Palmyra, NY is a small town just East of Rochester that was visited frequently by Frederick Douglass. The town was founded in 1789 by John Swift, and originally called "Swift's Landing." It resides on the edge of the Erie Canal, although the canal wasn't built through the town until 1822. The town is most known for being the birthplace of the Latter-day Saints movement around 1820 and for being the first place the Book of Mormon was published in 1830. It has also been revealed that the town was a stop for the Underground Railroad and is reported to have aided about 2,000 slaves in their escape to Canada. Palmyra was also home to Henry Wells, founder of Wells Fargo, and Isaac Singer, founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.
This entry is part of a public history project developed by the RIT Museum Studies program in celebration of the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’s birth (February 1818). Palmyra, NY was a town nearby the Rochester residence of Frederick Douglass who frequently visited. The town was also once a stop for the Underground Railroad.