John W. Jones House
You might be wondering where you can see the John W. Jones House in Elmira NY. The historic house is located at 1250 Davis St, Elmira, NY 14901. This museum is a reminder of the man who spent his life helping others escape human bondage. Here is a brief history of the man and his house. If you're interested in visiting Elmira NY, you should know that this site is located in the city.
As a graduate student at Cornell University, Amy McLaughlin studied the town's memorial spaces. While researching the city's history and culture, she produced a C19 Podcast episode about Elmira. The episode included details about John W. Jones's activism and the life of her great-great-grandfather, who was one of the Confederates buried with reverence by Jones. The museum also offers a blog about memorial spaces in Elmira.
Upon opening, the museum is celebrating the life of John W. Jones, an escaped slave who helped 800 people to freedom. The museum's board hopes to expand the museum into a cultural center. A small group of students helped to restore the property. The museum opened in 2017 after the City of Elmira was close to demolishing the former home of Jones. In the late 1800s, the town was considered a hotbed of abolitionist activity and was an asylum for enslaved people.
The museum has a sign that features portraits of famous figures in the city. Currently, the sign features the faces of Brian Williams, Mark Twain, Tommy Hilfiger, and Eileen Collins. One of the more intriguing portraits, however, is a black man with a white beard. This man was an important figure in Elmira's African American community. Originally from Virginia, he ran away from slavery and became a sexton in the First Baptist Church in Elmira. He was a leading Underground Railroad conductor in the town.
If you have never been to Elmira, you've got to see this historic site. The Arnot Art Museum is one of the city's finest museums, housing a permanent collection of 20th century American and European art. Founded in 1833 by a local banker named Matthais Hallenback Arnot, the museum first opened to the public in 1913 and has since grown to be one of the city's premier cultural institutions.
The Civil War era in Elmira is well-documented. The town's Underground Railroad history was of particular significance to the Confederate cause. The Civil War used the city as a staging area for a military depot. Construction was hasty and the first detachment of prisoners arrived in July 1864. James Stewart, an Elmira enslave, had been captured by the Confederate army on February 16, 1863.
The historical significance of the John W. Jones House in Elmira goes beyond the historic significance of the man himself. Its connection to the Underground Railroad dates back to the 1860s. While a prominent abolitionist in Elmira, Jones was a slave who had fled from Virginia. In 1844, he worked closely with William Still, the chief Philadelphia Underground agent, and the Elmira abolitionists. After the Civil War, he was hired as the sexton at Woodlawn Cemetery. The cemetery buried over 3,000 confederate soldiers and was eventually made a national cemetery.
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