Leonard A. Grimes

Rev. Leonard A. Grimes was the pastor of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston. On January 1, 1863, the day the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, Grimes opened up the doors to his church in the early morning hours for revelers. Frederick Douglass took part in the celebration at Grimes’ church.

“About twelve o’clock, seeing there was no disposition to retire from the hall, which must be vacated, my friend Grimes (of blessed memory), rose and moved that the meeting adjourn to the Twelfth Baptist church, of which he was pastor, and soon that church was packed from doors to pulpit, and this meeting did not break up till near the dawn of day. It was one of the most affecting and thrilling occasions I ever witnessed, and a worthy celebration of the first step on the part of the nation in its departure from the thraldom of ages.”[1]

Rev. Leonard Grimes died on March 14, 1873 at the age of 57. He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Massachusetts. It does not appear that Grimes has a gravestone of his own, but he shares a plot with his namesake son.

Cemetery GPS coordinates: 42.415657, -71.034043

[1] Frederick Douglass, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Boston: De Wolfe & Fiske Co., 1892), 429 – 430.

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