North Star Country is Featured Book for January 2011

Daguerreotype, Cazenovia Fugitive Slave Law Convention, August 22, 1850. Held at the Madison County Historical Society. Frederick Douglass is seen in group photograph on cover of North Star Country: Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom by Milton C. Sernett
This is the story of the remarkable transformation of Upstate New York’s famous “Burned-over District,” where the flames of religious revival sparked an abolitionist movement that eventually burst into the conflagration of the Civil War.
Milton C. Sernett details the regional presence of African Americans from the pre-Revolutionary War era through the Civil War, both as champions of liberty and as beneficiaries of a humanitarian spirit generated from evangelical impulses. He includes in the his narrative the struggles of great abolitionists – among them Harriet Tubman, frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, Beriah Green, Jermain Loguen, and Samuel May – and of many lesser-known characters who rescued fugitives from slave hunters, maintained safe houses along the Underground Railroad, and otherwise furthered the cause of freedom both regionally and in the nation as a whole.
Sernett concludes with a compelling examination of the moral choices made during the Civil War by upstate New Yorkers – both black and white – and of the post-Appomattox campaign to secure freedom for the newly emancipated.
(Text from back cover of North Star Country)
If you would like to view this book, please visit Special Collections located on the Second Floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library (off of the North Reading Room) and ask for Local History E445.N56 S47 2002. There is also a copy of this book in the circulating stacks.
Elmira prison camp that was originally a Union military depot and rendezvous station. It was establishd in May 1864 and occupied the so called Barracks 3. It was enclosed by a twelve-foot plank fence and housed 11,916 prisoners, of whom 2,994 died. From a postcard that shows prisoners in line for dinner (from the Chemung County Historical Society).