The Press Release for the Event
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Yellow Springs is proud to present, “Springs to Freedom,” an informational and theatrical gathering concerning events that took place in Yellow Springs in 1862. At that time, Reverend Moncure Conway brought 32 formerly enslaved people, who had relocated to Maryland, to Yellow Springs so they could live in a free state. He chose Yellow Springs, known for being tolerant, progressive, and open to residents of African descent. The group became known as “the Conway Colony.” The 32 people had been Conway’s father’s “property.” (They were effectively liberated and displaced by the Union Army.)
An historical marker commemorating the colony and Reverend Moncure Daniel Conway can be found on the bike path near Corry Street and Grinnel Road. Dunmore and Eliza Gwinn were prominent members of the colony and established a residence on 5 acres of land in the Grinnel Road area. Dunmore Gwinn was a cofounder of what became the First Baptist Church of Yellow Springs.
Introductory speakers will include Tim Kraus of the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati (where Conway preached to a congregation that included Horace Mann). Jean McKee, the great, great, great granddaughter of Dunmore Gwinn’s sister, will present biographical and personal research regarding Dunmore and Eliza Gwinn. And Scott Holland, professor at Bethany Seminary, will relate these events from his scholarly and theopoetic perspective.
The theatrical portion of the program is directed by David Harewood and produced by Leigh Waltz. This unique presentation is made possible by a grant from the Monroe Husbands Foundation in association with the Unitarian Universalist Association Midwest Region and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Yellow Springs. It will take place in the fellowship building, located at 2884 US Route 68, just two miles south of Yellow Springs on Sunday, July 9, 2023, at 10:30 AM. The event is free.