Founded at Rochester in 1842, the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society was unique in that it welcomed as members men and women, African Americans and persons of European descent, without distinction. It held annual anti-slavery fairs at which sales of crafts, needlework, and textiles helped to fund publication of Frederick Douglass’s Rochester-based abolitionist paper, the North Star, and other abolitionist activities.
The Society operated out of the house of Isaac and Amy Post, radical Quaker reformers and activists in the Underground Railroad. When Douglass first moved to Rochester, judging it fertile ground for an ambitious black abolitionist, the Posts welcomed him into their home. In addition, the Posts hosted more escaping slaves than any other Underground Railroad activists in Rochester.
The Posts were involved in many other radical reform activities as well. In 1844, while Isaac and Amy Post resided at this location, they were listed as nonresident members of the ill-fated Sodus Bay Phalanx, which was led by the Hicksite Quaker Benjamin Fish. In 1848, Amy Post and Frederick Douglass attended the historic Woman’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York. In 1878, aged seventy-six, Amy Post attended the annual convention of the New York State Freethinkers Association held at Watkins (now Watkins Glen). When atheist publisher D. M. Bennett and two others were arrested there for selling a radical marriage reform tract, Post paid Bennett’s bail.
Location of the Post house is marked by an oddly placed historical marker. The marker is located northwest of the entrance of the Hochstein Music School, that is, at about 60 Plymouth Avenue North in contrast to the Hochstein’s entrance at 50 Plymouth Avenue North. Street numbering would suggest that the Post home, at number 36, would have been southwest of the Hochstein’s entrance, perhaps at the present location of a gated parking lot next door to the Hochstein Music School.