The Little-Known Story of Lafayette Mason

This week we delve into the little-known story of one of the recipients given land in the Adirondack Frontier by abolitionist Gerrit Smith. The Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown has an amazing collection of records and photographs dating back more than 2 centuries to the mid-1800’s, when thousands of black men were gifted land in the Adirondacks. Farmland that abolitionist Gerrit Smith had hoped would provide them with a livelihood, and the only legal way at the time, for them to vote. Less than a hundred of the recipients actually moved to the Adirondacks, and even fewer became successful farmers. Lafayette Mason was one of them.

His story has been brought to life by historian Maggie Bartley with the Adirondack History Museum. She shares it this week with Mountain Lake PBS photographer and producer Michael Hansen.