Thank you for helping us Bring Peter Home!

Thank you to everyone who helped us Bring Peter Home to Troy, NY! It was wonderful to be able to celebrate this event with everyone here this past Wednesday night.

If you were unable to attend, please take a look at this great video which was made by RCHS member Ned Abbott! Thank you, Ned!

Watch the video here:

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Many thanks to Paula Hebert as well, who took these great photos during our reception on the 30th!

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Public 'Welcome Peter Home' Party - Wednesday, May 30th!


The Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) is holding a “Welcome Peter Home!” community-wide reception on May 30th, to welcome home a rare portrait of one of Troy’s most prominent mid-19th-century citizens. The reception is open to the public and will be held 7 to 8:30 p.m. at RCHS, located at 57 Second Street, Troy.

RCHS recently acquired the historic watercolor portrait of Peter F. Baltimore which dates from the 1840s. Baltimore was a prominent member of an important free black family who came to Troy in the late 18th-early 19th century. Baltimore’s family worked as key members of the community, particularly in the area of abolition. Peter himself worked as a barber and his barbershop was a documented part of the local Underground Railroad system.

RCHS raised over $15,000 from the community to purchase the framed watercolor portrait of Peter Baltimore. Over 170 donors participated in this successful effort to “Bring Peter Home!” The original asking price for the piece was $19,500, however, the owner agreed to lower the amount as the portrait will be part of a public collection and is a rare and important piece of Troy and Rensselaer County’s History.

Come join us to celebrate Peter’s return to Troy!

Please RSVP to:, or call 518-272-7232 x 11, by Monday, May 28th.

We did it!!!

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RCHS is thrilled to announce that our fundraising effort to Bring Peter Home! has been successful and in the past day we have actually exceeded our goal of $15,000 thanks to 174 generous donors! We appreciate the generosity of each and every kind donor!

Any additional donated funds will be used for:

  • the long-term preservation of the painting;
  • the creation of high-resolution reproductions for use in educational programs in schools and other off-site locations;
  • and the development of specific educational programming related to the portrait. This will bring Peter's story to a wider public, and meets RCHS’s mission to make connections to our shared history and to “recognize every face and every story.”  

Once Peter is welcomed home, the first thing we will do will be to invite art experts and conservators to examine the watercolor portrait to assess its current condition and any needs for preservation/conservation.  This rare and significant portrait must be preserved for generations to come!

> > Stay tuned for a big celebration May 30th when we bring Peter home for good. < <

Many, many thanks to everyone who has made this possible!


Make sure to check out this great article on our success in Bringing Peter Home which is in the Times Union today:

Even Closer Now!

The response from our community in the last 48 hours to the latest article on RCHS "Bringing Peter Home to Troy" has been very heartwarming!

Our total as of 11 am on Friday, April 6th, 2018 is: $13,895.00!!!

Many thanks to Ken Crowe for the article and continued coverage!

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Final Push! Update on Peter's Progress

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Now is the time to join in and help us reach the goal to “Bring Peter Home”!

The deadline of April 23rd is fast approaching and as we make our final push to bring the rare c. 1849 portrait of Peter F. Baltimore back home to Troy.

Many thanks to the more than 115 donors who have helped us raise just over $13,000 of our $15,000 goal – now we need a few more kind people to get us over the top! Please consider a gift today!