II. ACCORD Freedom Trail Site - 56 Park Place
Home of the Reddicks - Lincolnville
This house, overlooking Maria Sanchez Lake, was built in the 1950's for a distinguished family of educators. James G. Reddick was a longtime principal of Excelsior School and his wife Maude was the supervisor of black schools in St. Augustine in the age of segregation.
Professor Reddick also edited the first black newspaper, The St. Augustine Post in the 1930's. In March 1964 four prominent women from Boston (three of them wives of Episcopal Bishops) came to St. Augustine to give their support to the civil rights movement. Two of them were guests of Mrs. Reddick at this house.
Mrs. Esther Burgess, who stayed here, was married to the first black Diocesan Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. Her companion, Mrs. Hester Campbell, who was white, was married to a former Bishop of Los Angeles then associated with the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Massachussetts.
The arrest of these women, and their friend Mrs. Mary Peabody, the 72 year old mother of the governor of Massachussetts, in two separate incidents on March 30 and March 31, at the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge north of town brought the civil rights movement in St. Augustine to international attention. For the next three months, the Ancient City was the state for a great moral drama that resulted in the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Mrs. Campbell wrote a book, Four for Freedom (1974), about the events in St. Augustine, including mention of her stay in his house.
Mrs. Burgess hoped to return to St. Augustine for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the civil rights movement in 2004, but she passed away just a couple of weeks before the event, at the age of 93.