Fugitive Slave Law Convention, Cazenovia, New York
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Ezra Greenleaf Weld
American, Cazenovia, New York, August 22, 1850
2 5/8 x 2 1/8 in.

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Among the two thousand participants at the 1848 abolitionist convention in upstate New York, there were nearly fifty runaway slaves. This small image features the legendary Edmonson sisters, both dressed in plaid, and the famous orator and escaped slave Frederick Douglass, seated between the two sisters. This daguerreotype was given to imprisoned abolitionist William Chaplin, who had helped many of the attendees escape to freedom. The photographic record enabled Chaplin to share in the convention's success and to see the vastness of the assembled crowd.