Dr. Richard Eells Remembered During Black History Month
The facade of the Dr. Richard Eells House on Jersey Street in Quincy
Mett Morris leads visitors in song
Visitors examine artifacts inside of Dr. Richard Eells' house
Visitors enjoy the weather outside of Dr. Richard Eells' house
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
February is Black History Month, Quincy residents remembered one of their own who had a big impact on the underground railroad centuries ago.
From the outside, Dr. Richard Eells house looks like any other house on the street in downtown Quincy. But inside, this successful physician provided help to slaves who left to settle in free states during the mid 19th century.
"It's just a fascinating part of history to know that I'm actually standing on a spot that was part of the underground railroad," Gwendolyn Pleasant, a Quincy resident, said.
Residents gathered for song, poetry and a discussion on Dr. Eells role in the underground railroad and on Quincy's black history.
"It's not in history books," Michael Smith, a board member of the Dr. Richard Eells House, said. "You can see history on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, all the people who are... well, to be quite honest, white."
Nearly two centuries after slaves would come to Dr. Eells house for assistance, his legacy is now celebrated in the city of Quincy.
"It's risky to do something that's dangerous but can help others, and it's really never bad to do the right thing," John Cornell, the president of the Dr. Richard Eells House, said.
Throughout Black History Month, Dr. Eell's supporters said they hope that all ethnic groups realize the beauty of diversity.
"Everybody adds a different twist and a different flavor to our country, and we all need one another," W.T. Johnson, a living historian, said.
Nearly two centuries later, what was once considered a crime is now considered an act of bravery by members of the community.