The Lemmon Slave Case Exhibit Now Open in the County Courthouse

Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh, New York State Supreme Court Judge Frank Caruso and Bob Richardson, President of the Niagara County Bar Association, today announced the opening of a panel exhibit, The Lemmon Case: 1852-1860, A Prelude to the Civil War, in the rotunda of the Niagara County Courthouse, 175 Hawley Street in Lockport.  The exhibit, presented by the Historical Society of the New York Courts, will be on display from October 17 through October 28 at the courthouse and is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Lemmon Case: 1852-1860, A Prelude to the Civil War exhibit, which highlights this landmark Court of Appeals case, features a video narration by James Earl Jones with an introduction by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. The exhibit is intended to educate the public on the role of the New York courts in paving the way for the abolition of slavery. Through the facts of the case, we learn how the courts helped free eight enslaved young women and children who sailed into New York harbor with their owners from Virginia. The New York courts’ ruling was in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision of 1857, and it represented the most unyielding statement made against slavery by any court in the United States prior to the Civil War.