Leonard A. Grimes Commemoration - Washington, D.C.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 38° 53.977 W 077° 02.919
18S E 322345 N 4307631
Quick Description: A plaque commemorating Leonard A. Grimes (1815-1873), an anti-slavery activist and early organizer of the Underground Railroad, is located on the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C.
Location: District of Columbia, United States
Date Posted: 2/16/2008 8:01:15 PM
Waymark Code: WM364Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 19

Long Description:
The plaque reads as follows:

Leonard A. Grimes, a black man born free in Leesburg, Virginia, owned a residence on this corner from 1836 to 1846.

In the 1830s, he owned a successful coach business transporting passengers in and around Washington. He also carried slaves seeking freedom in the North and was an early organizer of the Underground Railroad.

From 1840 to 1842, he was imprisoned in Richmond for aiding an escape. In 1846 Grimes moved with his family to New Bedford, Massachusetts where he continued his anti-slavery activities.

Seeking a larger scope for his work, in 1848 he moved to Boston where he distinguished himself as a cleric, abolutionist and statesman.


Additional details are available in the African American Heritage Trail Database: Leonard Grimes (1815-1874) was an independent hackman who owned horses and carriages for hire and became known for assisting freedom seekers to escape from Virginia to Washington and then to points to the north. Born to free parents in Leesburg, Virginia, Grimes moved to Washington as a young boy. Here he married Washingtonian Octavia Janet Cols(t)on in 1833.

In late 1839 Grimes drove 30 miles into Loudoun County, Virginia, to rescue an enslaved woman named Patty and her six children. He was successful, but three months later he was arrested in Washington and sent to Richmond, where he faced trial. In 1840 he was sentenced to two years at hard labor in the penitentiary in Richmond and fined $100. Soon after his release, he and his family moved to Boston, where he became the first pastor of Twelfth Baptist Church, known as The Fugitives Church. There he continued his abolitionist work in open defiance of the Fugitive Slave Act. He was credited with helping hundreds of freedom seekers make their way to Canada.
Civil Right Type: Not listed

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