Cicilline, Langevin Bill Honoring Elizabeth Buffum Chace Passed By U.S. House

Oct 16, 2019 Issues: Rhode Island

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously today to pass legislation introduced by U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and James Langevin (RI-02), to dedicate the United States Post Office located at 575 Dexter Street in Central Falls to Elizabeth Buffum Chace, an outspoken leader of the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements in Rhode Island.

“Rhode Island would not be the same without the truly remarkable efforts of Elizabeth Buffum Chace. She was an icon who embodied the very best of our state’s values,” Cicilline said. “Honoring her legacy with this dedication will permanently memorialize her impact throughout Rhode Island, and I thank my colleagues in Congress and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa for their support for this bill.”

“Elizabeth Buffum Chace led an extraordinary life, fighting for social justice at every turn,” said Langevin. “Her work promoting women’s rights, the abolition of slavery, and prison reform has made Rhode Island, and our nation, a better place. Dedicating the Central Falls Post Office in the name of Elizabeth Buffum Chace will honor her legacy and memorialize her remarkable accomplishments.”

Elizabeth Buffum Chace was born in Providence in December of 1806 and lived her whole life in Rhode Island. She was raised by parents who were vocal opponents of slavery and went so far as to harbor fugitive slaves seeking refuge in the state. She grew up to become a leader of the abolitionist movement and also opened her home to runaway slaves.

Chace also spent much of her life fighting for women’s rights and prison reforms. She would eventually become known as the “Conscious of Rhode Island” for her passion for creating social change in the face of persecution. Chace’s legacy continues on today in the form of the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center at the Warwick Junior League Women’s Club, a shelter for women and children suffering from the ramifications of domestic violence.

The bill now heads to the United States Senate where Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have introduced a companion measure.