Have you ever heard the name Gerrit Smith? I had never heard that name until recently, and I intend to learn more about his history, and hopefully, you will too.

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If you are willing to travel about 2 1/2 miles outside of Albany into Madison County, you can learn a lot about local history, and another stop on the Underground Railroad while visiting the Gerrit Smith National Landmark in Peterboro, New York.

When we hear about the Underground Railroad, we rarely hear the name Gerrit Smith and all that he did to free enslaved Africans.

Gerrit Smith was an abolitionist who was born in 1797 in New York. He was a wealthy man who used his wealth and influence to help hundreds of Africans move through New York into Canada on the underground railroad.

Not only was Smith instrumental in moving Africans safely through New York to Canada, he was also instrumental in helping many of them settle in New York permanently. He helped to provide educational opportunities for them as well as helping many of them purchase their freedom.

The Gerrit Smith Estate has been beautifully maintained as a national landmark. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and it is part of the National Park Service Network and it is a Heritage NY Underground Railroad Site.

To me, knowing about our history is the only way that we can move forward as a people and take our rightful place as leaders in this country. If you have an opportunity to take that drive, visit the Gerrit Smith Estate and learn more about African-Americans and their journey through the Underground Railroad.

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