Remember what Concord has stood for: name middle school for Ellen Garrison

March 22, 2024

When I took the time, walking through Concord, to really appreciate the remarkable story of Ellen Garrison, I could picture that 12-year-old girl, the only African American child to march in an anti-slavery parade in the late 1830’s (hand-in-hand with a white girl). I swelled with admiration for her and her whole family: including her grandfather, freed from slavery after fighting in the Revolutionary War, and her mother, a member of the “Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society.” 

After growing up and going to school in Concord at a time when civil rights was often a topic of conversation, her family found supportive white people to work with. Ellen went on to become a teacher of newly freed slaves in the south. Her motto was: “Educate, educate, educate!” 

Later, along with another female teacher, she tested the legitimacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, when she was forcibly removed from a Whites Only waiting room in a Baltimore train station (later taking it to court). 

Courage, bravery, and strong values! I like to think that Concord people and schools helped contribute to this inspiring life and feel proud to live in such a town. I love the idea of Concord students learning her story. 

Let us remember the historic things our town has stood for and proudly vote to name our new middle school after such an American. 

Lea Delacour 

Assabet Avenue