Starr Clark Tin Shop

Starr Clark Tin Shop (HM1FKU)

Location: Mexico, NY 13114 Oswego County
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Country: United States of America
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N 43° 27.58', W 76° 13.707'

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Underground Railroad Heritage Trail

Starr Clark was eulogized by Reverend M.D. Kinney as a man who believed in "impartial justice for all men, without regard to condition or color." Clark arrived in Mexico in 1832 and quickly became active in the abolitionist community. He wrote the first antislavery petition Oswego County sent to Congress, was a founder of the Oswego County Anti-Slavery Society, and made his tin shop a meeting place for local abolitionists. According to Clark family oral tradition, the house and the shop next door sheltered people escaping slavery.

That shop became a busy Underground Railroad hub. Clark housed slaves seeking freedom in his home or in the homes of other families, and arranged transportation for the next stage in their journey to Canada. In 1851, William "Jerry" Henry, a freedom seeker from Missouri who had lived in Syracuse, sought refuge here in Mexico while fleeing arrest under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law.

Peterboro, Jan. 19th, 1839

To the editor of the Union Herald

My Dear Sir, - It will gratify you and many of your readers to know, that the two fugitive slaves, Williams and Scott, of whom I gave you an account, a few weeks ago, have arrived safely in Canada. This information I obtain from our brother Starr Clark, of Mexico, Oswego County, who, together with his family, manifested extraordinary kindness to poor Williams and Scott. Br. Clark writes that "they both had obtained places to work and were doing well."...

Your friend and brother,

Gerrit Smith

The famous abolitionist Gerrit Smith wrote this letter in 1839 to commend Starr Clark for the aid he gave Williams and Scott, two freedom seekers on their way to Canada.

[Inset photo captions read]

Starr Clark House

The Clark family sheltered freedom seekers in their home. Family history maintains that the house and the Tin Shop were connected by a tunnel which provided an additional hiding place.

Courtesy of the Starr Clark Tin Shop.

Tin Shop

The Tin Shop served as the Mexico post office and had the only subscription to the Albany Daily Evening Journal in the area. Area residents often gathered there to hear and discuss the news.

Courtesy of the Starr Clark Tin Shop.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 1:24am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 400620 N 4812594
Decimal Degrees43.45966667, -76.22845000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 27.58', W 76° 13.707'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 27' 34.8" N, 76° 13' 42.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3252 Main St, Mexico NY 13114, US
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