What Was John Rankin’s Role In The Underground Railroad? (Solved)

John Rankin (February 5, 1793 – March 18, 1886) was an American Presbyterian minister, educator and abolitionist. Upon moving to Ripley, Ohio, in 1822, he became known as one of Ohio’s first and most active “conductors” on the Underground Railroad.

What was John rankin’s role in the Underground Railroad?

  • John Rankin was a Presbyterian minister and a prominent member of the Underground Railroad network that assisted fugitives from slavery in the years before the American Civil War. Rankin was born on February 4, 1793, in Tennessee.

How did John Parker help with the Underground Railroad?

Parker, who was African American, helped hundreds of slaves to freedom in the Underground Railroad resistance movement based in Ripley, Ohio. He saved and rescued fugitive slaves for nearly fifteen years. He was one of the few black people to patent an invention before 1900.

What was Ohio’s role in slavery?

Ohio prohibited slavery, but only in the sense that no one could buy or sell slaves within the state. Not until 1841 did Ohio enact a law so that any slave brought into the state automatically became free. Before then, Southern slave owners regularly visited Ohio and especially Cincinnati accompanied by slaves.

Who was in charge of the Underground Railroad?

Levi Coffin Webber, shows Levi Coffin, his wife Catherine, and Hannah Haydock assisting a group of fugitive slaves. Known as the “president of the Underground Railroad,” Levi Coffin purportedly became an abolitionist at age 7 when he witnessed a column of chained enslaved people being driven to auction.

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.

Why did John Parker help the slaves?

As soon as he gained his freedom, Parker helped others escape slavery as an Underground Railroad conductor. Despite being well known to regional slave catchers, Parker risked his life to guide slaves from Kentucky to Ohio, opening his home as a shelter for runaways.

What did Captain John Parker say at the Battle of Lexington?

While on trial in 1855 he told the story of John Parker and the minutemen at Lexington, he quoted Captain Parker: “ “I will order the first man shot that runs away,” said he, when some faltered; “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they want to have a war,—let it begin here.”

Who started the Underground Railroad in Ohio?

Beginning in the late 1840s, Levi Coffin, a resident of Cincinnati, helped more than three thousand slaves escape from their masters and gain their freedom in Canada.

Did the Underground Railroad go through Ohio?

Although there were Underground Railroad networks throughout the country, even in the South, Ohio had the most active network of any other state with around 3000 miles of routes used by escaping runaways. First Ohio was bordered by 2 slave states: Virginia and Kentucky.

Did Ohio ever 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.

Who ended slavery?

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “all persons held as slaves… shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free,” effective January 1, 1863. It was not until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, in 1865, that slavery was formally abolished ( here ).

How did slaves get across the Ohio River?

The exact number isn’t known, but it is believed that tens of thousands of slaves escaped to freedom through the secret network of the Underground Railroad. Many made it by crossing the Ohio River, the boundary between slave-holding Kentucky and free Ohio.

How many Underground Railroad stops in Ohio?

According to research done by the Friends of Freedom Society, there are well over 20 documented Underground Railroad sites in Columbus, but since many of those are private homes, the addresses have not been made public.

Was the Underground Railroad illegal?

The Underground Railroad was a secret system developed to aid fugitive slaves on their escape to freedom. Involvement with the Underground Railroad was not only dangerous, but it was also illegal. So, to help protect themselves and their mission secret codes were created.

John Rankin – Ohio History Central

According to Ohio History Central John and Jane Rankin were married in 1872. He was a Presbyterian clergyman who was also a significant part of the Underground Railroad network, which helped fleeing slaves in the years leading up to the American Civil War. John Rankin died in 1865. Rankin was born on the 4th of February, 1793, in the state of Tennessee. He received his education at Washington College in Virginia and went on to serve as a preacher in the Presbyterian Church. Rankin devoted his life to the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Because slavery was legal in Kentucky, Rankin’s opinions on the subject were widely dissented.

Slavery was prohibited in the state of Ohio.

Rankin was a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad in Ripley, and he welcomed African Americans seeking freedom into his home while living there.

  • Rankin would use a lamp to notify escaped slaves in Kentucky that it was safe for them to cross the Ohio River, which they did.
  • Because of the United States Constitution and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, slave owners were able to retrieve fugitive slaves, even if they were living in a free state like Ohio at the time.
  • From South Carolina to Canada, escaped slaves might find refuge at Underground Railroad sites along the journey.
  • In her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe honored Rankin’s attempts to aid African Americans in the United States.
  • Rankin was a Presbyterian clergyman who spent the most of his time in Ohio.
  • He also assisted in the formation of an anti-slavery group in New York, which later became the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society, which was founded in 1835.
  • The institution had a maximum enrollment of 250 students at its height.
  • Many of the college’s students were from Kentucky, and they did not share Rankin’s abolitionist viewpoints on slavery.

Some students dropped out of Ripley College and never returned. Rankin also gave lectures for the American Anti-Slavery Society in the northern United States. He was frequently the target of gang-related violence. He died on March 18, 1886, in Ironton, Ohio, after a brief illness.

See Also

  1. OHIO’S WAR: THE CIVIL WAR IN DOCUMENTS, edited by Christine Dee, is available online. Ann Hagedorn’s book, Ohio University Press, Athens, 2007
  2. Hagedorn, Ann Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad is a book about the heroes of the Underground Railroad. Reid and Whitelaw (2002, 2002)
  3. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Ohio’s Statesmen, Generals, and Soldiers in the War: A Portrait of the State. Clarke Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1895
  4. Roseboom, Eugene H. The period from 1850 to 1873 is known as the Civil War Era. The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society published the book in 1944.

John Rankin (abolitionist) – Wikipedia

Ellen Rankin Copp, a sculptor, created a bust of Reverend John Rankin, who was his great-grandfather. John Rankin was an American Presbyterian clergyman, educator, and abolitionist who lived from February 5, 1793 to March 18, 1886. After settling in Ripley, Ohio, in 1822, he quickly established himself as one of the state’s first and most active “conductors” on the Underground Railroad. Rankin’s writings and activities in the anti-slavery campaign had an impact on prominent abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Weld, Henry Ward Beecher, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who were all active before the Civil War.

Early career

Rankin was born in Dandridge, Jefferson County, Tennessee, to Richard and Jane (Steele) Rankin, and grew up in a strictCalvinist family with his siblings and parents. His parents were well-educated, which was rare in such a rural section of the country. They were devout Presbyterians, and their children were brought up in a religious environment. Jane was a staunch opponent of slavery who would not back down. : 22–23 Beginning when he was eight years old, John’s perspective on the world and his religious beliefs were profoundly influenced by two events: the Second Great Awakening revivals that were spreading through the Appalachian area, and the emergence of a slave revolt headed by Gabriel Prosser in 1800.

  1. The opportunity to study at Washington College, under the guidance of Rev.
  2. Following graduation, he was appointed pastor of the Abingdon Presbytery, but because his anti-slavery ideas were not tolerated, he departed Tennessee in 1817 and never returned.
  3. Within a few months, however, he mustered the fortitude to speak out against “all forms of injustice,” first broadly and then explicitly against slavery, despite Tennessee’s status as a slave state.
  4. He was taken aback when his elders replied by advising him that if he wanted to ever speak out against slavery from the pulpit again, he should consider leaving Tennessee immediately.
  5. When Rankin stopped to preach at Lexington and Paris, Kentucky, he discovered of the need for a pastor at Concord Presbyterian Church in Carlisle, Kentucky, which he learned about while traveling north.
  6. He stayed for four years and established a school for slaves; but, after a year, they were pushed from their schoolhouse to an empty home, and then to his friend’s kitchen, by club-wielding crowds, and the kids eventually ceased attending.

A rowing crew carried him and his family over the ice-cold river during the night of December 31 – January 1, 1822. In Ripley, he established a Presbyterian academy for boys, which the young Ulysses S. Grantonce went as a student in 1838.

Ripley and the Underground Railroad

An inside view of the Rankin residence as seen via a window. TheKentuckyshoreline may be seen on the other side of theOhio River, on the far side. In 1822, Ripley was a town characterized by frequent street fights and shootouts, with saloons serving as the most popular kind of establishment. During the Rankins’ first few months in town, hecklers and demonstrators frequently followed the new preacher around town and gathered outside his cabin, which was located just yards from the river at 220 Front Street and was under construction at the time.

Slave owners and hunters saw him as a major suspect, and they frequently visited at his house at all hours of the day and night, seeking information on fugitives.

A house on top of a 540-foot-high hill (160-meter-high) with a panoramic view of the village, the Ohio River, and the Kentucky shoreline, as well as farmland and fruit groves that could be used as sources of income, was built by Rankin in 1829 for his wife and nine children (of a total of thirteen children).

  1. The ex-slave story, on the other hand, refers to a pole with a light.
  2. When it was safe for them to pass into the free state of Ohio, the family could hang a lantern on a flagpole to indicate to fleeing slaves in Kentucky that they had arrived.
  3. During the forty years leading up to the Civil War, many of the slaves who managed to escape to freedom through Ripley’s family remained at the family’s property in North Carolina.
  4. It was renamed the Rankin House, and it is now a National Historic Landmark in the United States (see photos).

The real Eliza

A tale of a lady the Rankins had kept in 1838 after she had fled by crossing the frozen Ohio River with her kid in her arms was related by Rankin during a visit to Lane Theological Seminary to see one of his sons. Professor Calvin Stowe was there at the time and heard the story. Stowe’s wife (Harriet Beecher Stowe) also heard the story and subsequently based the character Eliza in her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin on the woman in question.

Film depiction

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati has a permanent exhibit of Brothers of the Borderland, a video that recounts Rankin’s work in the Underground Railroad in Ripley and is available for viewing on demand.

Letters on Slavery

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati has a permanent exhibit of the film Brothers of the Borderland, which shows Rankin’s efforts in the Underground Railroad in Ripley.

See also:  What States Were The Underground Railroad In? (TOP 5 Tips)

Beyond the pulpit

When Theodore Weld and Rankin were involved in the formation of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, Rankin became acquainted with him. Originally fromConnecticut, Weld had traveled toCincinnati from Oneida County, New York, to attend Lane Theological SeminaryinCincinnati, Ohio. In February 1834, Rankin joined the discussions on slavery hosted by Weld at Lane, and he later wrote a booklet on the subject’s ramifications. Weld initiated a year-long series of talks throughout Ohio, beginning in November 1834 at Rankin’s Ripley church, which elevated the prominence of the abolitionist cause in the state; Rankin, at Weld’s encouragement, did the same.

  • Both Rankin and Weld were instrumental in the formation of the Ohio Anti-slavery Society, which met for the first time in Putnam, Ohio (now Zanesville) in April 1835 and was attended by a large number of people.
  • The moment he arrived in Chillicothe to speak at a church, stones were hurled through the open window.
  • In 1836, Weld requested Rankin to join the group known as “the Seventy.” Rankin’s commitment to the cause grew as he faced increasing criticism to his “dangerous” beliefs, even from those who opposed slavery but were concerned about igniting a slave insurrection.
  • A bounty of up to $3,000 was placed on his life, and in 1841, he and his sons were forced to defend their home and barn from assailants who arrived in the middle of the night and set them on fire.
  • Grant was a student at Rankin’s Presbyterian Academy in Ripley, South Carolina.
  • The enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 increased the risk and public profile of anyone who assisted fugitive slaves because it was now unlawful to do so, even in free states, as a result of the law.
  • Chase, in which the two men were both present.
  • More than one-third of the church’s members accompanied him and assisted Rankin in establishing what would later become known as the Free Presbyterian Church, which may have had as many as 72 congregations before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

Following World War II, Rankin was pleased to see the Presbyterian churches in Ripley reunited.

“Freedom’s Heroes”

Rankin’s burial is located at Ripley’s Maplewood Cemetery. In May 1892, six years after John Rankin’s death, a monument commemorating Rankin and his wife, Jean Lowry Rankin, was dedicated on the grounds of the Maplewood Cemetery in Ripley, Ohio, and was appropriately called “Freedom’s Heroes.”

“National Abolition Hall of Fame”

As a result of his efforts, Rankin was inducted into the National Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro, New York, in 2013.


  • John Rankin is the author of this work (1811). A solution for universalism is a detailed defense of the theory of future and unending punishment, which is presented in this book. Cincinnati. OCLC936386232
  • Rankin, John
  • Rankin, John (1826). The following letters about slavery were sent to Mr. Thomas Rankin, a shopkeeper in the town of Middlebrook in the county of Augusta, Virginia. Ripley, Ohio is a town in the state of Ohio. OCLC13221793
  • John Rankin is the author of this work (1833). Slavery in the United States of America: Letters to Mr. Thomas Rankin, a shopkeeper in Middlebrook, Augusta County, Virginia Rankin, John
  • Garrison and Knapp, Boston, Mass. (1836). letters about American slavery addressed to Mr. Thomas Rankin, merchant in Middlebrook, Augusta County (Virginia) (2nd ed.). Charles Whipple and John Rankin were born in Newburyport, Massachusetts (1838). letters about American slavery addressed to Mr. Thomas Rankin, merchant in Middlebrook, Augusta County (Virginia) (5th ed.). Isaac Knapp is a Boston-based writer.
  • John Rankin is the author of this work (1830). A discourse about the deity of our Lord and Savior. Rankin, John
  • West Union, Ohio.OCLC47153765
  • West Union, Ohio (1835). The statement made by the faculty of the Lane Seminary in response to the recent issues that the school has been experiencing is examined. The author’s home town of Ripley, Ohio
  • Rankin, John
  • And Thome, James A. (1836). It was held at Granville on April 27th and 28th in 1836 that the Ohio Anti-slavery Society celebrated its first anniversary, which was documented in this report. The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society is based in Cincinnati. OCLC224956762
  • Rankin, John (1836). An address to the churches on the subject of slavery, delivered at the first anniversary of the Ohio State Anti-slavery Society, was published in the journal The Ohioan. The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society is based in Medina, Ohio. In this instance, OCLC841409108 is associated with Rankin, John, and the Ohio Anti-slavery Society (1838). An account of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society’s third anniversary celebration, which took place on May 30, 1838, in the town of Granville, Licking County, Ohio. Cincinnati
  • John Rankin (author) (1840). A practical work on the covenant of grace, as given to Abraham, is being presented as a gift to families. Designed to encourage the practice of family religion. C. Edwards & Company, Ripley, Ohio
  • Rankin, John (1841). Unitarianism has an antidote in the form of: Contains a thorough defense of the doctrine of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, the original and total depravity of man, the necessity of the agency of the Spirit to Renew the heart, the Substitution of Christ for his people, and Justification by his Righteousness, as well as a comprehensive defense of other Christian beliefs. Adapted to the reading abilities of all different types of readers. Weed and Wilson
  • Rankin, John (Cincinnati, Ohio) (c. 1854). A brief autobiography of Samuel Donnell, Esq. The American Reform Tract and Book Society is based in Cincinnati.

Archival material

The Ohio Historical Society in Columbus has a collection of archival materials about Rankin.


  1. Birney, William (informal) (1890). James G. Birney is an American businessman. His Day and Age. D. Appleton & Company of New York
  2. Abc.com Donna B. Jacobson is the author of this work (2018). “Biography”. Rev. John Rankin and the town of Ripley, Ohio, 1820-1850. Borderlander of Light. The original version of this article was published on October 24, 2019. Hagedorn, Ann (February 2, 2020)
  3. Retrieved February 2, 2020 (2001). Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad is a book about the heroes of the Underground Railroad. Waugh, 2009, p. 19
  4. “John Rankin – Ohio History Central.” Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-87065-7
  5. Waugh, 2009, p. 19
  6. “John Rankin – Ohio History Central.” Archived from the original on 2017-10-20
  7. Jacobson, The Rankin House
  8. Autobiography of John Rankin
  9. Andrew Ritchie’s full name is Andrew Ritchie (1870). The soldier, the struggle, and the victory: a brief summary of Rev. John Rankin’s contributions to the anti-slavery movement. “Brothers of the Borderland” at freedomcenter.org
  10. Cincinnati: Western Tract and Book Society
  11. Hagedorn, p. 139
  12. Cincinnati: Western Tract and Book Society Hagedorn, p. 58
  13. Rankin, John (2017-10-20)
  14. (1835). A critical examination of the faculty of Lane Seminary’s statement in light of the current issues that the school has experienced. The author lives in Ripley, Ohio. The Ohio Anti-Slavery Convention’s proceedings are available online. On the twenty-second, twenty-third, and twenty-fourth of April, 1835, a meeting was held in Putnam. There is no mention of a publisher. The year is 1835
  15. Hagedorn, pp. 99-100
  16. Hagedorn, 219
  17. Chernow, Ron (2017). John Rankin, Antislavery Prophet, and the Free Presbyterian Church,” American Presbyterians, 72:3 (Fall 1994), 167
  18. Larry G. Willey, “John Rankin, Antislavery Prophet, and the Free Presbyterian Church,” American Presbyterians, 72:3 (Fall 1994), 169
  19. “John Rankin – Ohio History Central”
  20. “John Rankin”


  • ‘Beyond The River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad’ by Ann Hagedorn is out now. Waugh, Joan (2002, ISBN 0-684-87065-7)
  • SimonSchuster, 2002, ISBN 0-684-87065-7 (2009). US Grant is an acronym that stands for United States Grant. It is published by the University of North Carolina Press under the ISBN 978-0-8078-3317-9.

Further reading

  • John Rankin is the author of this work (1978). The life and times of Rev. John Rankin, an abolitionist. (Autobiography). Appalachian Press, based in Huntington, West Virginia. OCLC4702737
  • Ritchie, Andrew
  • OCLC4702737 (1870). The soldier, the struggle, and the victory: a brief summary of Rev. John Rankin’s contributions to the anti-slavery movement. The Western Tract and Book Society is based in Cincinnati.

External links

  • Rev. John Rankin and the town of Ripley, Ohio, 1820-1850, “Borderlander of Light” (reverendjohnrankin.org) Archived on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine on October 24, 2019. John Rankin was an ardent abolitionist who died in prison. The African American Registry
  • John Rankin.Ohio History Central
  • The African American Registry The Rankin House.Ohio Historical Society
  • The Rankin House.Ripley, Ohio: Freedom’s Landing
  • John RankinatFind a Grave
  • National Abolition Hall of Fame
  • Aboard the Underground Railroad – John Rankin House.National Park Service Cultural Resources
  • The Rankin House.Ohio Historical Society

John Rankin

In the wake of the American Revolution and the Second Great Awakening, John Rankin (1793-1886), a white southerner by birth, was a leading figure in the first wave of antislavery agitation that erupted in the United States. In 1815, he became a member of the Manumission Society of Tennessee. Rankin became a licensed Presbyterian pastor in 1817, and he immediately began teaching that slaveholding was wrong. After Presbyterian authorities advised Rankin that he should never again express such views from the pulpit in Tennessee, Rankin made the decision to relocate with his family to a more liberated area.

  • In 1822, Rankin was forced to transfer to Ripley, Ohio, due to a combination of increasing personal risk and financial difficulties.
  • It was in 1824 when Rankin discovered that his brother Thomas, who was born in Virginia, had become a slaveholder.
  • It was first published serially in Rankin’s local newspaper, the Castigator, but it was not until 1826 that the piece was published in book form by a Cincinnati publisher.
  • It was one of the first publications published by the newly formed American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, when it was first published.
  • The Presbyterian Church split in 1838 into two groups, the New School and the Old School, on the issue of evangelicalism.
  • Abolitionist sentiment among New School Presbyterians began in 1846, when their General Assembly reversed a minister’s suspension for advocating for slavery in the church.
  • It was in November 1847 that the Presbyterian comeouters came together to create the Free Synod of Cincinnati, which was eventually called the Free Presbyterian Church.

John Rankin was one of the most well-known Underground Railroad conductors in the United States, and he was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fictitious character, Eliza Harris, in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was based on a real-life incident.

They worked in conjunction with African-American John Parker to transform the little Ohio town of Ripley into one of the most important crossing locations for fugitives from slavery.

Rankin’s reputation among disgruntled Kentuckians rose to the point that a $3,000 reward was set on his head.

Despite this, the Underground Railroad conductors in Ripley’s stated that not a single slave who made it to their hamlet had ever been recaptured.

He served as a vital link between the first generation of opponents of slavery and the later immediate abolitionists of the nineteenth century.

Rankin also represents tens of thousands of antislavery Southerners who opted to flee the region in protest against human bondage, according to the organization.

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
  • Dumond, Dwight L., ed., Letters of James Gillespie Birney, 1831-1857. Dumond, Dwight L., ed., Letters of James Gillespie Birney, 1831-1857. Dumond, 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.

John Rankin House · Discover Indiana

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. Cincinnati, OH: Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center; Dumond, Dwight L., ed., Letters of James Gillespie Birney, 1831-1857.


Brunsman, Barrett J., Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center; Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center; Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center According to the Underground Railroad, “Clermont County was a major route.” Johnston, Johnston, Johnston, Johnston, Johnston, Johnston, Johnston, Johnston, Johnston Many sites in the region have historical connections to the Underground Railroad, and many of them are within walking distance of home.

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

Renovated Rankin House tells story of slaves running to freedom

Details discovered during the restoration process restore the building’s look to when it operated as a stop on the Underground Railroad. OUR ORIGINAL HISTORY RIPLEY, Ohio (AP) — The John Rankin House appears to be in like-new condition. At least, that’s how it appeared 185 years ago when the Rev. John Rankin, a Presbyterian pastor and outspoken abolitionist, opened his home as a temporary shelter for slaves trying to flee from Kentucky. Located on Liberty Hill in Ripley, Ohio, some 50 miles east of Cincinnati, the two-story home has undergone extensive renovations on the outside as well as the interior, and it will be rededicated on Saturday, Aug.

  • In the house, which is a National Historic Landmark, visitors will find the inside to be virtually unchanged from when the Rankins resided there.
  • Running slaves crossing the Ohio River relied on a light in the window for navigational guidance.
  • According to the Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, which has owned the site since 1938, the Rev.
  • Rankin’s family.
  • Efforts were taken to make the home as true as possible to the time between the 1830s and the 1840s in which it was built.

According to Betty Campbell, the site manager and president of Ripley Heritage Inc., the nonprofit organization that manages the home, “methods of study are substantially different today than they were in 1948 for restoration.” The exposed brick facade of the home was subjected to paint analysis, which revealed that it had been painted twice, first in brownish red and subsequently in ochre.

  1. To determine the architectural elements of the home, Chris Buchanan, project manager from the Ohio History Connection, played the role of a “detective architect.” In order to figure out what sort of locks were used, he looked at the outline left on the original front door.
  2. “The stenciling is the great surprise,” Buchanan remarked of the project.
  3. The door frame molding was removed in order to reinstate the original single door, showing an area of wallpaper beneath it.
  4. Researchers discovered a few houses in New York State from the same time period with stenciling designs that matched the ones they were looking for, and they were able to replicate them.
  5. Her crew took great care in measuring and painting the stencils by hand.
  6. Visitors will be able to compare the original stenciling with the new décor because a sample of the old stenciling has been preserved.
  7. Telling stories about ‘Eliza’ and fighting off bounty hunters are two of my favorite things to do.

During this time period, two incidences happened on the premises that are the subject of this report.

It was told to family friend Harriet Beecher Stowe, who adapted it for the character Eliza in her 1852 novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which played a role in influencing public opinion on slavery.

Rankin and his son, Adam Lowry Rankin, both described in their autobiographies of protecting their house against bounty hunters in 1841, a year in which they were born.

Jean Rankin’s contributions are often underestimated.

When it comes to the remodeling, Bartlett admits that he isn’t sure how true it is, but that they are trying their best to convey the tale.

When: Saturday, Aug.

Open every weekend from the first weekend in May until the end of October, 10 a.m.

Wednesday through Saturday, 12 p.m.

Sunday Admission is $4; students in grades K-12 are $2; children under 5 are free; and Ohio History Connection members are free.

For further information, call 937-392-1627 or 800-752-2705, or visit the Ohio History Connection website at: RANKIN HOUSE IS LOCATED ON RANKIN STREET “publishdate=”2014-08-18 17:38:42 +0000 UTC” updateddate=”2014-08-18 17:46:36 +0000 UTC” slot=”timestamp” publishdate=”2014-08-18 17:38:42 +0000 UTC”>

The Ohio River and the Underground Railroad

Located in New Richmond, Ohio, the Ross-Gowdy House is one of a number of Underground Railroad locations in Clermont County. In the minds of many enslaved people, the Ohio River represented more than just a body of water. It was a major step forward on the road to freedom for me to cross it. Individuals opposed to slavery established a network of safe homes to provide assistance to escaped slaves who were seeking freedom along the natural boundary between free and slave states. Underground Railroad ties were strong in Clermont County during the time of the Underground Railroad.

  1. The Mason-Dixon line, which runs between Pennsylvania and Maryland, functioned as a de facto border between free and slave states during the American Civil War.
  2. Following Pennsylvania’s abolition of slavery in 1781, the Ohio River served as an unofficial line of demarcation between the states until the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865.
  3. John Rankin was a conductor on the Underground Railroad who became well-known as a result of his exploits.
  4. He and his neighbor John Parker aided slaves in crossing the Ohio River and concealing them until it was safe for them to continue their journey.
  5. For a period of time, the abolitionist journal The Philanthropist was published out of New Richmond.
  6. Several historic landmarks still stand, notably the Ross-Gowdy Home, which served as the residence and office of Dr.
  7. The New Richmond shoreline has been classified as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site by the National Park Service (NPS).
  8. Residents of those towns are reminded of the battle against injustice by historical buildings such as the Robert E.
  9. Huber mansions, which are still standing today.
  10. Learn more about the Underground Railroad in Clermont County by visiting one of the 33 historic sites on the Clermont County Freedom Trail, which includes 19 sites that are part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Visit the Chilo Lock 34 Museum, which is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday for more Ohio River history.

The Rankin House (Underground Railroad Stop) a story

Sun, May 20, 1860 05:20:1860

The Rankin House (Underground Railroad Stop) a story

Rankin House is a private residence in the city of Rankin (restored) When you think of the Rankin House, you probably think of the Americanabolitionists and the key location of refuge for many African-American slaves who were fleeing bondage before to freedom. The Rankin House served as one of the most critical ports of entry for the Underground Railroad system. The beacon from this location, high on a cliff above the Ohio River, illuminated the night and the darkness of slave state Kentucky on the other side of the river.

  • The state of Ohio was chosen as the site of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 because it was a free state.
  • The Rankin House, which served as a middleman between slaves and slave traders en way to Canada, may be most proud of the fact that it never lost a passenger to slave hunters.
  • When he was younger, one of his favorite stories was about a young mother who made a daring winter escape by crossing the river on ice floes while holding both of her children in her arms.
  • In 1938, the mansion, which is located around 60 miles south of Cincinnati, was designated as a state memorial.

John Rankin and the Underground Railroad

Heidi Breudigam came up with the idea.

Core Theme:

Underground Railroad (also known as the Underground Railroad System)


2 days are allotted (45 minute periods)

2nd grade Social Studies Benchmarks and Indicators:

Examine everyday life in the past and present, exhibiting a knowledge that, while basic human needs remain the same, they are satisfied in diverse ways depending on the period and location in which they are experienced. History: A Day in the Life Answer questions about daily life in the past by using historical artifacts, pictures, biographies, maps, diaries, and folklore as sources of information. Methods and Techniques in Social Studies Obtain information from a variety of sources, including oral, visual, print, and electronic.

Identify the information-gathering sources that were used: persons, printed materials, and electronic sources.

Primary sources:

Lesson 11: Students will learn about the Underground Railroad in Ohio by watching a video on the history of the Underground Railroad. 2.Students will read a portion from the bookLife on the Underground Railroadby Sally Senzell Isaacs with a partner and write down the primary theme and two significant elements from each section. They will then present them to the rest of the class. Lesson 21. Students will complete the person of history worksheet and create three interview questions for Rev. or Mrs.

(The instructor will take on the character of either Rev.

Rankin, and will dress appropriately.) The class will read and debate original source letters from Rev.

John Rankin on slavery, as well as a sermon he spoke on the subject. Students will conduct an interview with Rev. or Mrs. Rankin in Lesson 31. 2.Students will answer all of the interview questions and finish the questionnaire.

Description of the instructional steps to implement the lesson.

Lecture 11: Review material from websites on the Underground Railroad in Ohio and debate it with the rest of the class. 2. Distribute Underground Railroad books to kids, and have them read a segment of the book aloud with a partner. In the third step, students jot down the primary concept and significant information from the section. 4. Student pairs give a presentation to the rest of the class on their research. 5. Evaluation – worksheet with the main idea and crucial facts, as well as instructor observation of how the students work in groups and participate in discussions.

  • Distribute a person of history worksheet and have students complete the first side, which should include information on Rev.
  • 2.
  • Three.
  • Rankin’s letters on slavery to his brother in Kentucky as well as his sermon at the Lane Seminary.
  • 4.
  • Teacher will dress as Rev.
  • 2.
  • or Jean Rankin.

Post Assessment and Rubric:

Viewing webpages on a computer and a projector Dressing up in the role of Rev. or Jean Rankin is encouraged. Knowledge of the Rev. and Mrs. Jean Rankin’s background

Materials needed by students:

Sally Senzell Isaacs’s book, Life on the Underground Railroad, is available now. Worksheet with the main idea and key details People throughout history worksheet

Eastern Illinois University : Teaching with Primary Sources

However, many of the intriguing and lesser known elements of the Underground Railroad are not included in many textbooks, despite the fact that it is an essential part of our nation’s history. It is intended that this booklet will serve as a window into the past by presenting a number of original documents pertaining to the Underground Railroad. Broadsides, prize posters, newspaper clippings, historical records, sheet music, pictures, and memoirs connected to the Underground Railroad are among the primary sources included in this collection.

The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the United States.

As a result, secret codes were developed to aid in the protection of themselves and their purpose.

Runaway slaves were referred to as cargo, and the free persons who assisted them on their journey to freedom were referred to as conductors.

Stations were the names given to the safe homes that were utilized as hiding places along the routes of the Underground Railroad. These stations would be identified by a lantern that was lighted and hung outside.

A Dangerous Path to Freedom

However, many of the intriguing and lesser known elements of the Underground Railroad are not included in many textbooks, despite the fact that it is a vital part of our country’s history. This pamphlet will give a glimpse into the past through a range of primary documents pertaining to the Underground Railroad, which will be discussed in detail. Broadsides, prize posters, newspaper clippings, historical records, sheet music, pictures, and memoirs relating to the Underground Railroad are among the primary sources included in this collection.

The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the American Civil War.

Consequently, secret codes were developed to assist them in protecting themselves and their purpose.

It was the conductors that assisted escaped slaves in their journey to freedom, and the fugitive slaves were known as cargo when they were transported.


Train conductors on the Underground Railroad were free persons who provided assistance to escaped slaves moving via the Underground Railroad system. Runaway slaves were assisted by conductors, who provided them with safe transportation to and from train stations. They were able to accomplish this under the cover of darkness, with slave hunters on their tails. Many of these stations would be in the comfort of their own homes or places of work, which was convenient. They were in severe danger as a result of their actions in hiding fleeing slaves; nonetheless, they continued because they believed in a cause bigger than themselves, which was the liberation thousands of oppressed human beings.

  1. They represented a diverse range of ethnicities, vocations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  2. Due to the widespread belief that slaves were considered property, the freeing of slaves was perceived as a theft of slave owners’ personal belongings.
  3. Captain Jonathan Walker was apprehended off the coast of Florida while attempting to convey slaves from the United States to freedom in the Bahamas.
  4. With the following words from one of his songs, abolitionist poet John Whittier paid respect to Walker’s valiant actions: “Take a step forward with your muscular right hand, brave ploughman of the sea!
  5. She never lost sight of any of them during the journey.
  6. He went on to write a novel.
  7. John Parker is yet another former slave who escaped and returned to slave states in order to aid in the emancipation of others.

Rankin’s neighbor and fellow conductor, Reverend John Rankin, was a collaborator in the Underground Railroad project.

The Underground Railroad’s conductors were unquestionably anti-slavery, and they were not alone in their views.

Individuals such as William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur and Lewis Tappan founded the American Anti-Slavery Society, which marked the beginning of the abolitionist movement.

The group published an annual almanac that featured poetry, paintings, essays, and other abolitionist material.

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who rose to prominence as an abolitionist after escaping from slavery.

His other abolitionist publications included the Frederick Douglass Paper, which he produced in addition to delivering public addresses on themes that were important to abolitionists.

Anthony was another well-known abolitionist who advocated for the abolition of slavery via her speeches and writings.

For the most part, she based her novel on the adventures of escaped slave Josiah Henson.

Efforts of Abolitionists Telling Their Story:Fugitive Slave Narratives

Henry Bibb was born into slavery in Kentucky in the year 1815, and he was the son of a slave owner. After several failed efforts to emancipate himself from slavery, he maintained the strength and persistence to continue his struggle for freedom despite being captured and imprisoned numerous times. His determination paid off when he was able to successfully escape to the northern states and then on to Canada with the assistance of the Underground Railroad, which had been highly anticipated. The following is an excerpt from his tale, in which he detailed one of his numerous escapes and the difficulties he faced as a result of his efforts.

  • I began making preparations for the potentially lethal experiment of breading the shackles that tied me as a slave as soon as the clock struck twelve.
  • On the twenty-fifth of December, 1837, the long-awaited day had finally arrived when I would put into effect my previous determination, which was to flee for Liberty or accept death as a slave, as I had previously stated.
  • It took every ounce of moral strength I have to keep my emotions under control as I said goodbye to my small family.
  • Despite the fact that every incentive was extended to me in order to flee if I want to be free, and the call of liberty was booming in my own spirit, ‘Be free, oh, man!
  • I was up against a slew of hurdles that had gathered around my mind, attempting to bind my wounded soul, which was still imprisoned in the dark prison of mental degeneration.
  • Furthermore, the danger of being killed or arrested and deported to the far South, where I would be forced to spend the rest of my days in hopeless bondage on a cotton or sugar plantation, all conspired to discourage me.
  • The moment has come for me to follow through on my commitment.
  • This marked the beginning of the construction of what was known as the underground rail route to Canada.

For nearly forty-eight hours, I pushed myself to complete my journey without food or rest, battling against external difficulties that no one who has never experienced them can comprehend: “not knowing when I might be captured while traveling among strangers, through cold and fear, braving the north winds while wearing only a thin layer of clothing, pelted by snow storms through the dark hours of the night, and not a single house in which I could enter to protect me from the storm.” This is merely one of several accounts penned by runaway slaves who were on the run from their masters.

Sojourner Truth was another former slave who became well-known for her work to bring slavery to an end.

Green and many others, including Josiah Henson, authored autobiographies in which they described their own personal experiences.

Perhaps a large number of escaped slaves opted to write down their experiences in order to assist people better comprehend their struggles and tribulations; or perhaps they did so in order to help folks learn from the mistakes of the past in order to create a better future for themselves.

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