Central Falls, RI (July 25, 2022) – Today, the Post Office in Central Falls was officially renamed the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Post Office, in honor of the late local legend Elizabeth Buffum Chace.
Mayor Maria Rivera and Former Mayor James Diossa, who helped advocate for the renaming, were joined by Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman James Langevin, Congressman David Cicilline, Governor Dan McKee, Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, members of the Rhode Island Historical Society of Blackstone Valley, members of the Chace family, and additional local community leaders and members.
The late Elizabeth Buffum Chace was a resident of Central Falls, and an antislavery activist and a pioneering advocate for women’s suffrage. She first became publicly active in opposing slavery in 1835 when she helped organize the Fall River Female Anti-Slavery Society. After moving to Valley Falls (now Central Falls) in 1840, she organized antislavery meetings and brought leading abolitionists to speak, including Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Abbey Kelley, and Wendell Phillips. She also made her home a station on the Underground Railroad.
After the Civil War ended slavery, Chace helped found the Rhode Island Women’s Suffrage Association in 1868, using her platform to address the needs of the state’s disadvantaged women and children. She also led the successful drive for the creation of the state Home and School for Dependent Children. In her later years, she became a strong reform advocate for factory workers, prisoners, and other deprived groups.
Her legacy will live on in Central Falls at the new Elizabeth Buffum Chace Post Office!