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David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History and UGRR Studies

David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History and UGRR Studies

The David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History and UGRR Studies houses a growing archive of approximately 3000 pages of reproductions of nineteenth century newspaper articles, recollections, booklets, and maps relating to the Garrisonian abolitionists who founded the Northampton Association of Education and Industry. The NAEI admitted self-emancipated slaves as members. David Ruggles, an active UGRR agent in NYC in the 1830s, was a member of the NAEI, as was Sojourner Truth. The archives include materials documenting the UGRR activity of evangelical abolitionists and Liberty and Free Soil partisans. The NAEI sold property to evangelical fugitive assistant J. P. Williston. At his Greenville Manufacturing Company he provided work for fugitive slaves. Through his efforts and the multiracial attitudes fostered by the NAEI, Florence became ten percent African American by 1850. The David Ruggles Center library includes books on UGRR and Abolition from along the Connecticut River. Exhibits of high quality reproductions of documents describe individuals and movements of the era through cooperative relationships with facilities such as the Sophia Smith Collection and Historic Northampton.


Open to the public by appointment. 

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 225 Nonotuck St, Florence, 01062

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Committee for Northampton, Inc.

Location Type: Facility

UGRR Operatives: Frederick Douglass,Lydia Maria Child,Prudence Crandall,Robert Purvis,Sojourner Truth,William Lloyd Garrison