07/18/07 12:00 AM - 08:00 PM
July 12, 2007
MEDIA CONTACT: Halimah Celestine
(202) 994-3087; email@example.com
GW COMMEMORATES LOCAL ABOLITIONIST LEONARD A. GRIMES
Dedication of Plaque is Believed to be First Monument to the Underground Railroad in the District of Columbia
The George Washington University will unveil a plaque commemorating Leonard A. Grimes, an anti-slavery activist and early organizer of the Underground Railroad. A panel discussion on the life and times of Grimes and the Underground Railroad in the District and a lunch reception will follow.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007, at 11 a.m.
The George Washington University
Commemoration: Corner of 22nd and H St., NW
Panel discussion and luncheon reception: Duques Hall, Sixth Floor, 2201 G St., NW(entrance on 22nd Street)
Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro (Blue and Orange lines)
This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by July 13 to firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 994-1600. Media are welcome and should RSVP to Halimah Celestine at email@example.com or (202) 994-3087.
- Deborah A. Lee, independent scholar and public historian
- Jenny Masur, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, National Capital Region, National Park Service
- Amb. Ronald Palmer (moderator), GW professor emeritus
- Hilary Russell, Underground Railroad historian
- John Michael Vlach, GW professor of American Studies and Anthropology; director of GW's Folklife Program
Leonard A. Grimes (1815-1873), a black man born free in Leesburg, Va., owned a residence on the corner of H and 22nd streets, NW, from 1836 to 1846. This location is now a small park across the street from the Melvin Gelman Library on the campus of The George Washington University. In the 1830s, Grimes owned a successful coach business transporting passengers in and around Washington. He also carried slaves seeking freedom in the North and was an early organizer of the Underground Railroad. From 1840 to 1842, Grimes was imprisoned in Richmond for aiding an escape. In 1846, he moved with his family to New Bedford, Mass., where he continued his anti-slavery activities. In 1848, he moved to Boston where he distinguished himself as a cleric, abolitionist, and statesman.
The plaque was made possible through donations from Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, the GW Student Association, Amb. Palmer, Gerald Kauvar, Deborah A. Lee, the D.C. Humanities Council, and Jenny Masur.
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