The Courier Building was built in 1844, and was known as the Frazee Block. It was renamed Courier Building in October of 1856. Despite major alterations to the building, the historically important balcony remains intact on the Montgomery Street side. Daniel Webster gave his famous “Syracuse Speech” from this balcony on May 26, 1851. Webster warned local abolitionists that aiding and abetting fugitive slaves would be considered treasonous.
A clipping from the Standard Newspaper of Daniel Webster giving his Syracuse Speech
Shortly after that speech, Syracusans, demonstrating what they thought of Webster and the Fugitive Slave Act, defied the extradition law and rescued a fugitive slave named Jerry from federal marshals and shepherded him through the Underground Railroad to safety in Canada.
Formerly known as the Frazee Block, The Courier Building was renamed for the newspaper it housed beginning in 1856.
The Courier Building housed a newspaper office
During the Civil War it was widely regarded as a Copperhead paper because of its anti-war stance, and once was even attacked by an angry group of civilians. It remained very Democratic in its reporting opinions throughout the entire duration of its publication. The Courier Newspaper underwent several name changes throughout its 49 years of service. It first formed as the Syracuse Daily Courier, then it became the Syracuse Daily Courier and Union around the end of the American Civil War, and finally the Syracuse Courier and Union just a few years after that. All three of these papers were printed in the Courier Building. The last two incarnations, The Syracuse Courier and the Syracuse Telegram and Courier, were located in a plant on East Genesee Street.