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Keese Homestead's historical marker replaced, unveiled

Though Peter Keese and Stephen Keese Smith have been credited for their efforts in the anti-slavery movement, the new historical marker at Peter Keese's homestead now contains one word the previous marker did not - abolitionist.

"The most important word on the sign, to me, is abolitionist," said Burdick. "That's really what tells the story about what happened here."

The evidence of Peter Keese's support of the abolition of slavery, said Papson, was in his signature on a petition for the formation of the Clinton County Anti-Slavery Society in 1837.

"We have good reason to say that he was an abolitionist," he said.

According to Papson, the Keese Homestead was one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad in New York State before fugitive slaves made their way to Canada. The slaves, explained Papson, would end up in New York City and then make their way to Albany, Troy, Glens Falls and then to Peru before heading to Champlain and crossing the border in Lacolle, Quebec.

The installation of the marker, said Papson, is "helping history to stay alive," and credited the ambition of people involved with making the marker's replacement a reality.

"This is the result of people in the community who felt a loss every time they drove by here and didn't see the sign coming together sharing their talents, their historical knowledge and their love for the Keese family," said Papson.

"The one defining feature I would say of the North Country," he added, "is that when there is a need, people come together and work together to make something happen."

State Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, R-Peru, credited the Sunderlands for their role in seeing the Keese Homestead remains a piece of history that will remain in the community for many years to come.

"The preservation they've done and what they've managed to maintain in this home over the years is absolutely nothing short of phenomenal," said Duprey. "And, how fortunate we are that they have agreed t

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