|Newspaper advertisement for Francis Dana's barber shop|
|Newspaper notice announcing the shop of John Wendell moving|
from State Street to Ferry Street.
|Advertisement for Stillman's razors endorsed by Richard P.G. |
Wright. These types of advertisements were common in the
Wright is perhaps the best known and most well-documented person in Schenectady connected to Underground Railroad and anti-slavery activity. He was born in Swansey, Massachusetts, and lived in Rhode Island for several years. In earlier years, he went by the name “Prince G. Wright.” By around 1811, Wright had moved to Schenectady, where he would continue to live until his death in 1847. Wright was a barber and both his business at 2 Canal Street and his home at 84 Ferry Street were close by the Erie Canal. Wright was deeply involved with local and regional anti-slavery activities; he was an early member of the American Anti-Slavery Society and a founding member of the Anti-Slavery Society of the City of Schenectady in 1838, and attended many anti-slavery conventions and gatherings in the region. Along with his son, the abolitionist and pastor Theodore Sedgwick Wright, he was a member of the New York Vigilance Committee. Wright and his son were also the only African-American members of the St. George’s Masonic Lodge in Schenectady. An Eastern New York Anti-Slavery Society 1843 annual report mentions 3 freedom seekers and notes that the agent who helped them “gave letter to Emp. Wright and Ellis Clizbe [of Montgomery County].” According to an article in the Emancipator and Weekly Chronicle (Boston) 16 April 1845, Wright assisted Charles Nelson in escaping slavery to freedom in Canada. Wright died in 1847; he is buried at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady.
|Page from the 1841 Schenectady City|
Directory. Black heads of household are
listed in italics.