October 10, 2020
October 10, 2020
Over a century after their deaths, details on the lives of two former slaves who settled in Birmingham, Michigan, and became esteemed members of the community were recently discovered. George and Eliza Taylor, deceased in 1901 and 1902, respectively, were the first African-Americans to own property in Birmingham. After escaping slavery in Kentucky through the underground railroad, the Taylors purchased a home on Bates Street in 1893 and became active members of United Presbyterian Church.
Unfortunately, the Taylors were buried in unmarked graves and their story was long forgotten. George Getchman, the historian who discovered the Taylors’ story, has joined with others to raise funds to sponsor a grave marker reading, “Born in slavery; died free in Birmingham.”
Maxwell Goss Law, based in Birmingham, has donated $500 for the Taylor Monument.
The firm’s owner, Maxwell Goss, learned of the effort through personal connections. “My father forwarded me an article about the Taylors and noted that they had been members of his church,” Goss said. “When I read it, I saw that the ‘local historian’ was my longtime dentist, whom I knew from our conversations to be involved with Birmingham history. And since my business is in Birmingham, it seemed only fitting to contribute to this worthy cause.”
According to The Oakland Press:
Contributions to the Taylor Monument Fund can be made online through a secure payment service with the Birmingham Museum/City of Birmingham here.
Checks can be made payable to “Friends of the Birmingham Museum-Taylor Monument Project” and mailed to: Birmingham Museum, 556 W. Maple Road, Birmingham, MI 48009.
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