FRANCES DRAKE & SHADRACH MINKINS, LEOMINSTER, MA
Abolitionists Frances and Jonathan Drake’s home in Leominster was a stop on the Underground Railroad, where in 1851 they harbored fugitive slave Shadrach Minkins as he fled to freedom in defiance of the newly enacted Fugitive Slave Law.
The Drakes were ardent and courageous foes of slavery, and also worked tirelessly for women’s rights. Frances and Jonathan helped countless other slaves escape to freedom. During his time with the Drakes, Minkins, disguised in women’s clothing, accompanied them to an anti-slavery meeting at a Leominster church. A year later as a token of his gratitude, Minkins sent the Drakes a beaded purse he had created and that is owned today by the Leominster Historical Society.
The Drake House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was recently purchased by the City of Leominster with the help of the Leominster Historical Society.