Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence

Stephen Myers, the leading figure in the Underground Railroad movement in the Capital Region during the 1840s and 1850s, was an African American activist who fought for the abolition of slavery in the United States. He also assisted freedom seekers, those who had escaped enslavement, in pursuit of their freedom. As the principal agent for the Vigilance Committee of the Underground Railroad in the 1850s, he coordinated the efforts of local citizens to provide food, clothing, shelter, housing, and employment for freedom seekers making their way into Albany.The Vigilance committee assisted thousands in the course of its work.

In addition, Myers led the fight for the rights of African Americans in housing, education, employment, and voting through political lobbying, public speaking, and using newspapers to educate the public. The broadside exhibited here shows Stephen Myers as a committee member, arranging a convention in Albany in support of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. While Myers was well known for his journalistic work with several African American newspapers, The Northern Star and Freeman’s Advocate, published in Albany, was the most famous. His wife Harriet was also active in the work of helping freedom seekers and organizing local women to engage in Underground Railroad activities.

Stephen and Harriet lived in Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood in the 1850s,  in what is known today as the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence. The Residence is a documented Underground Railroad site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service Network to Freedom, and the New York State Underground Railroad Freedom Trail.

 

Magnifying Glass
Stephen and Harriet Myers’ Residence, 194 Livingston Avenue, Albany, New York
Photograph by Daniel Stewart, LensCraft Photo
2015
Courtesy of The Underground Railroad History Project, Albany, New York
Magnifying Glass
“God Save the Union!” Broadside
1863
Letterpress on paper
Albany Institute of History & Art Library, PB 120