National Abolition
Hall of Fame
and Museum
Foster Event

Massachusetts Woman Inducted to Peterboro NY Hall of Fame

  by Joseph Flores

Abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Abby Kelley Foster spoke at a convention in Peterboro in 1851.  161 years later, on Saturday, October 20, Foster will be inducted into the Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro. The public is encouraged to participate in a variety of programs honoring Foster and the two other inductees: Jermain Wesley Loguen and George Gavin Ritchie.


The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) of Peterboro NY opens its annual October event at 3 p.m. Friday, October 19 at the Women’s Studies Center at Colgate University in Hamilton with a panel presentation Foster: The Epitome of an Advocate for Abolition and Women’s Rights. Dr. Judith Wellman (Gretchen Hoadley Burke Professor of Regional Studies at Colgate) will facilitate the following panelists who will address Foster’s roles: Dr. Carol Faulkner (National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum), Dr. Carolyn Howe, (Worcester Women’s History Project), Billie Luisi-Potts (retired longevity executive director Women’s Hall of Fame) and Dr. Meika Loe (Director of Colgate Women’s Studies). Admission is free.


Carolyn Howe PhD. will present Abby Kelley Foster: Exemplar of a Movement Organizer at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 20 at the first session of the Upstate Institute Abolition Symposia held in Golden Hall at Colgate. Dr. Howe is retired Associate Professor, Emerita from College of the Holy Cross, where she taught for 20 years.  Dr. Howe received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin. Howe is a Charter Member and past-President of the Worcester Women’s History Project (WWHP), a non-profit, all-volunteer community organization dedicated to documenting and celebrating the history and contributions of women from the city and county of Worcester, MA.  Through her work with the WWHP, Howe developed an interest in, and began to research the life and work of Abby Kelley Foster – a Worcester resident and leader in the American Anti-Slavery Society. Dr. Howe established the Abby Kelley Foster Letters Project and began to identify and collect letters between Foster and fellow abolitionists. The Abby Kelley Foster family papers are located at the American Antiquarian Society and the Worcester Historical Museum, both in Worcester, MA. 


At 7 p.m. on Saturday in Golden Auditorium, Lynne McKenney Lydick will perform Yours for Humanity – Abby, a play co-authored by Dr. Howe and Karen Board Moran. Lydick will portray Foster during an 1854 lecture tour in Indiana. After Lydick’s performance, sponsors of the Foster inductee banner that will hang in the Hall of Fame, will speak briefly on the Foster association with other organizations, and then unveil the new banner.


Friday evening at 7 p.m. The Hutchinson Family singers of Milford NH will perform a 19th C. Antislavery concert at the First Baptist Church in Hamilton. Kate Clifford Larson PhD will speak on Honoring Tubman in 2013 at the 11:30 am Saturday NAHOF luncheon. Saturday, Robert Weible, NYS Historian and Chief Curator of the NYS Museum, will provide the keynote address An Irrepressible Conflict: New York State in the Civil War at the annual dinner catered by the Colgate Inn.


Programs at the NAHOF event are supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, Abolition Agitation in New York State Sparks the War for Liberty and Justice, and with funds from the New York Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant Program, a state agency, and the Cultural Resources Council, a regional arts council.


 Reservations for meals and conference packages are due by October 10.  Other venues will take admission at the door. More information on the event and registration:,,, 315-684-3262.

National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum

5255 Pleasant Valley Road

PO Box 55

Peterboro N.Y. 13134

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