Friends Of Ye Olde Towne Hall

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CRAIGACTIVE Slave Chapel Lecture

February 26, 2019 11:30 am
February 26, 2019 2:00 pm

A CraigActive event.  Join us for a soup and sandwich lunch.  We start gathering around 11:30 am for coffee and social time.  Lunch (pay what you can, suggested price is $6.00) is served at noon followed by an interesting program led by Genet Hodder who was on the board dedicated to rescuing the Fugitive Slave Chapel which was a part that London played on the Underground Railroad.

More about the chapel as quoted in an article from 1926: ”

In what is the oldest district of London, in a place which in the early years of the last century was thoughtlessly and unfairly referred to as Nigger Hollow, from the fact that many colored people had made their homes there, stands a house known as No. 275 Thames street, which is hallowed with memories. It was the original African Methodist Episcopal Church — made over into a dwelling when the colored congregation improved its social and financial position, and they abandoned the old edifice to occupy the then new and handsome structure known as the British Methodist Episcopal Bethemanuel Church on Grey street, between Colborne and Maitland streets.

For many years it had been accepted that the original African Methodist Fugitive Slave Chapel of London had been torn down, but the writer was able, with the assistance of some old-timers, including Mrs. Robert Mawhinney, whose husband was for many years janitor of the city hall, and who previous to that appointment had been a policeman in London. Her nephew, Mr. Bradley, also assisted in the identification.

To Mr. R. H. Dignan, city registrar, the writer is also indebted for the tracing of the property back to the deed from the crown. The records in Mr. Dignan’s office show that William Clark, a carpenter, secured the original deed for a lot, 30 feet frontage by 110 feet deep, on Sept. 8, 1847, and that a month later, on Oct. 14, 1847, he “gave, granted, bargained, sold, released, confirmed and conveyed” this lot, comprising 3,300 square feet, for the sum of £ 22 10s, to the following, in trust for the African Methodist Episcopal Church: William Hamilton, Benjamin Harris, John Osburne, Henry James, Henry Logan, Thomas Wingate and George Winemiller”