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This home is a private residence that was once home to Asa Wing, one of the most well-known and influential abolitionists in New York. Asa and his wife, Caroline were involved in the Liberty Party which made the abolition of slavery their central goal. Asa Wing was known for his abilities as a speaker and delivered numerous speeches advocating abolition. The home Asa and Catherine shared in Mexico, New York, was used as a station on the Underground Railroad for at least ten years. When Asa Wing died in 1854, Frederick Douglass, who was a close friend, delivered the eulogy. The Wing home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 and remains a private residence that is not open to the public.

The Asa and Caroline Wing House

Building, House, Sky, Tree

Little is known about the brief life of Asa Wing. He was born in 1815 and originally trained to be a Baptist minister, but as visited churches of various denominations, his thoughts apparently turned more and more toward slavery. Wing became convinced of the equality of all men and eventually became a committed abolitionist.

His wife, Catherine, with whom he had two daughters, shared his convictions. Both he and Caroline were at the Liberty Party convention in 1850 and were friends of famed abolitionist Gerrit Smith, who became the Liberty Party nominee for President. Asa Wing is also known to have joined other abolitionists in protesting the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, which made it a crime to harbor or assist a runaway slave, meaning that even in Northern states, formerly enslaved people were not safe.

During the last ten years of Wing’s life, a period when he was particularly active in the abolitionist movement, he became highly regarded for his oratory. He spoke most frequently in Mexico and the surrounding towns, but also traveled as far as Connecticut to lecture. His friend and fellow abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, who gave Wing’s eulogy, praised him for his remarkable speaking ability.

Though the Wing home is small, Asa and Caroline opened it to fugitive slaves on numerous occasions. On one occasion, they sheltered the Thompson family, a couple and their five daughters, who hoped to escape to Canada. The family stayed with the Wings for several days over the Christmas of 1850 while they attempted to find a boat captain who could be trusted to get them across Lake Ontario without betraying them to authorities. The fate of the family is unknown and it is believed that they drowned crossing the lake.

Asa Wing was in poor health for several years before his death at thirty-nine in 1854. In the last months of his life, he kept a diary detailing his abolitionist work as well as some of the escaped slaves who passed through his home.

The Wing home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is not open to the public. The link below offers an article from New York History which has more information about Asa Wing and other local abolitionists.

Wellman, Judith. “This Side of the Border: Fugitives from Slavery in Three Central New York Communities.” New York History 79, no. 4 (1998): 359–92.

Drobness, Tanya . Asa Wing's Silver Tongue Extolled Freedom, Syracuse. February 25th 2006. Accessed May 6th 2022.

Asa and Caroline Wing House , National Park Service. Accessed May 6th 2022.

Mexico Village Historic District , Living Places. Accessed May 6th 2022.