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Charles DeBerard Mills
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Birth: Jan. 15, 1821
New Hartford
Oneida County
New York, USA
Death: May 15, 1900
Onondaga County
New York, USA

The son of Abiram and Grace de Berard Mills, his father was a reform-minded Presbyterian minister, and he was sent to Oneida Institute, an abolitionist school open to both blacks and whites. From there, Mills went to Lane Seminary in Ohio, a school wracked by splits over abolitionism attracted there by Dr. Lyman Beecher and Professor Calvin E. Stowe, Beecher's son-in-law. He taught black students in the evening and spoke at anti-slavery gatherings. He returned to New York State to teach at Sherburne Academy in 1843. Ousted for his anti-slavery views, he opened a private school and then went to Ohio, this time as a minister. Again rejected for his anti-slavery activism, he started a private school in Elyria, Ohio, before moving to Syracuse in 1852

He married Harriet A. Smith at North Pitcher, NY and both taught private school at Smyrna the next winter. They moved to Ohio where they lived for six years. Ill health of Mrs. Mills led them to leave Ohio and settle in Syracuse because the foremost citizen was Samuel J. May. From the time they moved to Syracuse in 1852, Harriet and Charles made their house a gathering place for nationally-known radical abolitionists, temperance reformers, and woman's rights activists. When Rev. May was burned in effigy in Hanover Square, Mr. Mills was with him. They were mobbed and forced to escape to the home of Dr. R.W. Pease. According to obituaries, reformers such as William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Lucretia Mott stayed at this house. Obituaries and twentieth century newspaper articles also suggest that the Mills family used their home as a safe house on the underground railroad.

He was a leader of the Kennett Square meetings and presided over the annual gathering of the society of Progressive Friends in Waterloo, NY. He was general secretary of Bureau of Labor and Charities and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Syracuse. He was a member of the Syracuse Browning Club, the Fortnightly Club and the Syracuse Political Club.
Speakers at his funeral included Ms. Susan B. Anthony, Ms. Emily Howland of Sherwood, Salem Hyde, and Rev. E. W. Mundy.

Family links: 
  Harriet Smith Mills (1826 - 1928)
  William Hugh Mills (1851 - 1928)*
  Harriet May Mills (1857 - 1935)*
*Calculated relationship
North Pitcher Cemetery
Chenango County
New York, USA
Created by: Diane LM
Record added: Mar 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66531520
Charles DeBerard Mills
Added by: Diane LM
Charles DeBerard Mills
Added by: Diane LM
Charles DeBerard Mills
Cemetery Photo
Added by: hillbillywitch
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Diane LM
 Added: Feb. 2, 2013

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