The heat wave in NYC continues and, of course will abate the day I leave. So yesterday and today Damian and I are staying indoors where it is cooler. Reading, composing music (Damian, not me), cooking (me, not Damian), and just hanging out. Wednesday we braved the heat but not today.
Wednesday we went to a talk on the Civil War given at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights. It was a part of a series of talks on the Civil War intended for kids his age, but i enjoyed it immensely. The focus was on the Underground Railroad. Apparently the pastor of the church, Henry Ward Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was an ardent abolitionist. He helped many slaves on their way to safer places north, often to Canada. The basement of the church served as a safe hiding place and the congregation frequently donated to the cause. We had a tour of the church and of the basement. At that time, of course, there would have been no electricity or running water.
It seems most of the people he helped publicly were light skinned. He wanted to show that we are all just people, no matter the color of our skin and this was a more way, as he published photos in the newspaper. He was for equal wages, equal opportunities for all people, including women, no child labor. A list not far off from today’s issues. If his sermons could be taken out today and dusted off, and a few changes of wording, they would still be appropriate.
Abraham Lincoln was invited to talk in this church when he was beginning his campaigning. He never actually gave a speech in the church because it wasn’t large enough to hold the crowd wanting to hear him. But he did attend services there twice. By chance, I happened to be sitting in the pew he had. He warmed the seat for me!
By the time Damian and I made our way home, we were very hot and decided not to go out again in this heat, if we didn’t have to. So here we sit in an air conditioned room, enjoying technologies.