King Manor Museum

Rufus King, unsung figure of American history, helped crusade end of slavery

August 29th, 2009

This article originally appeared in the Daily News onĀ  Saturday, August 29th 2009.
BY Nicholas Hirshon
DAILY NEWS WRITER

The stately Jamaica manor of Rufus King, who helped frame the U.S. Constitution and voiced fiery, ahead-of-his-time appeals against slavery, ranks far down the list of the city’s favored tourist sites.

His role in shaping the fledgling nation likely fell into obscurity because he never ascended to the presidency – and few historians explored his accomplishments in crucial yet unsung roles as senator and ambassador to Great Britain.

But a researcher who is combing through King’s 2,200-title library – among the most extensive in early America – hopes findings about books he read and notes he took may someday vault him into the national spotlight.

“Right now, Rufus King would be considered a second-tier founding father,” admitted David Gary, 31, who is exploring King’s volumes for his doctoral dissertation. “My research is trying to make him a first-tier.” (more…)