Paul Stewart, co-founder of the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, discusses an abolitionist newspaper from the mid-19th century, The Northern Star, which was published by Stephen Myers of Albany.
If Paul Stewart is right, the house at 194 Livingston Ave. in Albany experienced just as much revelry as it did unrest.
“When you say Underground Railroad, you think of a lot of secrecy and people hiding in corners,” said Stewart, who along with his wife, Mary Liz, started the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region almost 10 years ago.
“But the closer you look at things, the more you learn. They entertained people at their dinner table. They probably had them sleeping in the upstairs bedroom. It’s not like they were hiding them in the basement.”
“They” were Stephen and Harriet Myers, a black couple who lived in the house on Livingston Avenue for somewhere between 30 and 40 years. In the three decades leading up to the Civil War, the home was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves seeking freedom in the North and Canada.