"Cultivating Freedom: From Slave to Citizen"

Mount Gulian is pleased to share with you this video about the incredible life of James F. Brown, long-time resident of Dutchess County and employee of the Verplanck family at Mount Gulian.  Mr. Brown was born a slave in Maryland in 1793, escaped to New York, was manumitted by the Verplancks, became the master gardener and trustworthy member of the Verplanck household, and kept a journal for nearly 40 years about his life and work.

A man of great character and charisma, he was literate and religious.  His main desire was to become a full citizen and earn the right to vote, when very few African American men had that basic right.  The video, funded by the Institute of Museum Services and the New York State Council on the Arts, takes us into his life and times, and is suitable for all audiences.

This true story takes us back to a different time, but the values and struggles of that era mirror our own.

Pre and Post-Video Activity Packets, for classroom and distanced-learning use, have been designed to be compatible with the skill, educational and maturity levels of 4th, 7th, and 11th/12th graders.  For information about these resources, or if you have questions about the video, Mr. Brown or Mount Gulian, please contact us at info@mountgulian.org. or 845-831-8172.