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The birth of Jermain Wesley Loguen is celebrated on this date in 1813. He was a black abolitionist and religious leader.
Born into slavery in Tennessee, he escaped to St. Catherine's Ontario, and later went to work in Rochester, NY. After receiving his religious (and abolitionist) education at the Oneida Institute, in Whitesboro, NY, he became an Elder, Minister, and ultimately Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. As Stationmaster of the Underground Railroad in Syracuse, Loguen published in the local newspapers his calls for aid to fugitives from slavery, as well as an account of how he spent the money received.
His was reported to be the most openly operated station in the state, if not the country. He was known as the “King of the Underground Railroad” and it is estimated that about 1500 fugitive slaves passed through his home on their way to freedom. He told his amazing and inspirational story in his autobiography, The Rev. J.W. Loguen as a Slave and as a Freeman, published in Syracuse in 1859. Jermain W. Lougen died in 1872.
African Americans/Voices of Triumph
by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Copyright 1993, TimeLife Inc.