Contact: Fredie Kay
SALEM, Mass. (June 21, 2022) — Suffrage100MA and Hamilton Hall in Salem will unveil a historic women’s suffrage marker honoring the legacy of extraordinary activists, the Remond Family, on Thursday, June 23 at 2pm. The marker will celebrate the Remond Family’s suffrage and abolition work and encourage passers-by to learn more, and will become one of five new Massachusetts marker sites on the National Votes for Women Trail. The project is funded through a grant by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation®, sponsored by the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS)’s National Votes for Women Trail (NVWT), and coordinated in Massachusetts by Suffrage100MA.
THE REMOND FAMILY
An impactful free Black family, the Remond Family was committed to the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage movement, and desegregation of schools in Salem. Parents John Remond (1785-1874), a lifelong member of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, and Nancy Lenox Remond (1786-1867) served as caretakers of Hamilton Hall at the turn of the 19th century, where they also ran their catering business. Well-respected throughout Salem for their culinary skills, hospitality, business acumen, and social advocacy, they raised their eight children to fight for their rights and the rights of others.
Charles Lenox Remond (1810–1873), their eldest child, was among the first Black abolitionist lecturers—and staunchly supportive of women’s right to join the fight. In one telling example, when the 1840 World Antislavery Convention in London voted that women would NOT be allowed to vote or participate and had to sit separately behind a curtain, he and William Lloyd Garrison joined the women’s section in an act of solidarity. Charles gave anti-slavery speeches throughout the US and abroad, sometimes with his sister Sarah. Sarah Parker Remond (1824-1894) was a stalwart member of the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society, the New England Anti-Slavery Society, and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. She gave her first abolitionist address at the age of just 16 and spoke nationally and internationally on the topics of racial and gender equity. She was a speaker at the 1858 National Woman’s Rights Convention in New York. Caroline Remond Putnam (1826-1908), another sibling, was repeatedly mentioned in the abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, served in leadership positions for the American and Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Societies, and spoke at the 1869 annual meeting of the New England Woman’s Suffrage Association.
“We’re excited to celebrate the extraordinary legacy of the Remond Family at Hamilton Hall with this marker, which will also help educate the Salem community and visitors about the vital role they served in the progress of our country’s history,” says Michael Selbst, President of The Board of Directors for Hamilton Hall. “As advocates for human rights, the Remonds remind us all to stand up and raise our voices today for those experiencing discrimination. And Hamilton Hall is pleased to present additional educational programming related to the marker, beginning with an historical talk by Professor Gwendolyn Rosemond on June 26 at 2pm.”
“It is our city’s privilege and responsibility to recognize and honor the crucial impact of the Black community – as enslaved persons, free citizens, soldiers, abolitionists, suffragists, educators and leaders – on our history and on shaping who we are today,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “The Remond Family suffrage marker today joins other Salem landmarks in sharing and celebrating the city’s legacy of Black leaders, including Remond Park, named in honor of Charles and Sarah, and Charlotte Forten Park, named for the abolitionist and women’s rights activist.”
“We honor the Remond Family as ground-breaking 19th century activists for gender and racial justice here in Salem, across the U.S. and overseas,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “Today, with our country’s voting rights under siege, the Remond Family’s brave fight for abolition and equal voting access inspires us to follow their lead and continue to fight for justice in our electoral system.”
“John and Nancy Remond raised their children here in Hamilton Hall. It was here that their son Charles and daughter Sarah came to be champions of abolition and women’s suffrage. As adults, the two campaigned across the continent, urging for greater freedoms for women and all those who suffered the violence of the sin that is slavery. I honor the Redmond Family for their enduring commitment to the cause of justice in Salem and across oceans. This marker, one of five placed on the National Votes for Women Trail here in our Commonwealth, will forever memorialize their achievement,” said U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA).
“It is important to recognize that some white women’s suffrage groups would not include Black members, and that after the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, discriminatory laws continued to restrict voting access for many Americans of color,” says Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “The Remond Family had steadfast perseverance, pushing through layers of resistance so their message of social justice could be heard, and it’s our duty to honor that legacy.”
“The Remond Family made Hamilton Hall their home and place of business, a site where visionaries would flock to attend large events and where the Remond children would learn the principles of social justice,” said Paul Tucker (D-Salem). “In the spirit of the Remond Family, let us all stand together against threats to civil liberties, and work together to ensure women’s rights and voting rights for all citizens.”
Sponsored by the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, the National Votes for Women Trail seeks to recognize and celebrate the enormous diversity of people and groups active in the struggle for women’s suffrage. The Trail consists of two parts: 1) a database with 2,364 sites on a digital map and 2) a program of historical markers for over 200 women’s suffrage sites across the country, funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation®’s National Women’s Suffrage Marker Grant Program.
The Remond Family marker is the second of five Massachusetts markers that will be unveiled in spring and summer 2022: Maria Baldwin (Cambridge); Anne L. Page (Danvers); Remond Family (Salem); Sojourner Truth (Northampton); and Sarah E. Wall (Worcester).
“We are delighted to celebrate the Remond Family in Salem with one of five suffrage markers coming to Massachusetts to highlight the history of women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Each marker honors the lives of those who bravely worked to advance women’s voting rights, with more than half of these markers dedicated to women and men of color,” said Suffrage100MA Founder & President Fredie Kay, the Massachusetts State Coordinator of the National Votes for Women Trail. “These markers are the result of more than two years of dedicated collaboration between municipal leadership, passionate community historians, Suffrage100MA, the Pomeroy Foundation, the NCWHS and NVWT.”
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About Hamilton Hall
Built in 1805 on the newly laid-out Chestnut Street in Salem, Hamilton Hall is widely recognized as one of the most important Federal buildings in America. A designated National Historic Landmark, the Hall was designed and built by famed architect and woodcarver, Samuel McIntire. It was also the family home and business of Black activists, the Remond Family, in the mid-19th century. Through grants, fundraising and an ongoing membership program, the Board of Directors works to preserve the building and provide educational community programming. HamiltonHall.org
Suffrage100MA is dedicated to commemorating the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1920, prohibiting the federal and state governments from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. Suffrage100MA presents events and activities that highlight the history of the women’s suffrage movement and women’s rights, notably the tireless work and essential contributions of women of color, who were often excluded by white women’s suffrage organizations, and whose role in the suffrage movement has been largely overlooked. Suffrage100MA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization, with over 200 non-profit Partners, including Hamilton Hall, committed to recognizing the importance of the 19th Amendment, voting rights and access to voting today. Learn more at Suffrage100MA.org.
The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites is a non-profit organization established to support and promote the preservation and interpretation of sites and locales throughout the country that bear witness to women’s participation in American history. A project of NCWHS, the National Votes for Women Trail consists of a database with digital map, and a program of historic markers for over 200 suffragists/women’s suffrage sites. Visit: nvwt.org.
About the Pomeroy Foundation
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation® is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. Established by Trustee Bill Pomeroy in 2005 to bring together his two greatest passions, the Pomeroy Foundation is a private, grant-making organization located in Syracuse, N.Y. As the nation’s leading funder of historic roadside markers, the Pomeroy Foundation has awarded nearly 1,700 grants for markers and bronze plaques in 45 states. To learn more about the Pomeroy Foundation, visit wgpfoundation.org.