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2024
African Americans in YS

Dunmore and Eliza Gwinn, shown here, were prominent members of the Conway-Gwinn Colony that came to Yellow Springs in 1862. The Gwinns established a residence on five acres of land in the Grinnell Road area. (Submitted photo)

‘Springs to Freedom’ to discuss, dramatize Conway Colony story

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On Sunday, July 9, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Yellow Springs will present “Springs to Freedom,” an informational and theatrical gathering concerning the history of the Conway-Gwinn Colony.

The gathering will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the UUF meeting house in Goes, two miles south of Yellow Springs; attendance is free.

In 1862, the Rev. Moncure Conway brought 32 Black Americans who had formerly been enslaved by Conway’s father, and who had relocated to Maryland, to Yellow Springs, which was known for being tolerant, progressive and open to residents of African descent. Dunmore and Eliza Gwinn were prominent members of the colony and established a residence on five acres of land in the Grinnell Road area. Dunmore Gwinn was a cofounder of what became the First Baptist Church of Yellow Springs. A historical marker commemorating the Conway Colony can be found on the bike path near Corry Street and Grinnell Road.

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Introductory speakers at the event 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, who will present biographical and personal research regarding the Gwinns; and Scott Holland, professor at Bethany Seminary, who will discuss the historical events from his scholarly and theopoetic perspective.

The theatrical portion of the program is directed by David Harewood and produced by Leigh Waltz. The 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.

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One Response to “‘Springs to Freedom’ to discuss, dramatize Conway Colony story”

  1. Matildahilda says:

    Sounds good. I must admit to looking up “theopoetic perspective” because of unfamiliarity with the term. I can appreciate the mystery aspects of the thought and will delve into it further.

    BTW, I just viewed the UUF Facebook page. Thank you for allowing me access without being signed in! Twitter no longer allows anyone to view any account without being signed in. Local media should probably let people know this so it doesn’t reflect negatively on them. It apparently is a Musk thing.

    Thank you! For this information!

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