From 1850s Virginia, An Abolitionist Hero Emerges

Boorstein, Michelle. "From 1850s Virginia, An Abolitionist Hero Emerges." The Washington Post, 2004.

Conway -- the black sheep of his prominent, slaveholding family after he became a Unitarian minister, radical feminist and abolitionist -- also was honored last summer with a state historical marker in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he led 30 or more of his family's slaves to freedom. The labors of Schools and his wife, Lenetta, both 57, whose home answering machine says "Moncure Conway House," are a further tribute: They are working to put the house into public hands when they're older. [Conway] intended to free his family's slaves and tracked down about 30 of them in Washington, where they were hiding, and negotiated with rail officials in Baltimore to take them to the free state of Ohio. Although those slaves' descendants knew the story and called the initial settlement Conway's Colony, the connection between people in Stafford and those in Yellow Springs was made only in the last couple of years. Schools said he thinks it was impossible until recently for Americans to understand someone so far ahead of his time. Conway thought that Lincoln should have freed all slaves before the war and that the Emancipation Proclamation was a poor ethical compromise, because it freed slaves only in some states and failed to address the sweeping issue of equal rights. "What will we do in 1962?" Conway wrote.

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