The Yates County Genealogical & Historical Society will hold its Autumn History Luncheon at the Lakeside Country Club (Route 54 south of Penn Yan) on Wednesday, Sept. 21, starting at noon.

The program will be on Gerrit Smith and will be presented by Dr. Norman K. Dann.

Gerrit Smith (1797-1874) was a major leader in the abolition movement and the underground railroad in the years before the Civil War. Among other things, he was a stationmaster on the Underground Railroad, the major financier behind John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859, a candidate for the Presidency in 1860 from the Abolitionist Party of New York, and a cousin to Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls and the women’s rights movement.

Norman Dann is a Professor Emeritus from Morrisville State College, a steward to the Gerrit Smith National Historical Landmark in Peterboro, in Madison County, an organizer of Peterboro’s Civil War Weekend in June, and actually lives on part of Gerrit Smith’s estate. He has authored three books: When We Get to Heaven: Runaway Slaves on the Road to Peterboro (2008), Practical Dreamer: A Biography of Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform (2009), and Whatever It Takes: The Antislavery Movement and the Tactics of Gerrit Smith (2011).

He is currently working on the manuscript for Cousins of Reform: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Gerrit Smith.

The cost for the program is $14 per person.  Reservations must be made by calling Lisa at the Yates County Genealogical & Historical Society 315-536-7318 before 4 pm on Friday, Sept. 16. Business hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday thru Friday.