Community celebrates John J. Creighton Day
— The community gathered at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center on Sunday, June 25 to celebrate John J. Creighton Day.
This year was the third celebration in honor of Creighton who passed away on May 25, 2015.
Creighton was a researcher, historian, and poet from Dorchester County. He pursued extensive research on the subject of Harriet Tubman, and was instrumental in the founding of the Harriet Tubman Organization, and eventually the newly opened Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and accompanying state and national parks.
The memory of Creighton was celebrated with some of his favorite gospel songs, led by his friends Renna McKinney and Karen Somerville, and reflections about him delivered by friends Patricia Lewis, William Jarmon, Donald Pinder, Linda Wheatley, Shirley Jackson, Christi Camper and Reverend Keith Cornish.
“Today, we’re here to celebrate John; to celebrate his legacy; to celebrate the man who gave so much to this community,” Lewis said.
Wheatley shared stories of growing up with Creighton, who she thought of as a brother, and her conversations with him about his research.
“John J. Creighton had a heart of gold,” Jackson said. “A great leader of the movement, and a very compassionate man. He was a man of many talents, and he had a role to play in the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center.”
Jackson said Creighton always went above and beyond to seek more information about Tubman, and made his monthly discussion group anxious to learn more about her and her life.
Reverend Cornish called Creighton a remarkable man, and praised his exceptional level of scholarship in his research, and his ability to share that research with others.
Several of those who shared their memories of Creighton encouraged guests to help continue his work, to strive to learn more about Tubman and to maintain her legacy in Dorchester County.
The service was concluded with praise, singing, and refreshments. John J. Creighton Day is recognized in Cambridge each year on June 25.
Karen Somerville leading guests in the singing of some of John Creighton’s favorite gospel songs.