What Houses In Cincinnati Were Part Of The Underground Railroad? (The answer is found)

Lost City: Underground Railroad Sites

  • Wilson House. 1502 Aster Place, College Hill, 1849–1852*
  • Allen Temple. Multiple private Bucktown abodes, 1808–1865.
  • Union Baptist Church.
  • Zion Baptist Church.
  • Zebulon Strong Home.
  • John Van Zandt Home.
  • The Ladies Anti-Slavery Sewing Society.
  • Homes of Charles B.

Where was the Underground Railroad located in Ohio?

  • The stories of the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati remain a dominant and important piece of history in Ohio. Who founded the Underground Railroad? Who was part of the Underground Railroad?

What were the safe houses that were a part of the Underground Railroad called?

These were called “stations,” “safe houses,” and “depots.” The people operating them were called “stationmasters.” There were many well-used routes stretching west through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa.

Where was the Underground Railroad in Ohio?

The main entry point to Ohio was along the Ohio River and most notably was a small community called Ripley where John Rankin and a small group assisted 1000s of escaping slaves and started them on their journey on the Underground Railroad.

Where did the Underground Railroad have safe houses?

In the years leading up to the Civil War, the black abolitionist William Still offered shelter to hundreds of freedom seekers as they journeyed northward.

Where is William Still House?

This led him and his wife Letitia to move to a relatively new rowhouse on the east side of Ronaldson Street between South and Bainbridge Streets, which still stands today at 625 S. Delhi Street. The Stills occupied this house, which was an Underground Railroad Way Station, from 1850 through 1855.

What cities did the Underground Railroad go through?

In the decades leading up to the American Civil War, settlements along the Detroit and Niagara Rivers were important terminals of the Underground Railroad. By 1861, some 30,000 freedom seekers resided in what is now Ontario, having escaped slave states like Kentucky and Virginia.

Did Ohio have slaves?

Slavery was abolished in Ohio in 1802 by the state’s original constitution. When Virginian John Randolph’s 518 slaves were emancipated and a plan arose to settle them in southern Ohio, the population rose up in indignation.

What did Ohio do in the Underground Railroad?

Ohio served as the northern “trunk line” of the Underground Railroad, a system of secret routes used by free people in the North & South to help slaves escape to freedom. Escape routes developed throughout Ohio with safe houses where slaves could be concealed during the day.

Was there any slavery in Ohio?

Although slavery was illegal in Ohio, a number of people still opposed the ending of slavery. Many of these people also were opposed to the Underground Railroad. Some people attacked conductors on the Underground Railroad or returned fugitives from slavery to their owners in hopes of collecting rewards.

Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?

Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.

Where did the slaves go after the Underground Railroad?

They eventually escaped either further north or to Canada, where slavery had been abolished during the 1830s. To reduce the risk of infiltration, many people associated with the Underground Railroad knew only their part of the operation and not of the whole scheme.

Where did Harriet Tubman live in Philly?

From the outside, 625 South Delhi Street looks like an average Philadelphia rowhouse. But in the 1850s, it was home to Underground Railroad leaders William and Letitia Still. Within the house’s narrow confines, they hid hundreds of escapees and gave well-known figures like Harriet Tubman shelter.

Was Philadelphia part of the Underground Railroad?

Philadelphia, home of the 17th-century Quaker abolitionist movement and the city where a young Harriet Tubman found freedom, played a vital role in the Underground Railroad.

What made William still famous?

William Still is best known for his self-published book The Underground Railroad (1872) where he documented the stories of formerly enslaved Africans who gained their freedom by escaping bondage. As an abolitionist movement leader, William Still assisted hundreds of enslaved Africans to escape from slavery.

Aboard the Underground Railroad-Samuel and Sally Wilson House

Samuel and Sally Wilson House Photograph courtesy of the Ohio Historical SocietyHistoric sketch of the Wilson House Photograph courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society
From the 1840s to the 1870s, well-to-do merchants and businessmen movedto the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati, making it a prestigiousrural village characterized by large homes on spacious lots. The presenceof two colleges in College Hill attracted abolitionist Presbyterian educators.These educational opportunities attracted Samuel and Sally Wilson, Presbyterianswho had been criticized while living in Reading, Ohio, for their abolitionistview. Two of their seven children had previously attended theCaryAcademyin College Hill and in 1848 their daughter Mary became a charterfaculty member of theOhio Female Collegethere, which admittedwomen and employed female faculty.The Wilsons built their Greek Revival home in College Hill in 1849,after which it became a station on the Underground Railroad until atleast 1852. During these years, ten members of the family lived in thehouse, including four adult children, three grandchildren, and an aunt.In this house the Wilson family made important contributions to thehistory of the community through their leadership in American educational,religious, political and civic events. The abolitionist efforts of threeof the adult children, Mary Jane Wilson Pyle, Harriet Nesmith Wilson,and Joseph Gardner Wilson, are documented in many sources. Mary, widowedin 1848, had been teaching at the College since then, while the youngestdaughter Harriet taught in local public schools for 30 years, and livedat the Wilson house from 1849 until her death at age 95 in 1920. Theyoungest son Joseph was also a local professor, and lived at home until1852. Joseph collected apparel from the families of this students andcooperated in obtaining disguises for runaways.While the other four adults who lived in the house are not mentionedby name in existing documentation, they probably assisted fugitive slavesduring the years that the house was used as a station. A local publicationby the Cincinnati Historic Society states “All the Wilson childrenwere active in the abolitionist movement and aided many Blacks to maketheir way north by supplying food, clothing, and a hiding place.”In the early 20th century several groups of elderly African Americanmen returned to the house and asked to see the cellar where they hadonce hidden and recognized the Wilson’s former housekeeper, ChristineGramm, still living at house where she had first been employed in the1850s. An extensive letter written by Harriet Wilson in 1892 describesher family’s efforts helping slaves escape through College Hill. Onone occasion when pursuers were headed to College Hill to search forrunaway slaves, Harriet state “The women being ‘entertained’ byour family were terribly frightened declaring ‘that they would die ratherthan be taken and carried back.’ Though quite large in size they wereready and willing to crawl through a small aperture into a dark cellarwhere they would be safe.” She states that her sister Mary “wasfor many years a teacher.and were living could give you vivid picturesof the workings of the Underground R.R., for but a few who traveledby it to College Hill, but who were encouraged by her words of cheerand aided by her helping hand.” Harriet worked in Cincinnati andreturned to College Hill on the weekends. Prior to her trip home onFriday evenings, she was given the number of slaves enroute to CollegeHill so the “stations” were ready for their arrival. She recallsthat “frequently, when at home on Saturday and asking for somearticle of clothing, I would receive the reply, ‘Gone to Canada.'”After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Harriet recalledthat “the work had become too well known. it was deemed wiserto have it carried on by other less exposed routes so in the years immediatelypreceding the civil war, there were comparatively none coming to theHill yet those interested in the cause of human rights did their partfinancially to help in the work. “The Samuel and Sally Wilson House is located at 1502 Aster Place,in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is a private residence, and is not open to thepublic.Previous|Listof Sites|Home|Next

Underground Railroad – Ohio History Central

According to Ohio History Central This snapshot depicts the “Freedom Stairway,” which consists of one hundred stairs going from the Ohio River to the John Rankin House in Ripley, which served as a station on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Presbyterian clergyman and educator John Rankin (1793-1886) spent most of his time working for the abolitionist anti-slavery struggle. The home features various secret rooms, some of which were used to hide freedom fighters. An illuminated sign was erected in front of the home to signal that it was safe for anyone seeking freedom to approach it.

  • An underground railroad system of safe homes and hiding places that assisted freedom seekers on their journeys to freedom in Canada, Mexico, and other countries outside of the United States was known as the Underground Railroad (UR).
  • Although it is unknown when the Underground Railroad had its start, members of the Society of Friends, often known as the Quakers, were actively supporting freedom seekers as early as the 1780s, according to historical records.
  • As early as the late 1700s, slavery was outlawed in the vast majority of Northern states.
  • African Americans were forced to flee the United States in order to genuinely achieve their freedom.
  • Despite the fact that slavery was outlawed in Ohio, some individuals were still opposed to the abolition of the institution.
  • Many of these individuals were adamantly opposed to the Underground Railroad.
  • Other people attempted to restore freedom seekers to their rightful owners in the aim of receiving prizes for their efforts.

Over three thousand slaves were rescued from their captors and granted freedom in Canada thanks to the efforts of Levi Coffin, a Cincinnati man who lived in the late 1840s and early 1850s.

His house was perched on a three hundred-foot-high hill with a panoramic view of the Ohio River.

He gave the freedom seekers with sanctuary and kept them hidden until it was safe for them to proceed farther north in their quest for independence.

These individuals, as well as a large number of others, put their lives in danger to aid African Americans in their journey to freedom.

They typically chose to live in communities where there were other African Americans.

A total of eight communities along the Lake Erie shoreline served as embarkation locations for the freedom seekers’ journey to Canada, including Ashtabula, Painesville, Cleveland, Sandusky, Toledo, Huron, Lorain, Conneaut, and Conneaut.

It is still unknown exactly how the Underground Railroad came to be known by that moniker.

In 1831, a freedom seeker called Tice Davids fled from his slave owners in Kentucky, where he had been held since birth.

Davids had arrived at the coast only a few minutes before him. Following the arrival of his boat, the holder was unable to locate Davids and concluded that he “must have gone off on a subterranean path.”

See Also

  1. “The Hippocrene Guide to the Underground Railroad,” by Charles L. Blockson, et al. Hippocrene Books, New York, NY, 1994
  2. Levi Coffin, Hippocrene Books, New York, NY, 1994. Levi Coffin’s recollections of his time as the rumored President of the Underground Railroad. Arno Press, New York, NY, 1968
  3. Dee, Christine, ed., Ohio’s War: The Civil War in Documents, New York, NY, 1968. Ohio: A Four-Volume Reference Library on the History of a Great State (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007)
  4. Fess, Simeon D., ed. Ohio: A Four-Volume Reference Library on the History of a Great State (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007). Gara, Larry, and Lewis Publishing Company, 1937
  5. Chicago, IL: Lewis Publishing Company. The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad is a documentary film about the Underground Railroad. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1961
  6. Ann Hagedorn, ed., Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1961. Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad is a book about the heroes of the Underground Railroad. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002
  7. Roseboom, Eugene H. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002
  8. The period from 1850 to 1873 is known as the Civil War Era. The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom (Columbus, OH: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1944)
  9. Siebert, Wibur H. “The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom.” RussellRussell, New York, 1898
  10. Siebert, Wilbur Henry, New York, 1898. Ohio was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Lesick, Lawrence Thomas
  11. Arthur W. McGraw, 1993
  12. McGraw, Arthur W. The Lane Rebels: Evangelicalism and Antislavery in Antebellum America is a book about the Lane family who were antislavery activists in the antebellum era. Roland M. Baumann’s book, The Scarecrow Press, was published in 1980 in Metuchen, NJ. The Rescue of the Oberlin-Wellington Train in 1858: A Reappraisal Oberlin, OH: Oberlin College Press, 2003
  13. Levi Coffin and William Still, editors. Fleeing for Freedom: Stories of the Underground Railroad is a collection of short stories about people fleeing for freedom. Ivan R. Dee Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, 2004.
See also:  Which College In Indiana Has Tunnel Underground Railroad Tracks? (The answer is found)

Underground Railroad

SubjectCategories IndexCincinnati HistoryLibrary and Archives
In the years after the Civil War, stories of an Underground Railroad that helped runaway slaves travel north to safety and freedom came to rank among the most popular elements of local legend. They were also among the most exaggerated, misunderstood and difficult to document.Since it was against the law to assist escaping slaves, it was necessary to conceal the activities of the Underground Railroad, and due to this secrecy, much of what is known about it today was recorded many years after the events took place.
Contrary to legend, no tunnels burrowed under the Ohio River and no highly organized institution existed to spirit runaways northward. Most importantly, the idea that runaways were helpless cargo in the caring hands of highly principled and fearless whites distorted reality.The Underground Railroad was an informal network operated by both whites and blacks.
The role of free blacks in the activities of the Underground Railroad is often underestimated.Runaway slaves often found assistance from fellow blacks, who rarely trusted even well known abolitionists with news that a new group of slaves was passing through. In a letter to Lewis Tappan in February 1837,James G. Birney, publisher of the abolitionist newspaperThe Philanthropist, speaking of runaways passing through Cincinnati, commented that “the Slaves are escaping in great numbers through Ohio to Canada. � Such matters are almost uniformly managed by the colored people.I know nothing of them generally till they are past.”In Cincinnati, there were three local black churches that provided a safe haven for those who were seeking freedom.These religious institutions wereAllen Temple A.M.E. Church,Union Baptist Church, andZion Baptist Church. Levi Coffin Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, 1876Cincinnati History Library and ArchivesCincinnati Museum Center
There were also whites in Cincinnati who assisted escaping slaves, and the most noted of these individuals was Levi Coffin.Coffin began actively participating in the Underground Railroad while living in Indiana. After moving to Cincinnati in 1847, he and his wife thought their work with assisting runaway slaves was over.But as Coffin later wrote in hisReminiscences, “we were soon fully initiated into the management of Underground Railroad matters in Cincinnati and did not lack for work.Our willingness to aid the slaves was soon known and hardly a fugitive came to the city without applying to us for assistance.”
John RankinThe Soldier, the Battle, and the Victoryby Andrew Ritchie, 1852Cincinnati History Library and ArchivesCincinnati Museum Center Ohio was a major player in the Underground Railroad.Of the estimated 100,000 slaves who escaped the South, approximately 40,000 of them are believed to have traveled through Ohio.In addition to Levi Coffin, others in southwest Ohio provided assistance along the road to freedom.To the north of the city, the home of Samuel and Sally Wilson in College Hill served as an Underground Railroad station.In Clermont County there were a number of stations, including the home of Robert Fee in Moscow.Further east in Ripley, John Parker, a former slave, and the Reverend John Rankin were also well-known conductors on the Underground Railroad.
To learn more about the Underground Railroad,consult the following resources: Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground RailroadBy Ann HagedornGeneral 973.7115 H141This work discusses the role Ripley, Ohio played in the Underground Railroad and looks at various local participants, including the Reverend John Rankin and John Parker.View catalog recordRequest slip
Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad By J. Blaine Hudson General f973.7115 H885eView catalog recordRequest slip
Fleeing for Freedom: Stories of the Underground Railroad as told by Levi Coffin and William StillEdited with an introduction by George and Willene HendrickGeneral 973.7115 F594View catalog recordRequest slip
Freedom�s Struggle: A Response to Slavery from the Ohio Borderlands By Gary L. Knepp General 973.7115 K68This book explores Clermont County�s role in the antislavery movement.View catalog recordRequest slip
Front Line of Freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley By Keith P. Griffler General 973.7115 G855View catalog recordRequest slip
Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland By J. Blaine Hudson General f973.7115 H885View catalog recordRequest slip
His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad By John P. Parker General B P241View catalog recordRequest slip
John P. Parker: Black Abolitionist Entrepreneur, 1827-1900 By Louis Weeks inOhio History, Vol. 80, No. 2, Spring 1971, pages 155‑162General q977.1 O37apView catalog recordRequest slip
Levi Coffin, Quaker:Breaking the Bonds of Slavery in Ohio and Indiana By Mary Ann YannessaGeneral B C675yView catalog recordRequest slip
My Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A College Hill Sourcebook of Black History By the College Hill Historical Society Pamphlets f977.14 C697bView catalog recordRequest slip
The Mysteries of Ohio�s Underground RailroadsBy Wilbur Henry Siebert General 326.973 S571 View catalog recordRequest slip
Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the Reputed President of the Underground RailroadBy Levi CoffinGeneral B C675 View catalog recordRequest slip
The Reverend John Rankin: Early Ohio Antislavery LeaderBy Larry Gene WilleyThesis fB R211w View catalog recordRequest slip
The Soldier, the Battle, and the Victory: Being a Brief Account of the Work of Rev. John Rankin in the Anti-Slavery Cause By Andrew Ritchie R.B. B R211View catalog recordRequest slip
Traveling the Underground Railroad: A Visitor�s Guide to More than 300 SitesBy Bruce ChadwickGeneral 973.7115 C432 View catalog recordRequest slip
The Underground Railroad: Legend and RealityBy Larry Gara inTimeline, Vol. 5, No. 4, August/September 1988, pages 18‑31 General q977.1 T583 View catalog recordRequest slip
A Woman�s Life Work: Including Thirty Years� Service on the Underground Railroad and in the WarBy Laura S. HavilandGeneral B H3881 View catalog recordRequest slip
Sources Used for Historical Sketch:
  • Cincinnati is known as “The Queen City.” The general f977.14 H964, which was published in 1996. Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Levi Coffin
  • Cincinnati History Library and Archives. Levi Coffin’s recollections of his time as the rumored President of the Underground Railroad. General B C675 is a kind of general. Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center
  • sDumond, Dwight L., ed.Letters of James Gillespie Birney, 1831-1857. B619. B619. B619. B619. Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Brunsman, Barrett J. Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Brunsman, Barrett J. “Clermont County was a major artery for the Underground Railroad,” says the author. The Cincinnati Enquirer published an article on April 4, 2011, page C4 on Johnston. Many sites in the region have historical connections to the Underground Railroad, and many of them are within walking distance of home.” Marsh, Betsa, and the Cincinnati Enquirer, August 16, 2004, pages C1 and C5
  • Cincinnati Enquirer, August 16, 2004, pages C1 and C5. “Ohio is the Gateway to the Underground Railroad.” Page F4 of the Cincinnati Enquirer on June 1, 2008
Copyright © 2004-2020 Cincinnati Museum Center. All Rights Reserved.Images not to bereproduced without written authorization. This online guide opened on February 10, 2004.

10 Historic Homes That Were Part of the Underground Railroad

Cincinnati is known as the “Queen City” because of its queen. f977.14 H964, 1996, general information. CHL&A, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati History Library & Archives, Levi Coffin Levi Coffin’s recollections of his time as the alleged President of the Underground Railroad are included. General B C675 is a kind of B C675 that is used in the military. Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center; Dumond, Dwight L., ed., Letters of James Gillespie Birney, 1831-1857. Dumond, Dwight L., ed., Letters of James Gillespie Birney, 1831-1857.

B619.

B619.

Betsa Marsh’s article appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer on August 16, 2004, pages C1 and C5.

Welcome to the “President’s” House

2 out of 11 A total of 2,000 runaway slaves were harbored and assisted by Levi Coffin, the unofficial “president” of the Underground Railroad, during their escape to a better life in the North. His residence in Fountain City, Indiana, came to be known as the “Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad because of the number of people that passed through it. His involvement in attempts to offer assistance to newly freed slaves grew throughout the Civil War, and he was elected to represent the United States at the International Anti-Slavery Conference in Paris in 1867.

A Family Affair

3 out of 11 During the 1850s, the Johnson family played a significant part in the anti-slavery campaign in the city of Philadelphia. The five siblings and their wives utilized their home, as well as the homes of neighbors and other relatives, to house fleeing slaves during the Civil War. Activists in the American Anti-Slavery Society and Germantown Freedmen’s Aid Association, the Johnsons were among the most renowned abolitionists of their day, and they were also members of the United States Congress.

Quiet Resistance

Wilson, abolitionists of African descent, 4/11 Upon moving to Oberlin, Ohio in 1854, Bruce Evans and his brother Henry Evans set up shop as cabinetmakers, earning a living off their craftsmanship. During the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858, 37 inhabitants of the town rescued a caught runaway slave and assisted him in escaping to Canada via the Underground Railroad.

They were among those who took part in the rescue. The Evans house was a popular resting place for passengers on the railroad, including Harriet Tubman, who was known as the “conductor.” Wikimedia Commons image courtesy ofMatthew.kowal

Wayside Cabin

5 out of 11 The Mayhew Cabin is the sole certified Underground Railroad site in Nebraska, and it is located in the town of Mayhew. Abolitionist John Brown was a close friend of Mrs. Mayhew’s younger brother, John Henry Kagi, who had strong anti-slavery sentiments and became a close companion of the family. When Brown and Kagi released 11 slaves in 1859, they concealed them in different sites around Nebraska City, including Kagi’s sister’s cabin and numerous other surrounding areas, until the fugitives were able to escape to Canada.

A Grand Depot

6th of November James Jordan, a staunch abolitionist who had fled his home Virginia in the 1840s, eventually settled in Iowa. His initial house in the region was a simple lean-to, but in 1850 he began construction of a stately residence for his wife and their six children, who were living at the time. Jordan’s family grew to include 11 children as the family’s majestic Victorian home in West Des Moines, Iowa, was expanded over the years. Jordan served as the county’s “principal conductor” on the Underground Railroad, and the enormous residence became a popular stop for travelers on the Underground Railroad.

Goddesshanna’s photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hospitable Homestead

7th of November The Jackson Homestead, a Federal-style structure in Newton, Massachusetts, was constructed in 1809 to lodge fugitive slaves on their passage to freedom in Canada. During his time in Congress (1833-1837), the house’s owner, William Jackson, was also a member of Congress. Even after his death in 1855, his family remained actively involved in abolitionist movements. His widow established the Freedmen’s Aid Society in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1865. In related news, preservationists are attempting to cool down seven historic landmarks, according to Wikimedia Commons via Historic Newton.

The Busy Abolitionist

Eighteenth-century cottage near Osawatomie, Kansas, which is now the home of the John Brown Museum, was the residence of Reverend Samuel Adair and his wife Florella, who happened to be the half-sister of abolitionist John Brown. 8 /11 Brown made use of the cottage when he was staying with his sister as a base of operations. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad, and it’s thought that the family used the rear chamber to hide escaped slaves during the Civil War. This is only one of a number of John Brown locations in the surrounding region.

Welcoming Guests

Eighteenth-century cottage near Osawatomie, Kansas, which is now the home of the John Brown Museum, was the residence of Reverend Samuel Adair and his wife Florella, who happened to be the half-sister of abolitionist John Brown. Brown made use of the cottage when he was staying with his sister as a base of operation.

Moreover, it served as a stop on the Underground Railroad, and it’s thought that in the rear room, the family concealed fleeing slaves. Several John Brown sites may be found in the surrounding region. courtesy ofBwheelerrtrm on Wikimedia Commons.

Speaking Out

ten and eleven Over a 15-year period, Seth M. Gates provided safe haven for fleeing slaves in the cellar and attic of his Warsaw, New York, residence. During that period, he also served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for five years. Gates was an ardent abolitionist who once had a $500 reward placed on his head by a Southern planter who was fed up with his meddling in his business. Related: 12 Historic Homes You Can Visit from the Comfort of Your Own Couch Wikimedia Commons image courtesy of Pubdog

Famed Author and Abolitionist

In 1873, more than 20 years after completing her most famous book, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, moved to this Cincinnati, Ohio, house with her husband and two adult children. The house is now known as the Stowe House Museum. The Harriet Beecher Stowe House was not a station on the Underground Railroad, but it was the home of a prominent author who used her platform to draw attention to the suffering of slaves seeking freedom for themselves and their families. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Greg5030.

Don’t Miss!

11 /11Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, settled in this Cincinnati, Ohio, house in 1873 with her husband and two adult children, more than 20 years after penning her most famous novel. She was the first woman to do so. It was not a station on the Underground Railroad, but it was the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was known for shining a light on the misery of slaves seeking liberation for themselves and their families. thanks to Greg5030 on Wikimedia Commons

Glendale’s history as Underground Railroad site being commemorated with new tour

A GLENDALE, Ohio, man has been charged with murder. The homes in Glendale have a unique ability to transport you back in time. Spectacular Post-Colonial and Greek Revival style mansions, such as those on East Fountain Avenue and Sharon Road, conjure up images of what life would have been like in the area’s earliest days, during the mid-1800s. Residents and historians have long suspected that these residences were Underground Railroad stations, and their suspicions have been confirmed. As you approach the houses from the street level, you are drawn in by their majestic columns and shutters, many chimneys, and magnificent stonework.

  1. To date, there has been no official documentation or commemoration of Glendale’s history as a hotspot for anti-slavery movement throughout the nineteenth century.
  2. “We’re in a town where people are quite resistant to change,” Bill Parrish explained.
  3. Parrish is organizing the project.
  4. Parrish and his crew want to have the self-guided walking tour up and running by next February, according to Parrish.
  5. In fact, I believe it is something that the locals should be proud of, in both black and white.
  6. Even while he believes some individuals in the neighborhood are embarrassed by their involvement in the Underground Railroad, he believes that commemorating Glendale’s role in the Underground Railroad provides the town an opportunity to heal together.
  7. Parrish and his colleagues believe it is vital to remember Glendale’s history from the age of slavery in an open and accessible manner for all members of the community, according to Parrish.
  8. “This is a neighborhood that we adore,” Parrish added.
  9. “So we recently discovered that this was one of the factors.
  10. Everything I’m doing is aimed at making the past more visible and allowing people to “connect” with it.” Photograph courtesy of Bill Parrish The entrance to the tunnel, which is located at the Samuel B.
  11. The presence of a chamber placed underground at this location, as well as the presence of the tunnel, suggest a connection to the Underground Railroad.

According to Michelle Parrish, another Glendale resident who also happens to be Bill Parrish’s former sister-in-law, “I simply think there is a rich history here with so many things that just haven’t come to light.” People who were not born and nurtured in Glendale, according to her, are well positioned to benefit from historical programs such as the Underground Railroad tour, she added.

He and his creative team are still in the very early phases of developing the concept, according to Bill Parrish, author of ” An Underground Community: How Blacks Settled in the Historic Village of Glendale.” Their objective is to establish around 10 to 15 tour sites that would represent the village’s Railroad, which would include tunnels and residences with secret subterranean passageways.

  1. The trip will begin and end on East Fountain Avenue.
  2. The trip will take visitors to the sites of the Underground Railroad.
  3. Taylor was a medical worker who was killed while sleeping in her home when police raided her home.
  4. Glendale is well-known for its history as an Underground Railroad stop, which dates back to the late 1800s.
  5. In Harriet Beecher Stowe’s seminal 1852 book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” at least one of the village’s real-life residents, Glendale’s Underground Train Conductor John Van Zandt, and his residence, a railroad station named the Eliza house, were dramatized.
  6. Photograph courtesy of Bill Parrish As the conductor of Glendale’s Underground Railroad, John Van Zandt is well-known in the community.
  7. Piermont, which originally situated on the corner of Chester Road, were the busiest stops.

Supreme Court lawsuit in which he was accused of harboring slaves, Van Zandt died while incarcerated in jail in 1847.

In Cincinnati, Stowe aided anti-slavery groups and provided support to fugitive slaves through the Underground Railroad network, which he established there.

During the tour, Parrish stated that an interactive website on Glendale’s Underground Railroad history, as well as the history of other neighboring Underground Railroad sites like as Sharonville and Springboro, will be created.

Parrish’s excitement for the idea is shared by the village’s leaders.

“We are quite proud of our history,” he said.

The notion of promoting Glendale’s history is welcomed, according to Lofty, who added, “Anyone who comes up with a proposal that helps promote Glendale’s history will be warmly welcomed.” “To be quite honest, I believe that African American history in relation to the Underground Railroad has not received the attention it deserves, and so we were excited about the prospect of putting something together that would raise awareness of this really significant aspect of our history.” Photograph courtesy of Bill Parrish Wallace Shelton, shown here with his wife, was another important train conductor who collaborated with Van Zandt on several projects.

  1. In his role as pastor of multiple churches in the region, Shelton utilized his influence to further the abolitionist movement.
  2. “The other thing that is so interesting about Mr.
  3. “History is something that is always engaging for, especially for, newcomers and new learners,” said David Lumsden, Glendale’s assistant village administrator.
  4. He recognizes the Underground Railroad initiative as a learning opportunity for everyone, including himself, and says that anybody may benefit from it.
  5. “I’m looking forward to learning more about Black history,” Cordes added.
  6. “I’m simply relieved to see that the village has come to terms with this.” “It appears to have been a lengthy path to get to this point,” said Libby Hambrick, a member of the ECAC board of directors.
  7. Charley Pierce, a long-time collaborator with Parrish on his historical endeavors, expressed opinions that were similar to those expressed by Hambrick.

In the past, they haven’t been receptive; however, in recent months, they have been receptive, which is a significant step forward.

Although this is the case, today’s people complain that the village’s documentation and remembrance of its past related to race, African-American personalities, and slavery are both woefully inadequate.

Later in the statement, the official stated that a private sponsor has made a financial commitment to cover the majority of the project’s expenditures, but that discussions for further financial assistance are still underway.

Prior to the desegregation of Glendale public schools in 1958, the schoolhouse functioned as a Black children’s only classroom in the community.

A public auction on the property resulted in the sale of the building by the community to an architect from Over-the-Rhine in 2018.

Parrish’s efforts to buy the building are still underway, but he is now focusing his attention on a more important goal: leaving a positive legacy in his home community.

“The structures will all be demolished at some time in the future.

This is not about me or what I’m doing at all.

If we don’t, a new narrative is being created right in front of our very eyes,” says the author.

She is a member of our Report For America journalism program, which is financed by donations.

Please let us know if there are any stories regarding gentrification in the greater Cincinnati region that you believe we should cover.

Send us your ideas at [email protected] or on Facebook. Scripps Media, Inc. retains ownership of the copyright and reserves all rights. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written permission of the author.

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A GLENDALE, Ohio, man was arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday. There is something about the houses in Glendale that takes you back in time. East Fountain Avenue and Sharon Road, with their large, attractive Post-Colonial and Greek Revival style mansions, conjure up images of what life was like in the city’s early days in the mid-1800s. These images are based on historical records. The assumption that these dwellings were Underground Railroad stations has long existed among residents and historians who have observed them.

  1. They may have served as hideaways for fugitive slaves within the vast abolitionist network, as evidenced by their underground rooms and passages.
  2. Following the example of a local citizen, a group of village residents is currently working to remember Glendale’s past as an Underground Railroad stop in a way that they believe has been long overdue, and which they believe has been long overdue.
  3. Parrish is organizing the endeavor.
  4. Organizers want to have the self-guided walking tour available by next February, according to Parrish.
  5. The fact that some individuals in the neighborhood are embarrassed of Glendale’s participation in the Underground Railroad, he believes, provides an opportunity for the entire town to come together and heal as a result of this.
  6. A total of roughly 10 people from the surrounding community have volunteered their time to assist with the project, including ECAC board members.
  7. This project has the potential to break Glendale’s culture of being reticent to publicly confront the darker, more nuanced portions of its past in terms of racism towards African Americans, which has persisted for many years now.
  8. He said, “However, we are attempting to assist it in growing.” The fact that this was one part is all we knew at the time.” It is not our intention to poke somebody in the eye with a sharp object, though.
  9. The entrance to the tunnel, which is located at the Samuel B.
  10. The presence of a chamber placed underground at this location, as well as the presence of the tunnel, suggest a link to the Underground Railroad.

In the words of Michelle Parrish, another Glendale resident who also happens to be Bill Parrish’s ex-sister-in-law, “I simply think there is a rich history here with so many things that haven’t come to light.” It is those who were not born and reared in Glendale who will gain the most from historical programs like as the Underground Railroad trip, according to the historian.

He and his creative team are still in the very early phases of developing the concept, according to Bill Parrish, author of “An Underground Community: How Blacks Settled in the Historic Village of Glendale.” Their objective is to establish around 10 to 15 tour sites that would represent the village’s Railroad, which would include tunnels and homes with subterranean hideaways, as well as other attractions.

  • The trip is planned to stop at various locations including Oak Street, Chester Road, West Fountain Avenue, and Laurel Road in addition to East Fountain Avenue and Sharon Road, among others.
  • The concept for the trip came about as a result of that discussion series.
  • A handful of locals came up with the idea, which was one of several that they felt could be implemented immediately to make a meaningful difference in their community’s response to racism.
  • During the period when the Railroad was in operation, most of Glendale’s citizens were rich white people, and a major percentage of the city backed the abolitionist cause.
  • Bill Parrish provided the image.
  • During the early days of the village’s railroad network, his home, Eliza House, and his farm, Mt.
  • During the course of a U.S.
  • The abolitionist cause benefited greatly from her novel’s realistic and emotive representation of the suffering of American slavery.
  • It was the stories she heard and saw throughout her almost two decades in Cincinnati that prompted her to write the book that would bring her international renown.
  • Instead of having live tour guides, the team is working on developing a means for tourists to listen to audio through a phone app that would give information on the sites they are standing in or walking through while on their tour of the museum.
  • President Donald Trump recently visited the community and expressed his pride in its history and designation as a national historic district, according to the village’s mayor, Don Lofty.

The concept of promoting Glendale’s history is welcomed, according to Lofty, who added, “We would welcome anyone who has a proposal that will promote Glendale’s history.” Honestly, I believe that African American history in relation to the Underground Railroad has not received the attention it deserves, and so we were excited about the prospect of putting something together that would help to promote this extremely important part of our history.” “To be honest, I believe that African American history in relation to the Underground Railroad has not received the attention it deserves.” Bill Parrish provided the image.

  1. In addition to Van Zandt, Wallace Shelton, shown above with his wife, was an important train conductor who worked closely with him.
  2. It was at Zion Baptist Church, a Black church that he founded, where anti-slavery activists met and where a large number of escaped slaves were housed and sheltered.
  3. Parrish’s initiative is that it makes history interactive, which is something that is always appealing for people, especially newcomers and new learners.
  4. Including himself, he recognizes the Underground Railroad effort as a learning opportunity from which anybody may benefit.
  5. “I’m looking forward to learning more about Black history,” Cordes added.
  6. The fact that Glendale authorities have stated their support for the project has surprised and relieved a number of locals.

According to Libby Hambrick, an ECAC board member, “it appears to have been a lengthy path to get to this position.” In the meanwhile, I’m relieved that things are starting to come together and that they’re receptive to moving on with the project.” The opinions of Hambrick were shared by Charlie Pierce, a longstanding partner with Parrish on his historical endeavors.

  • In the past, they haven’t been responsive; but, in recent months, they have been receptive, and this is a significant step forward.
  • It was the United States Department of Interior’s National Historic Landmark designation in 1977 that made Glendale the first community in Ohio to receive the honor of being named a National Historic Landmark.
  • In order to develop technology for tour stops, print materials, the tour’s website, and other digital resources, such as an interactive map, Parrish estimates that the project will cost $35,000 to complete.
  • His unsuccessful attempts to purchase the Eckstein school building on Washington Avenue brought him the most recent media exposure, which he received in April.
  • As the creator of the ECAC, he had intentions to renovate the facility in order to preserve Glendale’s African-American past while also turning it into a cultural center.
  • In recent months, however, numerous futile attempts to rehabilitate the structure have resulted in the property being placed back on the market once again.
  • The purpose to remember the previous accomplishments of Glendale’s Black inhabitants and to pass on that information to future generations, he added, serves as a foundation.
  • This is not about me or what I’m doing at this point.” I believe the question is more about how we can offer people with knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions.
  • Report For America, a donor-supported journalistic organization, employs her as a correspondent.
  • Please let us know if you know of any tales of gentrification in the greater Cincinnati region that we should feature.

Your suggestions can be sent to [email protected] Thank you. Scripps Media, Inc. retains ownership of the copyright and retains all rights. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written permission of the publisher.

The Railroad in Lore

Following is a brief list of some of the most frequent myths regarding the Underground Railroad, which includes the following examples: 1. It was administered by well-intentioned white abolitionists, many of whom were Quakers. 2. The Underground Railroad was active throughout the southern United States. Most runaway slaves who managed to make their way north took refuge in secret quarters hidden in attics or cellars, while many more managed to escape through tunnels. Fourteenth, slaves made so-called “freedom quilts,” which they displayed outside their homes’ windows to signal fugitives to the whereabouts of safe houses and safe ways north to freedom.

6.

When slaves heard the spiritual “Steal Away,” they knew Harriet Tubman was on her way to town, or that an ideal opportunity to run was approaching.

scholars like Larry Gara, who wrote The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad and Blight, among other works, have worked tirelessly to address all of these problems, and I’ll outline the proper answers based on their work, and the work of others, at the conclusion of this piece.

A Meme Is Born

As Blight correctly points out, the railroad has proven to be one of the most “enduring and popular strands in the fabric of America’s national historical memory.” Since the end of the nineteenth century, many Americans, particularly in New England and the Midwest, have either made up legends about the deeds of their ancestors or simply repeated stories that they have heard about their forebears.

It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before diving into those tales, though.

Tice Davids was a Kentucky slave who managed to escape to Ohio in 1831, and it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was invented as a result of his successful escape.

According to Blight, he is believed to have said that Davids had vanished as though “the nigger must have gone off on an underground railroad.” This is a fantastic narrative — one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor — but it is improbable, given that train lines were non-existent at the time.

The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., who was tortured and forced to testify that he had been taken north, where “the railroad extended underground all the way to Boston,” according to one report from 1839, was captured.

constructed from Mason and Dixon’s to the Canada line, upon which fugitives from slavery might come pouring into this province” is the first time the term appears.

14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by others who claim that abolitionist Charles T. Torrey invented the phrase in 1842, according to abolitionist Charles T. Torrey. As David Blight points out, the phrase did not become widely used until the mid-1840s, when it was first heard.

Myth Battles Counter-Myth

Historically, the appeal of romance and fantasy in stories of the Underground Railroad can be traced back to the latter decades of the nineteenth century, when the South was winning the battle of popular memory over what the Civil War was all about — burying Lost Cause mythology deep in the national psyche and eventually propelling the racist Woodrow Wilson into the White House. Many white Northerners attempted to retain a heroic version of their history in the face of a dominant Southern interpretation of the significance of the Civil War, and they found a handy weapon in the stories of the Underground Railroad to accomplish this goal.

Immediately following the fall of Reconstruction in 1876, which was frequently attributed to purportedly uneducated or corrupt black people, the story of the struggle for independence was transformed into a tale of noble, selfless white efforts on behalf of a poor and nameless “inferior” race.

Siebert questioned practically everyone who was still alive who had any recollection of the network and even flew to Canada to interview former slaves who had traced their own pathways from the South to freedom as part of his investigation.

In the words of David Blight, Siebert “crafted a popular tale of largely white conductors assisting nameless blacks on their journey to freedom.”

Truth Reveals Unheralded Heroism

That’s a little amount of history; what about those urban legends? The answers are as follows: It cannot be overstated that the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement itself were possibly the first examples in American history of a truly multiracial alliance, and the role played by the Quakers in its success cannot be overstated. Despite this, it was primarily controlled by free Northern African Americans, particularly in its early years, with the most notable exception being the famous Philadelphian William Still, who served as its president.

  1. The Underground Railroad was made possible by the efforts of white and black activists such as Levi Coffin, Thomas Garrett, Calvin Fairbank, Charles Torrey, Harriet Tubman and Still, all of whom were true heroes.
  2. Because of the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, the railroad’s growth did not take place until after that year.
  3. After all, it was against the law to help slaves in their attempts to emancipate themselves.
  4. Being an abolitionist or a conductor on the Underground Railroad, according to the historian Donald Yacovone, “was about as popular and hazardous as being a member of the Communist Party in 1955,” he said in an email to me.
  5. The Underground Railroad was predominantly a phenomena of the Northern United States.
  6. For the most part, fugitive slaves were left on their own until they were able to cross the Ohio River or the Mason-Dixon Line and thereby reach a Free State.
  7. For fugitives in the North, well-established routes and conductors existed, as did some informal networks that could transport fugitives from places such as the abolitionists’ office or houses in Philadelphia to other locations north and west.

(where slavery remained legal until 1862), as well as in a few locations throughout the Upper South, some organized support was available.

3.

I’m afraid there aren’t many.

Furthermore, few dwellings in the North were equipped with secret corridors or hidden rooms where slaves might be hidden.

What about freedom quilts?

The only time a slave family had the resources to sew a quilt was to shelter themselves from the cold, not to relay information about alleged passages on the Underground Railroad that they had never visited.

As we will discover in a future column, the danger of treachery about individual escapes and collective rebellions was much too large for escape plans to be publicly shared.5.

No one has a definitive answer.

According to Elizabeth Pierce, an administrator at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the figure might be as high as 100,000, but that appears to be an overstatement.

We may put these numbers into context by noting that there were 3.9 million slaves and only 488,070 free Negroes in 1860 (with more than half of them still living in the South), whereas there were 434,495 free Negroes in 1850 (with more than half still living in the South).

The fact that only 101 fleeing slaves ever produced book-length “slave narratives” describing their servitude until the conclusion of the Civil War is also significant to keep in mind while thinking about this topic.

However, just a few of them made it to safety.

How did the fugitive get away?

John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, as summarized by Blight, “80 percent of these fugitives were young guys in their teens and twenties who absconded alone on the majority of occasions.

Because of their household and child-rearing duties, young slave women were significantly less likely to flee than older slave women.

Lyford in 1896 reported that he could not recall “any fugitives ever being transported by anyone, they always had to pilot their own canoe with the little help that they received,” suggesting that “the greatest number of fugitives were self-emancipating individuals who, upon reaching a point in their lives when they could no longer tolerate their captive status, finally just took off for what had been a long and difficult journey.” 7.

What is “Steal Away”?

They used them to communicate secretly with one another in double-voiced discussions that neither the master nor the overseer could comprehend.

However, for reasons of safety, privacy, security, and protection, the vast majority of slaves who escaped did so alone and covertly, rather than risking their own safety by notifying a large number of individuals outside of their families about their plans, for fear of betraying their masters’ trust.

Just consider the following for a moment: If fleeing slavery had been thus planned and maintained on a systematic basis, slavery would most likely have been abolished long before the American Civil War, don’t you think?

According to Blight, “Much of what we call the Underground Railroad was actually operated clandestinely by African Americans themselves through urban vigilance committees and rescue squads that were often led by free blacks.” The “Underground Railroad” was a marvelously improvised, metaphorical construct run by courageous heroes, the vast majority of whom were black.

Gara’s study revealed that “running away was a terrible and risky idea for slaves,” according to Blight, and that the total numbers of slaves who risked their lives, or even those who succeeded in escaping, were “not huge.” There were thousands of heroic slaves who were helped by the organization, each of whom should be remembered as heroes of African-American history, but there were not nearly as many as we often believe, and certainly not nearly enough.

Approximately fifty-five of the 100 Amazing Facts will be published on the website African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. On The Root, you may find all 100 facts.

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