presented by Norm Dann

Norman K. Dann PhD, researcher and biographer of the Smith family of Peterboro, will present a series of eight two hour sessions.


 Sundays from 1 pm – 3 pm

July 7 to September 1, 2024 


Gerrit Smith Estate

National Historic Landmark


5304 Oxbow Road, Peterboro NY 13134


Free and open to the public

Sundays from 1:00-3:00PM...

July 7, 2024: Peter Smith: Furs, Land, and Anguish examines Peter Smith, the land speculator partner of John Jacob Astor, who dealt with Native Americans to establish a land sales business in the late 1700 in upstate New York. Although selfish and avaricious, Smith laid the financial foundation for the future human rights work of the Gerrit and Ann Smith family.    


July 14, 2024: The Era and the Issues is a survey of social life in 19th Century America with emphasis placed on racism and sexism. Black people were considered to be biologically inferior to white people, and incapable of fulfilling roles outside of slavery. Women were thought to be inferior mentally and physically, and fit only for roles in the domestic sphere.


July 21, 2024: Gerrit Smith: The Practical Dreamer examines Gerrit’s benevolence and philanthropy in his perusal of human rights movements. Gerrit operated the land sales business started by Peter in order to have the resources to lubricate social change in the direction of equitable treatment of all persons.


July 28, 2024: Ann Carroll Fitzhugh Smith: Support Services Agent scrutinized Ann’s support of Gerrit’s human rights activism while acting as a “First Lady” in their home that served as a group therapy center for human rights activists.


August 11, 2024: Elizabeth Smith Miller: Quiet Advocate examines Elizabeth’s growing up with cousin Elizabeth Cady (Stanton) and working together to pursue equal rights for women. For Miller the issues of dress reform and suffrage were primary, especially in collaboration with her daughter Anne Fitzhugh Miller.


August 18, 2024: Greene Smith: Rebel and Outdoorsman illustrates Greene’s life as an example of the clash in the mid-1800s between religion and science- the sacred and secular. After achieving national recognition as an ornithologist and sportsman, Greene died at an early age.


Sunday, August 25, 2024 ~1-3 pm: Cousins of Reform: Smith and Stanton Gerrit Smith and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were cousins and the two most powerful leaders of the two most important social movements for human rights in American history. Their close loving bond did not deter their strong political debates.


September 1, 2024: Underground Railroad is and examination of the moral significance of the UGRR as a process of achieving freedom, including reasons for escaping, the risks incurred, and the efficacy of the attempt to escape. 


For more information: and 315.308.1890

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PO Box 6, Peterboro, NY 13134

‭(315) 308-1890‬