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Myers, Stephen A.  

Charles Rosenberg

who called himself “Agent and Superintendent of the Underground Railroad,” and had also worked as a steamboat steward, was born in Hoosick, Rensselaer County, New York, legally defined at birth as the property of Dr. Johnathan Eights, a doctor who established a practice in Albany in 1810.

New York's 1799 law for the gradual abolition of slavery provided that Myers should be emancipated at the age of twenty-eight, but he was freed earlier, when he was eighteen. He then worked as a grocer before getting a job as steward on the Armenia, one of the faster steamboats on the Hudson River, making the trip from New York City to Albany entirely in daylight.

Myers married in the late 1830s—there is no published record of Harriet Myers's maiden name. Their children, at least those who survived infancy and were still alive in 1860, were Stephen Jr ...

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Myers, Stephen A.  

Graham Russell Hodges

Born a slave in Rensselaer County, New York, and freed by his master at the age of eighteen, Stephen A. Myers worked as a grocer and steamboat steward before taking up journalism. In the 1830s he became an antislavery activist. He worked closely with the black printer and publisher David Ruggles of New York City and with other black and white abolitionists to help self-emancipated slaves seeking refuge in Canada and the northern states via the Underground Railroad. Myers met with Ruggles and other participants from eastern and northern New York in the important Albany Anti-Slavery Meeting at the Presbyterian Church in Albany, New York, from 28 February to 2 March 1838—the first of many meetings at which white and black abolitionists organized across color lines to help fugitive slaves.

Myers subsequently became a conductor on the Underground Railroad for the Albany Vigilance Committee He continued this work through ...