Troubadour Trail – Stop 12

David Ruggles Freedom Plaza At City Hall

David Ruggles was a free-born African-American, who grew up in Norwich, and later migrated to New York City, becoming a leader in the abolitionist movement.

He created the first library and bookstore for blacks in the United States, and was an outspoken critic of the Fugitive Slave Act, and other oppressive practices against African-Americans.  He ran a grocery store and created a newspaper for the abolition of slavery, and was a leader in the Underground Railroad.  Besides the aforementioned James Lindsey Smith (see Site #9 above), one of the most distinguished among the many hundreds Mr. Ruggles helped escape to freedom was Frederick Douglass.

Here is a link to the David Ruggles Center for early Florence (MA) History & Underground Railroad Studies:

Here is a Wikipedia link about David Ruggles:


Click below to listen to Audio for “David Ruggles Plaza

Click below to listen to “Struggles Of Ruggles” Song

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