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The Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield to Host Author on Black Abolitionist Sunday July 16th 3:00 pm
Ann-Elizabeth Barnes discusses her book “The Rev. Samuel Harrison: Abolitionist, Activist, and Chaplain of the Massachusetts 54th, the First Black Regiment Raised in the North to fight in the Civil War” on Sunday, July 16, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield. There will be a reading as well as Q & A followed by a book signing.

Ann-Elizabeth Barnes discusses her book “The Rev. Samuel Harrison: Abolitionist, Activist, and Chaplain of the Massachusetts 54th, the First Black Regiment Raised in the North to fight in the Civil War” on Sunday, July 16, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield. There will be a reading as well as Q & A followed by a book signing.

Samuel Harrison was born in Philadelphia in 1818 to enslaved parents. When he was three years old he and his parents were given their freedom. Called to the ministry, his first posting was to the Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield, MA, in 1850. Known as an ardent abolitionist, he was appointed the Chaplain of the 54th Regiment, the first Black regiment raised in the North to fight in the Civil War. He also worked for the National Freedmen’s Relief Society.

Ann-Elizabeth Barnes spent most of her childhood in New York City and Switzerland and then lived in Europe for 12 years, primarily in Switzerland. She has lived in South Egremont, MA, since 1981. As a historic site interpreter for two historic Berkshire County homes, she discovered the story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, the enslaved African woman who successfully sued for her freedom in 1781. Because of her case and one other, Massachusetts banned slavery two years later. In 2009, Ms. Barnes co-wrote with Jana Laiz the children’s book "A Free Woman on God's Earth," based on Mumbet’s life. She also developed a school program for elementary school students to bring the 18th century alive by telling the story of Mumbet and providing activities. In its seventeenth year, the program has been held in all elementary schools in South Berkshire County, including Pittsfield.

In 2005 and 2007, she participated in two National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” grants: “The Shaping Role of Place in African American Biography” and “Of Migrations and Renaissance(s) in Harlem NY and South Side Chicago 1915-1975,” both submitted by Frances Jones-Sneed, professor of history at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). The purpose of the grants was to provide information about the roles people of African descent played in the making of America, especially in Berkshire County.

The event will be held at The Samuel Harrison House on Third Street in Pittsfield, MA 01201. The Samuel Harrison House is a nonprofit museum that was once the of Samuel Harrison and his family for 42 years. It was built by Samuel Harrison and is very much the style of Early 19th Century colonial style home.

Contact:
Marlena Willis at marlenaw@live.com
Blayne Whitfield at blayne.whitfield@samuelharrison.org
Samuel Harrison Society
82 Third St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 445-5414 (Please leave a message)


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