In a recent article in the Washington Post, author Sydney Trent narrates the story of Stephanie Gilbert, a descendant of Oliver C. Gilbert, and her quest to learn of her ancestor and visit his place of birth and enslavement. The article briefly discusses O.C. Gilbert’s life in Saratoga Springs, NY, from about 1860 to 1876, when he moved to Pennsylvania.
Saratoga Springs offered many opportunities for employment, and it was said that while many of the Southern gentleman brought their slaves with them as they took in the season at The Spa, many of the Black men and women serving them were probably former enslaved people who had run for their freedom. Moreover, while Gilbert’s primary legacy is as a lecturer and musician, his political activism both before and while living in Saratoga Springs places him in the company of many prominent abolitionists, businessmen and politicians who continued the fight for racial equality as Jim Crow laws were becoming commonplace in America. [Read more…] about O.C. Gilbert: Speaker, Musician, Black Community Organizer in Saratoga