This article originally appeared in a National Abolition Hall of Fame & Museum press release.
Stephen Myers will be inducted into the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) in Peterboro NY during Induction Weekend October 21 – 23, 2022. NAHOF is pleased that this Induction weekend for Myers, Robert Everett, and Calvin Fairbank will go forward after being postponed twice due to coronavirus. Paul Stewart nominated Myers on behalf of Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. 194 Livingston Avenue, Albany NY.
Stephen Myers was a Black activist in connection with the Underground Railroad and African American rights in general. He was born in New York State and raised in New York when it was a slave state working on progressive abolition. He was himself a person who had been enslaved in New York State. He wrote in the Northern Star and Freeman’s Advocate newspaper for which he was the principal agent and key writer. As early as 1831 he was assisting fugitives from enslavement to make their way to Canada. He was also active in 1827 with a group of little-known significance called the Clarkson Anti-slavery Society. As time went on he was involved in organizing and serving as a delegate to many of the Colored Men’s Conventions of the 1830s to the 1860s, to secure African American rights. He was involved in voting rights campaigns through the NYS Suffrage Association, was involved in organizing a school, sued Albany Schools over segregation, organized an economic development project, visited refugees in Canada, and recruited soldiers for the US Colored Troops. He spoke around the country and shared the podium on many occasions with Frederick Douglass and other notables of the abolition movement. He was well known for organizing publications and newspapers for the cause of the African American community. Myers’ work with the Underground Railroad was assisted by New York City’s Sydney Howard Gay of The National Anti-Slavery Standard. Additionally, Myers received fugitives referred to him from Philadelphia, New York and Boston. He was the father of five children. His wife Harriet Myers was a key element in his activism as she maintained the home front while he was working Hudson River Steam ships as a Steward, speaking around the country, and attending meetings. His letters to Judge William John Jay in the 1850s offer unusual insight into the often-secret workings of the Underground Railroad in general and Albany NY in particular, revealing financial dealings, operations and donors. Stephen Myers died in 1870 after having been born and raised in enslavement, freed, crusaded against slavery, and lived to see the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U. S. Constitution passed as a capstone to his life’s work.
The Induction Weekend begins Friday, October 21 at 7 pm with a Musical Tribute to Rev. Robert Everett with Welsh music and Everett poetry readings. On Saturday morning October 22 at 10 o’clock there will be a guided tour of the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark. At 11 o’clock the Hall of Fame and Museum will open, followed at 12:30 by the Annual Meeting of Members of NAHOF. Read more...