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The Statue Theft From Dow Park Was Not A Victimless Crime

A statue stolen last week from Dow Park is valued at around $2,000.

Those with long memories, however, know the statue has a value to the community upon which a price tag can’t be affixed.

The Underground Railroad Tableau was created by late sculptor David Poulin after a lengthy community fundraising effort led by Vivian and Lula Taylor, Isabelle Jackson, Russell Diethrick, Inez Alston, Bobby Dickey, Pat Dickey, Janet Gordon, Florence Hinson, Vickye James, Betty Johnson, Susan Kalfas, George Lawn, Paul Leone, Diane Peterson, David Shepherd, Georgiana Stewart and B. Delores Thompson. It took more than seven years to raise the money for the tableau before it was unveiled formally in June 2007.

To make a long story short, the tableau was meant to commemorate Silas Sherman, a passionate abolitionist who operated a harness and saddler’s shop on Pine Street, and Catherine Harris, a fellow Jamestown abolitionist, who helped runaway slaves on the last leg of their journey to Canada.

“It’s the merging of races,” Poulin told The Post-Journal in 2007. “People working together for a good cause. It teaches us that people need to work together more today.”

This was no victimless crime. A piece of 13 well-known, well-respected community members was stolen last week. Some of those community members are no longer with us, nor is the sculptor. A piece of their community legacy has been legacy is gone — and we hope Jamestown police officers are able to recover it before the statue is sold for scrap.

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