In 1853, Gerrit Smith, abolitionist, prohibitionist, temperance advocate, and businessman, donated funds to establish the Oswego City Library. The stipulation of the gift included a site on the east side of the Oswego River (where his property was mostly located), his insistence that the privileges and benefits of the library should be conferred upon all persons without regard to race, color, or condition, and that his name not be associated with the library. On April 15, 1854, by act of the New York State Legislature, the library was incorporated. In 1855, the library was constructed. The first trustees were all friends of Smith: Alvin Bronson, James Platt, George McWhorter, Henry Fitzhugh, Edwin W. Clark, John B. Edwards, James Brown, and DeWitt C. Littlejohn.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 120 East Second Street, Oswego, 13126
Contact Information: 315-341-5867 (main phone)
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Carol Ferlito
Location Type: Site
UGRR Operatives: Gerrit Smith