City of Rochester installs marker at home of famed abolitionist

March 7, 2020

The City of Rochester has recently installed a new historical marker to highlight the work of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The marker has been placed outside Douglass’ previous home, which still stands at 271 Hamilton Street in the city.

At the unveiling of the historic marker, mayor of Rochester Lovely A. Warren stated that Frederick Douglass’ old home was a “symbol of freedom” and elucidated her pride at the fact that it still stands to this day. During the speech, Mayor Warren also thanked Ms. Sherri Dukes, the owner of the house, alongside the Willian G. Pomeroy Foundation and city historian Christine Ridarsky.

Frederick Douglass lived at the property on Hamilton Street between 1873 and 1874 with his daughter Rosetta Douglass Sprague, her husband Nathan Sprague and their family. While he only occupied the building for a brief period, Douglass maintained ownership of the property for many decades, which allowed him to continue voting in federal elections after his relocation to Washington D.C.

The historic marker placed outside the house was made possible with a grant provided by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. The foundation is based in Syracuse and has funded almost 1,000 different historic plaques and roadside markers throughout the country since 2006.

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