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Fri, 05.30.1800

Stephen Myers, Abolitionist born

Stephen Myers

*The birth of Stephen Myers is celebrated on this date c. 1800.  He was a Black abolitionist and journalist.

Stephen Myers was born a slave in Hoosick, New York.  He was supposedly released in 1818 by his owner General Warren. However, Warren's identity remains a subject of ambiguity, there are also noted to be no records of Myers' manumission in the Albany County records.

After his release, he met and married Harriet Johnson in Troy, New York in 1827, and after the wedding, they moved into the house at 194 Livingston Avenue in Albany.  His major contributions to the Underground Railroad include sending runaway slaves to Canada from Albany. Myers's newspaper, the Northern Star, also served as another Underground Railroad organization. In the public eye, the paper increased abolitionist rhetoric, but the organization also worked with the Vigilance Committee to raise funds and provide safe houses for runaway slaves.

Meyers eventually became the chairman of the organization for approximately three years.  The fundraising and primary return address for correspondence was run through Myers's home address which also served as a safe house for slaves during their escape to the North. The odd thing was that Myers having fugitive slaves in his home was not a secret affair, it was simply treated as common knowledge in regard to Myers's involvement with the Underground Railroad.  Myers was noted as an important contributor and agent of the Underground Railroad by many different abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass.  

He eventually merged the Northern Star with another newspaper is known as the True American to create the Impartial Citizen, which published out of Syracuse, New York. This paper only lasted for two years until 1851. Meyers spent the rest of his life aiding the Railroad and recruiting for the Army to help them get more Black volunteers. His wife Harriet died in 1865. Myers died five years later at his home on February 13, 1870, and was buried at Albany Rural Cemetery. 

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