Lecture on Religion and the Anti-Slavery Movement at the historic St. Thomas Chapel

Historian Deborah Lee to Present Lecture on Religion and the Anti-Slavery Movement at the historic St. Thomas Chapel in Middletown on Saturday, March 25 at 1 p.m.

To mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of Coming to the Table is hosting a lecture on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the historic St. Thomas Chapel at 7854 Church Street in Middletown (exit 302 off I-81).

Historian Dr. Deborah Lee will speak on “Religion and the Anti-Slavery Movement.”  This topic is appropriate for St. Thomas Chapel because it was dedicated by Episcopal Bishop William Meade in 1837.  Bishop Meade’s sister Ann Randolph Meade Page was an evangelical Christian slavery reformer in Frederick County, Virginia.  After her husband’s death, Page emancipated most of her slaves.

Dr. Lee specializes in African American history, women’s history, and nineteenth century social, religious and cultural history and her dissertation was on Ann Randolph Meade Page.  Dr. Lee will also discuss Page’s influence in the rise of the American Colonization Society, a social movement begun in 1816 that promoted the voluntary emigration of emancipated slaves and free blacks to Liberia.  Virginians led the political and organizational leadership for this national movement, including James Madison and James Monroe as well as other prominent clergymen and abolitionists.  She will also discuss the involvement of black and white Christians of other denominations in various forms of antislavery activism including the underground railroad in the region.

The United Nations designated March 25 as an annual International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  This International Day offers the opportunity to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system and aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

This event is sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of Coming to the Table an organization founded in 2006 to provide leadership, resources, and supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery.  Coming to the Table’s approach includes uncovering history, making connections, working toward healing, and taking action.  Attendees of the lecture will have a chance to learn more about Coming to the Table and how to get involved.

Coming to the Table planned this event with its members Belle Grove Plantation and Cedar Creek Belle Grove National Historical Park both located in Middletown.  These organizations are actively researching and presenting the history of slavery at Belle Grove Plantation and in the Shenandoah Valley.