Open House: Historic Underground Railroad Home of Dr. Eells

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Date(s) - 03/04/2018
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Eells House

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The public is invited to The Dr. Richard Eells Open House on Sunday, March 4, 2018 from 1-4 pm at 415 Jersey St. The event is free and the public is welcome.

The event celebrates Black History and Dr. Eells role helping area slaves to freedom via the underground railroad system. This year’s program, titled Follow The Drinking Gourd, will feature a kaleidoscope of stories, song, poetry and discussion of the authentic slave hymnal. Mett Morris, of Quincy, will lead a verse by verse discussion with song and its meaning. The first stanza, “Follow the drinking. Follow The Drinking Gourd. The old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedom.  If you follow the drinking gourd” is just the start. The event will also include discussion of the Underground railroad, Quincy Area Abolitionist and tours of the house.

Dr. Richard Eells’ and The Quincy house played a historic role in the struggle to end slavery and help those trying to escape its demeaning grip. On an August night in 1842, Charley, a runaway slave from Missouri, knocked on the back door of Dr. Richard Eells at 415 Jersey Street in Quincy.  Charley was seeking Freedom and Dr. Eells, an active Quincy Abolitionist, was there to help.  While transporting Charley to the next site on the underground railroad, a posse searching for Charley stopped Eells’ carriage at an area that is now Madison Park and Charley fled. Regretfully, he was later found and returned to slavery in Missouri.

For his part in the rescue, Dr. Eells was prosecuted through the courts, starting with Circuit Judge Stephen Douglas in Quincy, then the Illinois Supreme Court and finally to the US Supreme Court.  While Dr. Eells was prosecuted and Charley did not find his Freedom that night, join us on March 4th  to celebrate their efforts to find freedom for all in the pre-Civil war era. The Dr. Richard Eells house is a documented site on the underground railroad.

In addition to Black History entertainment and discussion, the board of Dr. Richard Eells house will thank the public for its annual support. The house is the oldest brick home in Quincy and maintaining it in pristine fashion is no small undertaking. The organization is especially appreciative to those who have supported recent campaigns and the organizations ongoing efforts to repair roof and weather damage.

The Eells House offers a wide range of history.  Besides the program you can also view and learn about the work done to refurbish the House and its period furnishings and fixtures. While the program is free, donations are fully tax deductible and any financial support is greatly appreciated.  Donations can be made to the “Friends of the Dr. Richard Eells House”, and mailed to P.O. Box 628, Quincy, IL  62306. 

Refreshments will be served, so please join to celebrate this important piece of Quincy and U.S. history. For more information, please contact 257-7647.

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