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Build The 227 Abolitionist Place Heritage Center

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VICTORY ! WE DID IT!  227 Duffield Street / Abolitionist Place has been LANDMARKED ! Thank you to everyone for all your activism over the last 16 years !

Friends of Abolitionist Place are raising money to buy back the abolitionist home of 227 Duffield Street and make it a museum to preserve Brooklyn's abolitionist history. The home belonged to prominent abolitionists Harriet and Thomas Truesdell and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Due to gentrification, the  property is  now owned by private developers, who want to demolish the home as soon as possible to build a 13 story luxury residential complex.   The demolition  of 227 Duffield is  imminent, and can happen any day now,  unless we stop it 

In the 1980s, former owner, Mama Joy (may she Rest in Power) discovered a door in the basement. Upon further investigation, she learned the door was a historical entrance where people escaping enslavement dropped eight feet from the backyard into a sub-basement that lead into a tunnel to travel from house to house inconspicuously. See footage of the basement here . Additional research revealed the home belonged to abolitionists, Thomas and Harriet Truesdell, during the 1850s, when the Fugitive Slave Act was the law of the land. The Truesdells are known to have been friends with and hosted the abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison. 

Located in a part of Downtown Brooklyn that was a hotbed for Underground Railroad activity, 227 Duffield Street is close to the former home of Conductor William Harned, and institutions such as Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, the former Bridge Street African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church and Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, all which have been documented stops on the Underground Railroad. Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims once held the nickname “Grand Central Depot” of the national Underground Railroad system.

Today, the property at 227 Duffield Street is the last known standing site of the historic abolitionist residences in Brooklyn, which have all been demolished due to NYC’s Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan, and have been replaced with 30 story buildings, towering over this historical beacon. Can you imagine a street named, "Abolitionist Place" devoid of abolitionist landmarks?

The City of New York is refusing to acknowledge this significant piece of abolitionist and anti-racist history in Brooklyn. Buying the property back at market value is our only chance to save it, as the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has not agreed to investigate the home for landmark status. It is our duty to ensure the legacy of resistance to unjust and inhumane laws in New York City and this country is not only remembered, but celebrated and passed on to future generations. We must not stop working to commemorate 227 DuffieldStreet/Abolitionist Place as a museum, as a bastion of abolitionist activity, a history of which we can all be proud.  

Please Support the #AbolitionistChallenge to raise $5,000,000 ASAP to Buy Back the Property from the Developer!

#StopThisDemoliton #Save227Duffield  #BlackLandmarksMatter   #BlackHistoryMatters #PreserveBlackHistory #BrooklynIsNotforSale

Here & Now on ABC7 News 
ABC7 News
NY1 News 
Brooklyn Eagle 
City Lab  

Sign our petition here.


  • Caitlin Henningsen
    • $120 
    • 1 yr
  • Liza Pross
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Friends of Abolitionist Place
Brooklyn, NY
Aleah Bacquie Vaughn

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