"Mobbed in Utica, Welcomed in Peterboro" 378


"Mobbed in Utica, Welcomed in Peterboro" 
by Dr. Milton Sernett, PhD, October 23,2010 
On October 21, 1835, an angry crowd surrounded the Bleecker Street Second Presbyterian Church in Utica NY. Inside over six hundred brave abolitionists had gathered to organize an anti-slavery society and to join others throughout the North to demand the end of slavery in the United States. Soon after the convention began, a dozen men broke into the church, marched down the aisle and commanded the meeting to adjourn. The shouts of the mob outside the church supported Beardsley’s threats. Gerrit Smith rose from the pews and promised that the abolitionists could meet peacefully the next day in Peterboro. Through the night 400 undaunted abolition delegates ignored the dangers and braved the mobs to get to Peterboro the next day where they were welcomed with safety and breakfast by local residents. And that day, October 22, 1835, at 11:00 a.m. the abolitionists met in the Peterboro Presbyterian Church (now serving as the Smithfield Community Center and home of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum) formed the New York State Anti-Slavery Society. 
filmed by PAC99, Oneida, NY 

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