Did You Know That . . .
1.Warsaw, New York, formed an anti-slavery society early in 1833. No community in the U.S.A., not even Boston, formed an abolitionist organization earlier than Warsaw.
2. The first political party in the United States, the Liberty Party, to call for the abolition of slavery was formed in Warsaw ( then in Genesee County) in 1839 at the First Presbyterian Church. It was also the first U. S. party to have African-Americans on its executive board.
3. The Liberty Party was the only third party in American history to have its platform become the permanent law of the land. In 1848 it evolved into the Free Soil Party and by 1856 into the Republican Party. But it all started in Warsaw, New York.
4. The Liberty Party , by polling 63,000 votes in the 1844 election, lost New York State for Henry Clay and tipped the U. S. Electoral College vote in favor of James K. Polk.
5. In 1839 Warsaw abolitionist leaders, together with supporters from Arcade, Attica, and other villages, were mobbed by anti-abolitionists in Batavia when they tried to form The Anti-Slavery society of Genesee County. A Committee of Fifty Batavia bankers, lawyers, and businessmen warned the abolitionists not to try to meet there again -- or else!
6. Wyoming County, formed from Genesee County in 1841, had 15 individuals identified as "station-masters" and "conductors" for the Underground Railroad, the second-largest number in the state after Monroe County. Seven "station-masters" lived in Warsaw.
Andrews, Josiah, Perry,NY
Breck, Allen Y., Warsaw, NY
Chapin, Willard J., Perry, NY
Frank, Dr. Augustus, Warsaw, NY
Galusha, Rev. Ellin, Perry, NY
Gates, Seth M., Warsaw, NY
Lyman, Ralston W., Arcade, NY
McKay, F.C.D., Warsaw, NY
Miller, Frank, Warsaw, NY
Poenix, Samuel F., Perry (?), NY
Shepard, (Col.) Charles O., Arcade, NY
Waldo, H.N., Arcade, NY
Young, Andrew W., Warsaw, NY
7. At the time of Warsaw's national prominence in the Abolitionist movement (1833-1856) it had a population of only 1200 citizens, but published an an anti-slavery newspaper , had a resident ex-Congressman, Seth Gates, and had elected the area's first Republican Representative, the Honorable Augustus Frank, son of abolitionist, Dr. Augustus Frank.
8. Warsaw native Seth Gates, elected to Congress from Leroy in 1838, had a price on his head in Savannah, Georgia of $500 dead or alive after using his congressional frank to mail wholesale the proceedings of the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840, defying a House gag order forbidding members even to mention slavery on the floor of the House.
9. Some of Warsaw's most prominent citizens were consistent breakers of the Fugitive Slave Law, including Dr. Augustus Frank, Associate County Judge; F. C. D. McKay, District Attorney; Isaac Phelps, Highway Commissioner; and former Congressman Seth Gates.
10. In 1851, when it was a federal crime to harbor fugitive slaves, a slave woman known as Mary Jones, her seven-year old daughter Eliza, and her soon-to-be born son were brought to Warsaw hidden in the false bottom of a produce wagon, traveling for 23 days from Washington, D. C. Each lived with a different family on the West Ridge in Warsaw. Although the mother died within a year, the children lived on in Warsaw, where they grew up and became active citizens. They were never denounced even though slavery continued to be legal in the United States until passage of the XIII Amendment.
11. In 1865 Rep. Augustus Frank of Warsaw helped introduce the XIII Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery in the United States, and served as its floor manager. The New York Tribune credited him and an Ohio congressman for the success of its passage, which had been doubtful. It was Frank's last public act as a Congressman.
Harvey Granite, 66 Park Street, Warsaw, New York.