Author appears in character for Amsterdam Reads event

Author Judith Redline Coopey states on her website that “The Mohawk Valley is one of my favorite places in New York State, having been brought up on historical fiction like Drums Along the Mohawk.”

Raised in Altoona, PA and now residing in Arizona, Coopey had an opportunity to visit the region this past Sunday as the Amsterdam Free Library’s Amsterdam Reads Program hosted her at the Century Club in Amsterdam. Coopey appeared in costume as the character Ann Redfield from her book Redfield Farm, the 2014 selection for the Amsterdam Reads program.

Redfield Farm talks about the life of Ann Redfield a Quaker woman who follows the path of her brother Jesse as a conductor for the Underground Railroad. Quaker families during the Civil War felt that slavery was an abomination and helped slaves escape to Canada. Coopey answered questions in character from a capacity crowd.

“We didn’t talk about it or write about it,” said Redline Coopey as Ann Redfield on the secrecy of the Underground Railroad.

Coopey also commented on the area and it’s influence in the Women’s Rights Movement and said as Redfield, that she would like to meet Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

“You should be proud of the area you are from,” she told the audience.

Following the event, Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane read a proclamation in honor of Coopey’s accomplishments. Adobi Woods of the Liberty Players also performed a song for the event.

Redfield Farm is available at the Amsterdam Free Library. Coopey will be appearing on Thursday, March 27 at the Johnstown Public Library on 38 S. Market Street at 6:30pm as part of a “Get to know the author” event.

The Amsterdam Reads program will host one more event in honor of its 2014 selection on June 3rd at Riverlink Park. Kim and Reggie Harris will perform Songs of the Underground Railroad. The event is free to the public.

Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.