50 Plymouth Ave N
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Quakers Isaac and Amy Post hid 15 fugitives over night in their house, a station on the Underground Railroad at this site.
By the City of Rochester — 1984
What was there
36 Sophia St., the residence of Isaac and Amy Post, who lived here from 1836 to 1889. They sequestered fugitive slaves here as a part of the Underground Railroad. After the Posts were deceased, the neighboring Central Presbyterian Church (est. 1858) bought and then built an expansion on the Post property in 1889. Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony’s funerals were held in this church.
What is there now
The former Central Presbyterian Church is now the Hochstien School of Music (est. 1920) on Plymouth Avenue in downtown Rochester. The Rochester River Walk Trail passes by here.
An informational sign on Plymouth Ave reads:
Hicksite Quakers Amy (1802-1889) and Isaac (1798-1872) Post lived on this site from the 1840s to 1889 when Amy died. As conductors on the Underground Railroad, they personally assisted scores of fugitives from slavery including as many as 15 on one occasion. Isaac Post’s apothecary was on Exchange Street near Buffalo Street (Main) in the midst of Abolitionist activity in the city. Impatient with the hesitant involvement of the Quaker Church in the Abolitionist movement, Isaac resigned from the Quaker Church in 1845 and became converted to Spiritualism by Margaret Fox in 1848.
Frederick Douglass stayed in the Post home before he was encouraged by them to move to Rochester in 1847 to publish his abolitionist newspaper The North Star, later Frederick Douglass’ Paper. His funeral, held in the Central Presbyterian Church at this site in 1895, brought him full circle to the place he first stayed. He is buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery. A statue of him stands at Highland Park not far from one of his homes.
Susan B. Anthony was a close friend of the Posts and attended the second 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Rochester that Amy Post helped to organize. The Central Presbyterian Church erected their building next door to the Posts in 1858 and added on to the church on the Post’s lo a year after Amy’s death in 1889. The Church reached out to the poor and undereducated families on the nearby Erie and Genesee Valley canals whose transient lifestyle created a distinct culture. Anthony’s funeral was held in this Central Presbyterian Church in 1906.
In the mid-1970s the Central Presbyterian Church merged congregations with the Brick and First Presbyterian Churches to become Downtown United Presbyterian Church. Continuing its historic mission to the community, the Church donated their building and land to the Hochstein School of Music which was founded in 1920 as a musical school for underprivileged students. David Hochstein, for whom the school was named, was the nephew of “Red Emma,” radical social activist, Emma Goldman (1869-1940). An Accomplished violinist, Hochstein enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps to the in “the Great War.” He was killed October 15, 1918. The Armistice was signed on November 11.
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