836, county constables brought two African American men, Harry Bird and George, to the Utica Law Offices of Oneida County Judge Chester Hayden. Hayden was about to release them to two Virginia slave-catchers, but white abolitionists Spencer Kellogg and Alvan Stewart argued that the captives deserved a legal hearing. Judge Hayden agreed and ordered the slave-catchers and the fugitives to remain in a back room of his office building until his return from duties at the county courthouse. During Hayden's absence from his office, a crowd gathered around the building, many of whom were African Americans, broke into the office and freed the two men.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 96-98 Genesee St, Utica, Oneida, 13502
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Joseph Vitale
Location Type: Site