Steve Strimer, The David Ruggles Center
“Prudence Crandall, Lydia Maria Child & the Roots of Utopia in Florence, Massachusetts”
Friday, March 4, 12:15 p.m.
Simeon Strong House, 67 Amity Street, Amherst, MA
The Summer of 1833 saw the work of two women emerge as flashpoints in the struggle to end slavery and promote justice for free African Americans. The bravery of Prudence Crandall of Canterbury, Connecticut and Lydia Maria Child of Boston helped inspire the founders of an abolitionist “utopian” community, the Northampton Association, at the root of what became the village of Florence, Massachusetts.
In 1997, Steve Strimer began to study the 19th century “utopian” Northampton Association of Education and Industry that preceded the founding of the village of Florence. In 2008, he co-founded The David Ruggles Center and wrote the application to the Community Preservation Committee which approved $150,000 to preserve the house at 225 Nonotuck Street and its conversion to a museum/education center dedicated to the history of the reformers of Florence. He is a member of the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue Committee and leads walking tours of Underground Railroad and abolition-era sites.
He graduated from Amherst College in 1973 and co-founded the worker cooperative Common Wealth Printing in 1977. Twenty years later he joined Collective Copies in Amherst. In 2009, he and his co-workers established Levellers Press which produced Slavery in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts by Robert H. Romer as its inaugural title.
Join us with your lunch in hand. We will provide coffee, tea and cider for you as you listen to the presentations. The 30-minute program will begin promptly at 12:15 with seating and beverages ready just before noon. The lectures are free and everyone is welcome to attend.