I’m trying to coordinate my trip to be able to return to DC for the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial next Saturday. Although not all of Dr. King’s goals have been achieved, and there are occasional days when the level of trust drops so low that you could cut racial tension like cheese with a knife, this nation has come so far in its ability to see all people as equally worthy of rights and dignity. There is still a lot of work to do. But it’s a big moment. I reflected on this goal as I visited a Quaker farm that was a stop on the underground railroad during the fugitive slave act.
The Rokeby House was a neat stop with its smaller cabins and other houses. The current residents explained to me that after the fugitive slave act had been passed, the state of Vermont had very quickly passed a law declaring the act to be illegal. So, for the most part, fugitive slaves lived openly, some staying only a day, others staying longer and working for wages on the farm. The house had up to 4 visitors at a time. It was a safe place.