A decade later, he became a leader in the city’s burgeoning abolitionist movement.
From his three-story home at 36 Lispenard Street, he operated a bookstore, printed his own anti-slavery pamphlets, and wrote for African-American newspapers.
Through the 1830s and 1840s, an estimated 600 slaves hid out in his townhouse on Lispenard Street, one of a handful of known New York City stops on the Underground Railroad.
Ruggles died in 1849 in Massachusetts, his work to end slavery in a city divided by the issue close to forgotten.
[Above left: 36 Lispenard Street today, a different building on the historic site. A plaque notes its history.]
Tags: 36 Lispenard, abolitionists New York City, anti-slavery New York City, David Ruggles, Frederick Douglass New York, Lispenard Street, New York City underground railroad, New York in the 1830s, New York street