Monday, July 23, 2007

BME Church, Niagara

Ben Hockley was rescued (twenty miles off course) from the gate he was floating on, as he tried to cross the Niagara River in 1853. Josiah Henson, rolled in the dirt for joy when he crossed the Niagara River on a ferry boat. Oliver Parnall, Burr Pilandro and Dett are some of the names you hear proudly spoken of in Nathaniel Dett BME church in Niagara. And there was this photo of a man who swam across the Niagara River many years ago in pursuit of freedom. His reason, no money to take the ferry across and perhaps fear that the slave catchers were watching the ferries for runaway slaves. He had made it on the Underground Railroad as far as Buffalo, USA where he stayed for a while working for this little girl's dad. The little girl followed him everywhere and one day this old photo was taken. The girl grew up and many years later, the photo was donated to the exhibit at the BME. For me this photo stands for the courage of those who crossed the Niagara river centuries ago, in pursuit of freedom.

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