Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Program and Annual Meeting

The Historical Society has received a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council to present “The Abolitionists of Noyes Academy,” a program offered by Dan Billin of Lebanon, New Hampshire. This event will take place Tuesday June 17, at 7:00 PM at Court Street Arts/Alumni Hall in Haverhill. Admission is free and open to the public.

In 1835, abolitionists opened one of the nation’s first integrated schools in Canaan, New Hampshire, attracting eager African American students from as far away as Boston, Providence, and New York City. Outraged community leaders responded by raising a mob that dragged the academy building off its foundation and ran the African American students out of town.

New Hampshire’s first experiment in educational equality was brief, but it helped launch the public careers of a trio of extraordinary African American leaders: Henry Highland Garnet, Alexander Crummell, and Thomas Sipkins Sidney. Dan Billin plumbs the depths of anti-abolitionist sentiment in early-nineteenth-century New England, and the courage of three young friends destined for greatness.

Raised in the Lakes Region, Dan Billin earned a BA in Communications from Brigham Young University. He worked as a newspaper reporter for the Valley News in Lebanon, New Hampshire for seventeen years. Billin’s passion for history and nose for a story led him to uncover a wealth of detail about the shocking and largely forgotten tale of the birth and death of Noyes Academy. He is working on a book about the legacy of three of the students.

This presentation will be preceded at 6:30 PM by the Historical Society’s annual meeting.