AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
LETT Families Celebration!
The Lett Settlment Families Reunion Committee is pleased to share with you that on July 21, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.we will be unveiling a State of Ohio Historical marker in tribute to what was commonly referred to as "The Lett Settlement".
This event which will take place as part of our Lett Settlement Famiiies Reunion and pays tribute to the early African American pioneers who began migrating as free people of color from Maryland and Virginia (in some cases as early as 1800).
The marker ceremony will take place near the visitor center of 'the Wilds' animal park which now stands on land which was stripped mined in the 60's, 70's & 80's and that was the Lett Settlement.
The Settlement not far from Zanesville but nearer to Cumberland (Guernsey County) and Zeno (Muskingum County) was a mixed race community of self sustaining people who began acquiring property and filing lawsuits for the right to vote and for their children to be educated long before the Civil War. Further, there is strong evidence which proves these families were active in the "early freedom movement". They were anti-slavery activist involved as conductors on the Underground Railroad (Tom & Mariah Pointer - Belmont County Ohio), the publication of anti slavery newspapers (Loyd Guy - "Paladium of Liberty" and the establishment of churches which were active in the anti-slavery movement (David Lett Chain Lakes Anti Slaver Free Baptist Church - Michigan).
The legacy of these long inter-connected families; Brown, Caliman, Clifford, Early, Guy, Greene, Lett, Simpson and Tate link in this case link to Bazeel Norman of Marietta Ohio who obtained his property as a result of his service in the Revolutionary War to that of Cumberland "Cap" Posey Sr., turn of the century steam engineer and riverboat captiain and riverboat caption (contracts with Andrew Carnegie)and was a co-founder of the Pittsburgh Courier Newspaper. His son Cumberland "Cum" Posey Jr. owner of the Homestead Grays of the Negro League baseball and who was recently voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Within the legacy of these families but hidden beneath the color line are cousins who were presidents of railways in the west (Nebraska). ran for governor and served on Presidential Commissions.
While this historical marker cermeony is a celebration for one small collection of families it represents in many ways recognition of a common history which all of us should share.
This history and spirit of our people and a people in pursuit of freedom has been hidden for far too long in the back rooms or bottom shelves of libraries and archives. It has been extracted and witheld from mainstream American history. This marker represents an emergence of this history and in many ways supporters of this forum are part of the re-discovery process.
If you would like more information in regards to this event please don't hesitate to contact me.
Robert Lett, Chairman
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