I think everyone at the David Ruggles Symposium Saturday got that same sense that something really important was happening. We had all met David Ruggles in the course of our research.
He’s not hard to find. He’s the man who helped Frederick Douglass on his was to freedom. He was a friend of Sojourner Truth and William Lloyd Garrison and all the abolitionists who visited the Northampton Association in Florence.
But he was not just a friend, he was a mentor to all of them, and his hand shaped the movement, and the course of American history.
Scores of scholars and history buffs gathered to share information about David Ruggles Satuday at the Florence Community Center and I learned enough at this symposium to fill a dozen blog entries.
But the first entry has to be a salute to Steve Strimer, a historian after my own heart. Steve saved David Ruggles’ house from demolition and has worked tirelessly for many years to make the David Ruggles Center a resource for scholars and educators all over the world.