Feb 14, 2024 - News

Framingham officials push to keep city's abolitionist history alive

A historic photo in black and white of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.

American abolitionist and journalist William Lloyd Garrison, circa 1870. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

Editor William Lloyd Garrison stood before a crowd of abolitionists at Harmony Grove on July 5, 1854, and called out the hypocrisy of the U.S. Constitution failing to extend freedom to Black people.

  • Then he burned a copy of the document.

What they're saying: "A lot of people don't realize it happened here in Framingham," says Anna Tucker, executive director of the Framingham History Center.

Zoom in: Today, Harmony Grove's lawn and amphitheater are long gone, replaced by homes and industrial lots.

  • A century-old plaque, partially covered by shrubs, is the only sign that abolitionists were active there.

Yes, but: Downtown Framingham and the Framingham History Center are working on an online digital exhibit of Harmony Grove to make its ties to Garrison and other change-makers known.

  • They're also looking into revitalizing Garrison's plaque, says Reyad Shah, executive director of Downtown Framingham.
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