Warsaw Historical Society

                                                                         April 15, 2003

The Honorable Daniel J. Burling, Assemblyman
2371 Warsaw-Wyoming Road
Warsaw, New York 14569

Dear Assemblyman Burling:

               It is a pleasure to invite you to a performance of "The Woman in the Box," a play written for the Warsaw Bicentennial Celebration by Dr. Harvey Granite of Warsaw. The play is based on a true incident which occurred in Warsaw in 1850, during the time of slavery in the United States. It tells the story of a fugitive slave woman, sometimes called Mary Jones, who was brought to Warsaw with her seven-year old daughter hidden in a market wagon from Washington, D.C., through Maryland and Pennsylvania, a trip of twenty-two days.

               After giving birth to a son about six months later, the mother died, but her children remained in Warsaw, raised by local families. At least seven families had direct contact with the Jones family, in spite of heavy penalties prescribed by the Fugitive Slave Law, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Fillmore in September, 1850.

             The play will be performed at the United Church of Warsaw on May 22, 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.

              This the site where the Liberty Party, ancestor of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, was born in November 1839. A Warsaw-born congressman, the Hon. Augustus Frank, sponsored the XIIIth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States, and served as its floor manager in the House of Representatives.

              This invitation also recognizes that performance of the play is made possible through a decentralization grant from the Wyoming County Arts Council. In spite of New York State's dire budgetary problems, these funds have continued to be made available in support of the arts in Wyoming County. We want to thank you, other members of the New York State Legislature, and Governor Pataki for continuing to support the arts in rural as well as urban areas.

                                                                Very truly yours,

                                                                George Anna Almeter

                                                                Harvey R. Granite, Trustee

For more information, please consult www.warsawhistory.org