Peterboro to hold Gerrit Smith’s Annual Birthday Party

— Stewards for the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark invite the public to the annual Gerrit Smith birthday party at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 8, to learn of Peterboro in 1864. Born in Utica March 6, 1797, Smith came to Peterboro when 9 years old and, with the exception of his years at college and Congress, spent his life in Peterboro managing his land business in order to support his reform initiatives. Smith’s influence connected Peterboro to national issues.

At 2 p.m. Gerrit Smith biographer Norman K. Dann will describe the 1864 activities of abolitionist Gerrit Smith, his family, and his community as they relate to the nation at that time. Dann’s scene setting for 1864 will introduce the Sesquicentennial programs planned in Peterboro in 2014. The program will include Smith’s monetary commitment to the Civil War effort, the donation of his copy of Lincoln’s draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, his role in the development of Lincoln’s Republican Party, his reactions to the Election of 1864 and the letters from his son Greene written immediately after the Battle of the Crater during the Siege of Petersburg.

The stewards for the GSENHL, the Cabinet of Freedom members for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, the Committee for the 22nd Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend and the Committee for the 5th Annual Peterboro Emancipation Days will present the 2014 Peterboro Heritage Calendar. Jacob Donovan-Colin, Secretary of the Smithfield Community Association, will briefly explain the focus and direction of the Association, and recent improvements at the Smithfield Community Center at which the program will be held.

The Annual Gerrit Smith Birthday Party to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014at the Smithfield Community Center, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro NY 13134. The program will include Peterboro in 1864, Sesquicentennial plans for 2014, and refreshments.

For more information: gerritsmith.org, info@gerritsmith.org, or 280-8828.

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