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Austin Steward marker unveiling calls attention to West Avenue Cemetery

The unveiling of a marker to remember a forgotten hero of the movement to abolish slavery has called attention to his resting place in the West Avenue Cemetery — a place of history that city officials say is in need of upkeep.

Austin Steward, a former slave, Rochester business owner and author of the book, “Twenty-two Years a Slave and Forty Years a Freeman,” died 150 years ago, Feb. 15, 1869. He was buried in the city where he lived out the last several years of his accomplished life.

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