Elizabeth Freeman Monument
Unveiling Celebration Weekend
August 19, 20 & 21, 2022
Sheffield celebrated the 241st Anniversary of Elizabeth Freeman's historic court case leading to the abolishment of slavery in Massachusetts with a series of events the weekend of August 19-21, 2022. The culmination of the weekend was the unveiling of a bronze statue of Freeman that currently stands+ on the Sheffield Green.
Schedule of Events
Friday, August 19
"Elizabeth Freeman & the
Telling of Black Stories"
Dewey Hall, 4:00pm
Panel discussion hosted by W.E.B. Du Bois
Center for Freedom and Democracy
Saturday, August 20
"Meet Elizabeth Freeman"
First Congregational Church of Sheffield, 7:00pm
Play by Teresa Miller, starring Wanda Houston.
Sunday, August 21
"Walk to Freedom"
Departed from the Ashley House at 9:30am
Sheffield Green near the Old Stone Store, 12:00pm
The monument and celebration were a collaboration between The Sheffield Historical Society, The First Congregational Church of Sheffield, UCC and the office of State Representative Wm. Smitty Pignatelli.
Who was Elizabeth Freeman?
The play "Meet Elizabeth Freeman" gives a sketch of Freeman's life, but you may want to learn more about her in depth. Some of the details of her story vary according to the telling, but we think this article from the Berkshire Museum tells it well.
"Meet Elizabeth Freeman" Play
This play by Teresa Miller was originally staged by the Museum of the American Revolution. Our performance on Saturday, August 20th at 7:00pm starred Wanda Houston.
Walk to Freedom
The "Walk to Freedom" is a twelve-year tradition where participants follow the steps that Elizabeth took from the home of her enslaver, the Ashley House, to the office of Theodore Sedgwick on the Sheffield Green to hire him as the lawyer to take her emancipation case to court.
The monument unveiling ceremony was held on Sunday, August 21 at noon.
The public was invited to join us as we celebrated Elizabeth Freeman with a bronze statue.