Description: Four images representing two postcards depict the interior of the Quaker Meeting House, also known as the Friends Yearly Meeting House, in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio. The meeting house holds 2,000 worshippers and contains a mechanism that allowed a partition to be raised and lowered. The partition was used to separate men and women during some special meetings. The first postcard shows the partition partly raised. The second postcard shows the Spanish windlass and wheel that was used to raise and lower the partition. These postcards measure 3" by 5" (7.6 by 12.7 cm). The Quaker Meeting House in Mount Pleasant, Ohio was built in 1814 for the Ohio Yearly Meeting. This was the first yearly meeting house built west of the Alleghenies. This meeting was composed of quarterly meetings from Ohio as well as Pennsylvania and the Indiana Territory. The final yearly meeting was held at the meeting house in 1909. The Quakers of Mount Pleasant were well-known for their abolitionist activities. As early as the 1810s, there are reports that the Quakers were assisting escaped slaves. In 1817, Charles Osborn began publishing the Philanthropist, which is regarded as the first anti-slavery newspaper in the nation. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om3242_3832061_001 Subjects: Civil Liberties; Religion in Ohio; Architecture; Quakers; Society of Friends; Religious facilities; National Register of Historic Places Places: Mount Pleasant (Ohio); Jefferson County (Ohio)
Description: This lock of hair enclosed in a frame measuring 5.7" by 7.8" (14.6 by 19.8 cm) is from Edwin Coppoc of Salem, Ohio. Also enclosed in the frame is a statement that appears to have been printed by the Ohio Historical Society indicating that the hair was donated by a cousin of Coppoc's in 1921. Coppoc joined a small group of abolitionists led by John Brown on October 16, 1859. They seized the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in hopes of inspiring and arming a slave insurrection. Both Brown and Coppoc were captured, tried, and convicted of treason. Coppoc was executed on December 16, 1859. John Brown, although born in Torrington, Connecticut, spent more than half his life in Ohio. Like many other "free soil" Ohioans, Brown went in the 1850s to the Kansas Territory, where he employed violence to prevent slavery from spreading. While his raid on Harper's Ferry was unsuccessful, his actions had important consequences. In the opinion of antislavery activist Frederick Douglass, "John Brown began the war that ended American slavery and made this a free Republic. His zeal in the cause of my race was far greater than mine. I could live for the slave, but he could die for him." Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om1488_1535225_001 Subjects: Daily Life; Civil Liberties; Abolitionists; Hair; Harpers Ferry (W. Va.) History John Brown's Raid, 1859 Places: Salem (Ohio); Columbiana County (Ohio)
Description: This photograph shows suffragist Harriet Taylor Upton giving a speech in Newbury, Ohio, to a group of women on August 23, 1919. Upton (1854-1945) was born in Ravenna, Ohio, and lived much of her life in Warren, Ohio. She served as treasurer of the National Woman's Suffrage Association and coordinated the business of the association from her home in Warren from 1903 to 1910. In 1918, Upton became the first woman appointed to the Warren Board of Education. After the 19th Amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote in 1920, Upton became the first woman to serve as vice chairman of the National Executive Committee and made an unsuccessful run for Congress. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om1532_1499540_038 Subjects: Ohio Women; Presidents and Politics; Civil Liberties; Suffrage; Suffragists; Ohio League of Women Voters; Upton, Harriet Taylor Places: Newbury (Ohio); Geauga County (Ohio)
Description: Although Ohio women's suffrage supporters successfully petitioned to put women's suffrage on the 1912 ballot, the amendment was defeated in the September election. Despite the defeat, Ohio's suffrage activists continued to campaign for women's right to vote. This 3.5" by 5.5" (8.89 by 13.97cm) image depicts representatives of county suffrage organizations demonstrating on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on July 30,1914. Not until June 16, 1919 did Ohio ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and extend to women the right to vote. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om1440_1149243_001 Subjects: Ohio Women; Civil Liberties; Ohio Government; Suffrage; Suffragists; Voting Places: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)
Description: This home belonged to Thomas and Charity Rotch of Kendal (now Massillon), Ohio. Rotch, an early settler of the area, was a Quaker and a staunch abolitionist. The home features a secret staircase, which leads from the basement kitchen area to the second floor. It may have been used to hide fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. The home, which Rotch called Spring Hill, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The photograph measures 8.5" by 11" (22 by 28 cm). Thomas Rotch (1767-1823) also served as a correspondent for the Committee on Indian Concerns. His wife, Charity Rotch, established the Charity School of Kendal, one of Ohio's first vocational schools, with her estate. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om3195_3806028_001 Subjects: Civil Liberties; Religion in Ohio; Architecture; Houses; Underground Railroad; National Register of Historic Places Places: Massillon (Ohio); Stark County (Ohio)
Description: Two photographs document the law office of abolitionist Joshua Giddings. Born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, Giddings (1795-1864) served in the War of 1812 and taught school before studying law under Elisha Whittlesey in Canfield, Ohio. He moved to Jefferson, Ohio, where he built his law office in 1823. Giddings' law office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The photographs are 8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm). Giddings served a term in the Ohio House of Representatives in 1826 and was elected to Congress in 1837. Throughout his twenty years in Congress, Giddings fought against slavery as a leading Radical Republican. In 1861, President Lincoln named Giddings consul-general to Canada, where he served until his death. Giddings' law partner Benjamin Wade was also a prominent abolitionist and presided over the Senate during the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om3176_3928638_001 Subjects: Civil Liberties; Architecture; Presidents and Politics; Giddings, Joshua R. (Joshua Reed), 1795-1864; National Register of Historic Places; Offices; Lawyers Places: Jefferson (Ohio); Ashtabula County (Ohio)
Ohio River as seen from Rankin House photographSave
Description: This 8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm) photograph was taken from the John Rankin House near Ripley, Ohio. The house, located on a hill overlooking the Ohio River, provided Reverend John Rankin with a view into Kentucky, a slaveholding state. Fugitive slaves who crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky were welcome at the Rankin House. The John Rankin House later became a museum, part of the Ohio History Connection's statewide network of historic sites. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rankin and his family are credited with helping thousands of slaves escape to freedom. John Rankin (1793-1886) was a Presbyterian minister and educator who devoted much of his life to the antislavery movement. His home has several secret rooms in which fugitive slaves were hidden. A light was placed in the window of the house to indicate that it was safe for slaves to approach. The character of Eliza in Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was reportedly inspired by a story of a woman who crossed the partially-frozen Ohio River with a baby in her arms, making it safely to Rankin's house. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om3178_3813005_001 Subjects: Civil Liberties; African American Ohioans; Architecture; Geography and Natural Resources; Underground Railroad; Ohio River; Fugitive slaves; Rankin, John, 1793-1886 Places: Ripley (Ohio); Brown County (Ohio)
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