• John Harris



Stopping Stones arts initiative is partnering with The Westport Historical Society and The 1855 Harris-Kearney House to recognize and celebrate an enslaved African-American woman named, Harriet “Hattie” Drisdom Kearney, who was just 9 years old when auctioned and purchased for $1,300 by Col. Charles E. Kearney and his family. Surrounding the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) conference, Stopping Stones will host its fourth installation ceremony on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 5:30 PM by installing a brass plaque hand-stamped with Hattie’s name, occupation and dates of enslavement. Hattie’s Stopping Stone will be placed within the walkway of The 1855 Harris-Kearney House. During the installation ceremony participants will honor her sacrifices, tell her story, note the historical context of her time and catalyze the audience to take action within their local communities.

“It is so exciting for Stopping Stones to partner with The Westport Historical Society and The 1855 Harris-Kearney House! They have done a phenomenal job preserving Hattie’s room and documenting her narrative. We look forward to memorializing her and sharing this experience with as many people from Kansas City as possible. I am so happy that the story of a cherished Kansas City resident is being told and shared widely.” said Alexandria Harris, Stopping Stones Managing Executive Director. “We are an early-stage social transformation initiative that creates historical reparations for those who were enslaved in this country. We utilize our stones as vehicles to address and heal the avoided, traumatic history of American Slavery.”

Stopping Stones has also partnered with many local organizations such as MAGIC and BLACK ARCHIVES who will present and provide readings throughout the ceremony. We look forward to seeing you at Hattie’s Stopping Stone installation ceremony held at The Westport Historical Society and The 1855 Harris-Kearney House, 4000 Baltimore Avenue, KCMO, 5:30 p. There will also be a Reception following the ceremony for all attendees. For more information please contact us by emailing info@stoppingstones.org to get involved and honor an important daughter of Kansas City.

About Stopping Stones

Stopping Stones creates historical reparations through a multi-pronged strategy that addresses the traumatic and avoided history of American slavery. Then, we seek to transform our country by catalyzing individuals to take practical, measurable steps to eliminate the negative effects of slavery that still impact the descendants of those who were enslaved.


To learn more about Stopping Stones initiative, please contact:

Sophia Babbitt, Program Manager sophia@stoppingstones.org office: 802.923.1514

The Westport Historical Society: westporthistorical@gmail.com; 913-231-6749; 816-561-1821


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Due to COVID-19 pandemic as local guidelines allow, we are open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 1-5 pm, with the last tour beginning at 4:15 pm. 

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A Place in History

The Harris-Kearney House and Westport Historical Society are members of The Santa Fe Trail Association.  The Harris-Kearney House is a designated historic site on the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails. Travelers along these trails would stop in "West Port" before "jumping off!"  We make efforts to conserve the history of these trails for generations to come!

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