Thursday, March 23, 2006

HAPPY 207th BIRTHDAY ! - Capt. Jonathan Walker

We were very happy with the participation and support from Harwich High School students, who read, along with their teacher, Mr. Richard Houston from HHS, from books on Jonathan Walker's life.

Claire Bangert, representing Harwich Middle School, read from "The Man with the Branded Hand" written by Mabel Weeks of the Harwich High School Class of 1902. Mrs. Trudie Cutler, representing the Harwich Historical Society, read passages from A PICTURE OF SLAVERY, FOR YOUTH by Jonathan Walker, a 161 year old booklet published in 1845, and given to Mrs. Cutler by her long time friend, Emma Augustus Rogers, the great grandniece of Jonathan Walker.

Our surprise guest was Mr. John Walker, the great, great nephew of Jonathan Walker, who read a personal letter written by Jonathan Walker to his wife and family from prison in Florida. At a reception after the read-a-thon, the tall, stately Mr. Walker engaged students with stories of his grandfather, Henry Marshall Walker, who sat in Jonathan Walker's lap as a boy and touched the outline of the raised red scar tissue of the SS branded on his hand while listening to stories from faraway lands.

Harwich Celebrates Capt. Jonathan Walker'’s
207th Birthday
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006 Read-A-Thon 3:00 - 4:30 PM Brooks Free Library

Reflection and Readings from the selected writings of Capt. Jonathan Walker and the poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, as well as selections from Elmer R. Koppelmann'’s book, Branded Hand: The Struggles Of An Abolitionist, and Alvin F. Oickle'’s book, Jonathan Walker the Man with the Branded Hand. At the Brooks Free Library Wednesday, March 22nd 3:00- 4:30PM!

Capt. Jonathan Walker and many other (“come outers)” of the 19th century were Harwich abolitionists and would have been on the No Place for Hate Committee of their day!

A Branded Hand Experience !
We invite all Harwich residents to “"brand"(in non-toxic ink) one of your own hands with two initials, signifying your most important current human rights issue. As you meet others during the day, discuss the two letters on your "“branded hand"” and share your ideas for a more just world!

What issues are important to you? Perhaps you are a children'’s advocate (CA), or a friend of animals (FA), or an earth steward (ES), No Bullying! (NB)

Within Evergreen Cemetery, in Muskogee, Michigan, a pair of monuments mark the grave of Capt. Jonathan Walker, a Harwich born sea captain and abolitionist. Capt. Walker was arrested off the coast of Florida in 1844 while trying to deliver seven escaped
" “slaves "” to freedom. After being convicted in federal court, Walker's right hand was branded with the letters SS for slave stealer. He is the only man in U.S. history to have been branded by order of a federal court. He died in 1878.

Read-A-Thon: Wed. March 22nd 3 - 4:30pm
Celebrate Captain Jonathan Walker Day with a Read-a-thon at Brooks Free Library from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Read or listen to the words of Captain Walker and the story of his life.

Harwich Students are invited to visit the library after school and are welcome to participate in the read-a-thon. A Jonathan Walker birthday cake will be served!
Call us 508-432-9256 or (508) 432-4757

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