Because of his outstanding role in the operation of the Underground Railroad, Coffin has been termed its “president.” It is believed that Coffin and his wife Catharine helped more than 2,000 fugitive slaves escape to freedom, using this house as a principal depot.
Was Levi Coffin The president of the Underground Railroad?
Levi Coffin, (born October 28, 1798, New Garden [now in Greensboro], North Carolina, U.S.—died September 16, 1877, Cincinnati, Ohio), American abolitionist, called the “President of the Underground Railroad,” who assisted thousands of runaway slaves on their flight to freedom.
Who was Levi Coffin and what was his nickname?
An active leader of the Underground Railroad in Indiana and Ohio, some unofficially called Coffin the “President of the Underground Railroad,” estimating that three thousand fugitive slaves passed through his care.
What Quaker was called the president of the Underground Railroad?
Levi Coffin 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.
Who was Levi Coffin and why is he famous?
With his wife Catharine, he aided over two thousand fugitive slaves at Fountain City, Wayne County, Indiana, from 1826 to 1846. Levi Coffin was an important figure in the Underground Railroad network that helped thousands of fugitive slaves escape to freedom in the years before the American Civil War.
Is Levi Coffin black or white?
He was a white-American abolitionist and unofficial president of the Underground Railroad. Levi Coffin, from New Garden, N.C., was the only son among seven children. The young Levi received the bulk of his education at home, which proved to be good enough for Coffin to find work as a teacher for several years.
What race was Levi Coffin?
Levi Coffin was born in North Carolina on October 28, 1798 into a Quaker family who greatly influenced by the teachings of John Woolman a Quaker preacher, who believed slaveholding was not compatible with the Quaker beliefs and advocated emancipation.
When did Levi Coffin get married?
A part of the legendary Underground Railroad for fleeing slaves of pre-Civil War days, this registered National Historic Landmark is a Federal style brick home built in 1839. Escaping slaves could be hidden in this small upstairs room and the beds moved in front of the door to hide its existence.
Where did Levi Coffin hide slaves?
The Coffins began sheltering fugitive slaves in Indiana during the winter of 1826–27, not long after their arrival at Newport. Their home became one of several Underground Railroad stops in a larger network of sites that provided aid to runaway slaves as they traveled north to freedom in Canada.
How old was Levi Coffin when he died?
Quakers Levi and Catherine Coffin helped thousands of fugitive slaves to safety in Newport, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio through the Undergound Railroad, a network of more than 3,000 homes and other stations that helped runaway slaves travel from southern states to freedom in northern states and Canada.
Levi Coffin – Ohio History Central
According to Ohio History Central Copper etched picture of Levi Coffin (1798-1877), a Quaker who sympathized with fleeing slaves and was shown in this photograph of the original copper engraving. From 1826 through 1846, he and his wife Catharine provided assistance to more than two thousand fleeing slaves at Fountain City, in Wayne County, Indiana. As a key actor in the Underground Railroad network that assisted thousands of runaway slaves in their attempts to escape to freedom in the years leading up to the American Civil War, Levi Coffin is remembered today.
He belonged to the Society of Friends, which he founded.
In fact, by the time he reached the age of fifteen, Coffin had already began assisting escaped slaves.
In 1847, Coffin relocated to the city of Cincinnati.
- During this time, he also became a participant in the Underground Railroad.
- The majority of northern states had either banned slavery or passed legislation to phase down the practice gradually.
- As a result, the supporters of the Underground Railroad set up safe homes in both free and slave states to shield African Americans throughout their journey.
- In recognition of Coffin’s active engagement in the Underground Railroad, his fellow abolitionists dubbed him the “president of the Underground Railroad.” Levi Coffin also aided African Americans in a variety of different ways.
- During the Civil War, he exerted more pressure on the federal government to establish the Freedmen’s Bureau.
- On September 16, 1877, he passed away in Cincinnati.
- Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. Levi Coffin’s recollections of his time as the rumored President of the Underground Railroad. Arno Press, New York, NY, 1968
- Coffin, Levi, and William Still. Coffin, Levi, and William Still. Fleeing for Freedom: Stories of the Underground Railroad is a collection of short stories about people fleeing for freedom. Ivan R. Dee Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2004
- 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. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002
- Roseboom, Eugene H. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002
- 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.
“President of the Underground Railroad,” Levi Coffin was an American abolitionist who helped thousands of fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom. He was born October 28, 1798, in New Garden, North Carolina, and died September 16, 1877, in Cincinnati, Ohio. A agricultural childhood presented Coffin with little opportunities for formal schooling, and he graduated from high school without a diploma. But he went on to become a teacher, and in 1821 he established the first Sunday school for slaves in New Garden.
- Coffin, a devoted Quaker, was an outspoken opponent of slavery, despite his Southern origin and upbringing.
- Coffin and his wife, Catharine, then converted their home into a depot, using most of the riches he was amassing as a wealthy trader to fund their voyage north by concealing and transporting “passengers” on their northern trek.
- Catharine also created a sewing circle that convened in the Coffins’ house and worked together to make clothing for the fugitive slaves who were being held there.
- A second mansion for the Coffins, erected in Newport in 1839, has been restored to its former glory.
- Following the commencement of the American Civil War, he continued his association with the Underground Railroad and later tried to assist the abolitionists who had been freed from slavery.
A significant amount of essential material regarding Americanabolitionism may be found in his autobiography,Reminiscences of Levi Coffin(1876). Jeff Wallenfeldt was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.
It was an informal network of individuals and residences across the United States that assisted runaway slaves – slaves who had fled from plantations in the South – in their attempts to seek safety in the northern tier of the country, Canada, and to a lesser degree, Mexico and the Caribbean It was not a railroad in the traditional sense, but rather a network of roads that slaves used to go from one place to another.
- However, in line with the image of a railroad, the persons who assisted the escape slaves were referred to as “conductors” or “station masters,” and their residences were referred to as “stations” or “depots,” respectively.
- Although the escaped slave was occasionally escorted by a conductor, in most cases the station master merely handed the fugitive slave with directions to the next station.
- fugitives, slave hunters, and abolitionists are all represented.
- Before the American Revolution, when slavery was legal in all of the colonies, the majority of escaped slaves sought refuge in communities in marshes, forests, and mountains.
- Abolitionists in the South who crossed the Mississippi River to the North, notably in the cities of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, could live as free men and women by the year 1810.
- The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made it a federal criminal for any free person to aid a fugitive slave in his or her escape.
- However, several northern states enacted legislation that either overrode or undercut the federal legislation.
Juries in the Northern United States frequently found in favor of fleeing slaves regardless of the evidence, thereby awarding them emancipation.
By the 1830s, there was a burgeoning abolitionist movement in the northern United States.
While the majority of abolitionist organizations were based in the North, a small number of Southerners thought that slavery was immoral and created abolitionist groups in their own localities as well.
Despite the fact that many individuals opposed slavery, only a small number of people were committed enough to the cause to assist runaway slaves in escaping their owners.
Sectional tensions and the Fugitive Slave Act are two issues that need to be addressed.
Abolitionist organisations were illegal in the South, and their publications were prohibited.
Individuals who hide fugitives may be subject to fines or imprisonment.
It was a shock to thousands of African Americans who had been living in freedom in the North that they were now at risk of being seized and returned to slavery in the South.
The Fugitive Slave Act, on the other hand, had a negative impact on most of the northern states.
Northerners who had previously turned a blind eye to the reality of slavery were now witnessing them play out in their own backyards and neighborhoods.
People were becoming more ready to aid fleeing slaves and provide them safe passage to Canada, where they would be out of reach of federal marshals and slave hunters, despite the hazards.
No single individual was familiar with all of the participants; each station master was simply aware of the location of the next station, who lived there, and whether or not there were any more stations in the vicinity.
The Underground Railroad’s informal and private character has left much of its history unknown to historians, who have only recently discovered it.
Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin.
He and his wife Catherine claimed to have assisted around 3,000 men and women in their attempts to escape slavery.
His ancestors were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), who were abolitionists against slavery.
Coffin was given the opportunity to aid escaped slaves when he was a young man.
Indiana was a free state, and Newport was home to a large number of Quakers as well as escaped slaves during the American Revolution.
The town’s strategic position, as well as the fact that it was populated by black and white people who were opposed to slavery, made it a popular destination for men and women fleeing enslavement.
In 1847, the Coffins relocated to Cincinnati, where he established a warehouse to enable him to sell items produced by free employees rather than slaves.
Following the Civil War, Coffin worked to gather funds in Europe and the United States’ northern states to assist African Americans in establishing businesses and farms following their freedom.
Levi Coffin was only one of many men and women who worked persistently to aid escaped slaves, and some historians believe that Levi Coffin inflated his achievements and that his celebrity was not wholly earned.
A free black man from New Jersey, William Still, acquired a similar title – “Father of the Underground Railroad” – and, in his own memoirs, commended the fortitude of the fugitives themselves, who took far more risks than the white abolitionists who assisted them.
A story of the Underground Railroad
It was an informal network of individuals and residences across the United States that assisted fugitive slaves – slaves who had fled from plantations in the South – in their attempts to seek safety in the northern tier of the country, Canada, and to a lesser degree, Mexico and the Caribbean region. Instead of a railroad, it was a network of routes that slaves used to get from one place of slavery to the next. The persons who assisted the escaped slaves were referred to as “conductors” or “station masters,” and their places of residence were referred to as “stations” or “depots,” in line with the notion of a railroad.
- Although the escaped slave was occasionally escorted by a conductor, in most cases the station master merely gave the fugitive slave directions to the next station.
- Escapees, slave hunters, and abolitionists all made their way to the United States.
- Pre-Revolutionary War, when slavery was legal in all of the colonies, the majority of fugitive slaves sought refuge with groups in marshes, forests, and mountains.
- Abolitionists in the South who crossed the Mississippi River to the North, notably in the cities of New York and Boston, were able to live as free men and women by the year 1810.
- As a result of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act, it became a federal criminal for any free person to aid a fugitive slave in their escape.
- In response, numerous northern states enacted legislation that either overrode or undercut the federal legislation.
- When fleeing slaves appeared before northern juries, they were frequently found not guilty, essentially gaining them freedom.
North American abolitionists were rising in number by the 1830s.
In addition to those in the North who felt slavery was immoral, a minority of Southerners also held this belief and organized abolitionist organizations in their own localities.
However, despite widespread opposition to slavery, only a small number of individuals were committed enough to the cause to assist runaway slaves in escaping their owners.
Tensions among sections and the Fugitive Slave Act are two issues that need to be addressed.
Southern states prohibited abolitionist clubs and forbade the dissemination of their literature.
Individuals who hide fugitives may be subject to fines and/or jail sentences.
Thousand of African Americans who had been living in freedom in the North were now in risk of being apprehended and deported to slavery in the Southern states.
The Fugitive Slave Act, on the other hand, had a negative impact on much of the North.
Northerners who had previously turned a blind eye to the reality of slavery were now witnessing them unfold in their own backyards.
Despite the dangers, an increasing number of people were eager to aid fleeing slaves and secure them safe passage to Canada, where they would be out of reach of federal marshals and slave hunts.
Nobody knew everyone who took part in the experiment; each station master simply knew where the next station was, who lived there and whether or not there were any additional stations in the surrounding region.
Because of the Underground Railroad’s informal and hidden character, historians are still learning a lot about it.
Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by the author Levi Coffin in the fictional world of the novel Levi Coffin Among those who dedicated their lives to assisting enslaved men and women was Levi Coffin of North Carolina.
It was as a result of his efforts that Coffin earned the title “President of the Underground Railroad”.
Abolitionists such as the Society of Friends (Quakers) were members of his family, and he was raised in this environment.
Coffin was given the opportunity to aid escaped slaves when he was a little boy.
As a free state, Indiana hosted a number of Freemasons and escaped slaves, including those from Newport, Kentucky.
Men and women fleeing slavery used the town’s central position, as well as the fact that it was populated by blacks and whites who were opposed to slavery, to their advantage.
Upon settling in Cincinnati in 1847, the Coffins established a warehouse so that he could sell things created by free employees rather than slaves, something he could not do before.
Following the Civil War, Coffin worked to gather funds in Europe and the United States’ northern states to assist emancipated African Americans in establishing businesses and farms.
Levi Coffin was only one of many men and women who worked persistently to assist escaped slaves, and some historians believe that Levi Coffin inflated his achievements and that his celebrity was not wholly earned.
A free black man from New Jersey, William Still, acquired a similar title – “Father of the Underground Railroad” – and, in his own memoirs, commended the fortitude of the fugitives themselves, who took much greater risks than the white abolitionists who assisted them.
From 1798 until 1877 Levi Coffin was the eldest son of Levi and Prudence (née Williams) Coffin and the only son of the couple. His parents and grandparents were Quakers who farmed in Guilford County, North Carolina. Because he was required to labor on the farm, he had minimal formal educational training. Although he was schooled at home (together with his six sisters), he was not well enough educated to pursue a career in education. “Reminiscences of Levi Coffin,” a book he wrote in 1876, chronicles his life and accomplishments.
- His fifteenth birthday led him to a corn-husking operation, where he observed a group of slaves who had been brought to the husking by a slave broker named Stephen Holland.
- Coffin made arrangements with a “trusty igger, whom I knew well,” to transport Stephen to his father’s home the following night.
- In 1821, he collaborated with his cousin Vestal Coffin to establish a Sunday school for enslaved people.
- Although there were powerful persons who aggressively discouraged slave owners from allowing their slaves to attend the school, it was forced to close as a result of the actions of these individuals.
- Because of increasing persecution in North Carolina, Coffin and his Quaker colleagues made the decision to go to Newport (Fountain City), Indiana, where African Americans might live in freedom.
- Coffin was devoted to the peaceful abolition of slavery and the eradication of all forms of servitude.
- Escaping slaves could only travel securely during the hours of night, and they relied solely on the North Star as a navigational aid.
- Due to the fact that they resembled the pauses that a train may make on its path to liberation, these “stops” on the road to freedom became known as the Underground (secret) Railroadstations.
- During the 20 years that Levi and his wife Catharine resided in Newport, it is believed that they assisted more than 2,000 slaves in their journey to freedom.
- Simeon and Rachel Halliday were played by Catharine and Levi Coffin, respectively.
People who had previously “stood apart from the work” eventually joined in, donating clothing to the fugitives and assisting the Coffins in transporting slaves to freedom, but were “apprehensive about sheltering them under their roof; so that part of the work devolved on us,” according to Levi Coffin.
Beginning in 1847, he established a warehouse in Cincinnati, where he dealt in free fruit, supplying merchants that sought to sell the commodities.
During this time, he continued to labor with the Underground Railroad, assisting another 1,300 slaves in their journey to freedom from slavery.
During the Civil War, many slaves were emancipated, and he made contributions to the Freedmen’s Aid Associations, which were founded to assist freed slaves after their independence.
In 1867, he traveled to Paris to participate in the International Anti-Slavery Conference. He passed away in 1877. His home has since been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Levi Coffin, 1798-1877
Source: William S. Powell’s DICTIONARY OF NORTH CAROLINA BIOGRAPHY, which was edited by Powell. The University of North Carolina Press owned the copyright from 1979 until 1996. With permission from the publisher, this image has been used. He was born in New Garden, Guilford County, on October 28, 1789, and died in September 1877. Levi Coffin was an abolitionist, temperance leader, and philanthropist. He was a descendant of Tristam Coffin, who came to America in 1642 and was one of nine people who purchased the island of Nantucket from the Native Americans.
- Levi grew up in their pioneer house, where he was mostly educated by his father.
- Contrary to the elders’ objections, he joined the young Quakers of New Garden in 1818 in setting up a Sunday school in the newly constructed brick school adjacent to the meeting house.
- Around this time, he became a member of the first manumission society in Guilford County, where he remained an active member for the duration of the organization’s existence.
- Due to the high level of interest shown by the slaves, some of the masters grew hostile, and the school was closed down.
- When they relocated to Newport (now Fountain City), Wayne County, Indiana, they founded a business, which has remained in operation since.
- Coffin traveled by night through hidden roads with two teams, transporting fugitives to hiding spots from where they were picked up by other teams and transported to safety.
- In the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she is referred to as Eliza Harris, and the phrase “Eliza crossing the ice” has become synonymous with a tight escape.
In addition, he was involved in the temperance movement.
He began working for the freedmen at the outset of the Civil War and remained committed to the cause for the remainder of his life.
In 1867, he served as a representative to the International Anti-Slavery Society, which met in Paris.
Mary Katherine Hoskins was a woman who lived in the United States during the nineteenth century.
18, 1878; Laura Haviland published A Woman’s Life Work in 1882; Historical Magazine14 (Sept.
1868); New England Historical and Genealogical Register2 (Oct. 1848); Quaker Collection (Guilford College Library in Greensboro); W. H. Seibert published Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom in 1898; Stephen B. Weeks published Southern Quakers and Slavery in 1848 (1896).
Levi Coffin (1798 – 1877)
Levi Coffin was born in New Garden, North Carolina, and grew up to be a successful businessman, Quaker, abolitionist, and administrator of the Underground Railroad. He was the only son in a family of seven children, and his labor was critical to the family’s ability to continue operating the farm. As a result, he received the most of his education from his father and elder sisters at home. Levi Coffin, the reputed President of the Underground Railroad, talks in his autobiography, Reminiscence of Levi Coffin, the Reputed President of the Underground Railroad, of his and his family’s anti-slavery feelings.
- While growing up in the South, the young Coffin was exposed to slaves and experienced their plight.
- As a result, the homeschooler grew up with anti-slavery views instilled in him by his parents, and his early experiences affected his later abolitionist endeavors as well.
- While visiting a corn husking, Coffin came across slaves who had been brought there by a slave merchant named Stephen Holland, who he later identified as Stephen Holland.
- Coffin arranged for Stephen to be taken to his father’s house, where he was reunited with his family.
- Stephen was soon freed from his captivity.
- In 1821, Coffin and his cousin, Vestal Coffin, established a Sunday school for African Americans in their hometown of Philadelphia.
- A group of angry slave owners, on the other hand, forced the school to close.
- A portrayal of him and his wife may be found in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
- He was able to support slave runaways and the network of those who aided them because of his commercial success, which generated revenues.
According to Coffin, “The Underground Railroad business grew in importance as time progressed, and it was accompanied by substantial costs, which I would not have been able to bear had my business not been lucrative.” During and after the Civil War, Coffin worked tirelessly to abolish slavery both domestically and internationally.
Later, in 1867, he flew to Paris to represent the United States at the International Anti-Slavery Conference. Sadly, he passed away in Cincinnati on September 16, 1877, and was laid to rest at the Spring Grove Cemetery.
Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the Reputed President of the Underground Railroad (Cincinnati, 1876); Martin A. Klein,Historical Dictionary of Slavery and Abolition (Lanham, 2002); Levi Coffin (Accessed on the 6th of January, 2010).
8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad
Levi Coffin’s Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the Reputed President of the Underground Railroad (Cincinnati, 1876); Martin A. Klein’s Historical Dictionary of Slavery and Abolition (Lanham, 2002); Levi Coffin. On January 6, 2010, I was able to get online.
2. John Brown
John Brown, an abolitionist, about 1846 GraphicaArtis/Getty Images courtesy of Similar to his father, John Brown actively participated in the Underground Railroad by hosting runaways at his home and warehouse and organizing an anti-slave catcher militia following the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which he inherited from his father. The next year, he joined several of his sons in the so-called “Bleeding Kansas” war, leading one attack that resulted in the deaths of five pro-slavery settlers in 1856.
Brown’s radicalization continued to grow, and his ultimate act occurred in October 1859, when he and 21 supporters seized the government arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an effort to incite a large-scale slave uprising.
3. Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she experienced repeated violent beatings, one of which involving a two-pound lead weight, which left her with seizures and migraines for the rest of her life. Tubman fled bondage in 1849, following the North Star on a 100-mile walk into Pennsylvania, fearing she would be sold and separated from her family. She died in the process. She went on to become the most well-known “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, participating in around 13 rescue missions back into Maryland and rescuing at least 70 enslaved individuals, including several of her siblings.
As a scout, spy, and healer for the Union Army, Tubman maintained her anti-slavery activities during the Civil War, and is believed to have been the first woman in the United States to lead troops into battle.
When Harriet Tubman Led a Civil War Raid, You Should Pay Attention
4. Thomas Garrett
‘Thomas Garrett’ is a fictional character created by author Thomas Garrett. The New York Public Library is a public library in New York City. The Quaker “stationmaster” Thomas Garrett, who claimed to have assisted over 2,750 escaped slaves before the commencement of the Civil War, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, and Tubman frequently stopped there on her route up north. Garret not only gave his guests with a place to stay but also with money, clothing & food. He even personally led them to a more secure area on occasion, arm in arm.
Despite this, he persisted in his efforts.
He also stated that “if any of you know of any poor slave who needs assistance, please send him to me, as I now publicly pledge myself to double my diligence and never miss an opportunity to assist a slave to obtain freedom.”
5. William Still
William Still is a well-known author and poet. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive/Getty Images Many runaways traveled from Wilmington, the final Underground Railroad station in the slave state of Delaware, to the office of William Still in adjacent Philadelphia, which was the last stop on their journey. The Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which provided food and clothing, coordinated escapes, raised funds, and otherwise served as a one-stop social services shop for hundreds of fugitive slaves each year, was chaired by Still, who was a free-born African American.
Still ultimately produced a book in which he chronicled the personal histories of his guests, which offered valuable insight into the operation of the Underground Railroad as a whole.
His assistance to Osborne Anderson, the only African-American member of John Brown’s company to survive the Harpers Ferry raid, was another occasion when he was called upon.
6. Levi Coffin
William Still is an American author and poet. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive and Getty Images. Many runaways made their way to the office of William Still in neighboring Philadelphia after leaving Wilmington, the last Underground Railroad destination in the slave state of Delaware. The Pennsylvania Abolition Society’s Vigilance Committee, which distributed food and clothes, planned escapes, generated cash, and otherwise operated as a one-stop social services shop for hundreds of fleeing slaves each year, was led by Still, who was a free-born African American.
It was his long-lost brother, who had spent decades in bondage in the Deep South, who was among others who showed up at his office and introduced themselves.
When the Civil War broke out, Still was a successful businessman who also happened to be an abolitionist.
7. Elijah Anderson
William Still is a well-known author. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Many runaways found their way to the office of William Still in adjacent Philadelphia from Wilmington, the last Underground Railroad station in the slave state of Delaware. The Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which distributed food and clothes, planned escapes, generated cash, and otherwise operated as a one-stop social services shop for hundreds of fleeing slaves each year, was led by Still, who was a free-born African American.
It was his long-lost brother, who had spent decades in bondage in the Deep South, who showed up at his office door one day.
His assistance to Osborne Anderson, the only African-American member of John Brown’s company to survive the Harpers Ferry raid, was another occasion when he was needed. Still, a merchant and abolitionist, contributed coal to the Union Army during the American Civil War.
8. Thaddeus Stevens
Mr. Thaddeus Stevens is an American lawyer and senator. Bettmann Archive courtesy of Getty Images; Matthew Brady/Bettmann Archive Thaddeus Stevens, a representative from Pennsylvania, was outspoken in his opposition to slavery. The 14th and 15th amendments, which guaranteed African-American citizens equal protection under the law and the right to vote, respectively, were among his many accomplishments, and he also advocated for a radical reconstruction of the South, which included the redistribution of land from white plantation owners to former enslaved people.
Despite this, it wasn’t until 2002 that his Underground Railroad activities were brought to light, when archeologists uncovered a hidden hiding hole in the courtyard of his Lancaster house.
Seward, also served as Underground Railroad “stationmasters” during the era.
The President of the Underground Railroad
Thodeus Stevens was an American lawyer and politician. Bettmann Archive courtesy of Getty Images. Photograph by Matthew Brady Thaddeus Stevens, a Pennsylvania lawmaker, was outspoken in his opposition to slavery. The 14th and 15th amendments, which guaranteed African-American citizens equal protection under the law and the right to vote, respectively, were among his many accomplishments, and he also advocated for a radical reconstruction of the South, which included the redistribution of land from white plantation owners to formerly enslaved individuals.
Despite this, it wasn’t until 2002 that his Underground Railroad activities were brought to light, when archeologists found a hidden hiding spot in the courtyard of his Lancaster house.
A number of other notable political individuals, such as novelist and orator Frederick Douglass and Secretary of State William H.
Levi & Catharine Coffin House
The weekdays between Wednesday and Sunday are off. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday Closed on Mondays* and Tuesdays, as well as on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (if applicable). We are open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (FREE), President’s Day (FREE), Memorial Day (FREE), Labor Day (FREE). On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the facility is only open for pre-registered programs. The COVID-19 and social distancing criteria have necessitated the providing of specific scheduled, inside tours for a restricted number of persons on a daily basis, Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm and lasting around 30 minutes each time.
The Coffin House is not open for self-guided tours at the present time. Tickets may be purchased here.
Walk up tour tickets are subject to availability. Purchasing online or by calling the site is recommended to ensure tour registration.
- Fountain City was officially recognized as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019. There are a variety of structures and dwellings in this town, which was established in the early 1800s and reflects a diverse spectrum of architectural styles. As a family, participate in a fun and fascinating treasure hunt as you attempt to locate and identify significant historical features. Your responses should be returned to the Levi and Catharine Coffin Interpretive Center in order to get a souvenir. Beginning in July 2020, families will be able to participate in this scavenger quest. Simply visit the Levi and Catharine Coffin Interpretive Center gift store and inquire about how to take part in the program. The cost per household is $2.
- When you bring a group of 15 or more people, you will receive $1 off normal entry. Booking a time and date for your group’s visit in advance is highly recommended. To make a reservation, please contact 765.847.1691 or send an email to [email protected]
- Special discounts are offered for educators and education organizations, as well as for military personnel and Access Pass users, among other things. See all of the available deals.
- Schools and homeschool organizations of at least ten Indiana K-12 students that book a field trip in advance and are accredited are eligible for free entry. Call (765) 847.1691 to make an appointment for your visit. Admission for non-Indiana school groups is $2 per person if they arrive with a pre-arranged appointment. Abolitionism, the Underground Railroad in Indiana, slavery, and the law are just a few of the academic themes explored. See the PreK-12 Education Program Guide for more information on field trip and school program opportunities. Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites PreK-12 Education Program Guide Check out the guide.
Commercial Photography And Videography
- If you are a photographer interested in scheduling a shoot at the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site, please check our commercial photography policy and application process before proceeding. Find out more
Today in labor history: Underground Railroad leader Levi Coffin born
He was born on October 28, 1798, in North Carolina, and was known as the “President of the Underground Railroad” by certain historians later on. Coffin grew up on his father’s farm, where he learned to farm. He subsequently stated that he became an anabolitionist at the age of seven when he inquired of a slave who was a member of a chain gang as to why he was chained. According to the guy, it was done in order to prevent him from fleeing and returning home to his wife and children. Coffin was a little taken aback by this.
- Following stricter enforcement of the restrictive Fugitive Slave Act, the family began providing help to slaves in more secrecy, primarily at night, in order to protect their identities.
- A large number of people moved to Ohio, Indiana, and other states.
- After moving to Newport in 1826, Coffin made contact with the community of free black people in Fountain City, Indiana, in 1826.
- This was done in order to make slaves’ lives more safe.
- The news of his behavior immediately spread, inspiring others to participate.
- Coffin referred to the system as the “strange road” while describing its operation.
- Coffin claimed that he assisted 100 people each year on average – a total of up to 3,000 people in total.
As a result of the large number of fugitives that went through his residence, it was dubbed “The Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.” As a farmer, Coffin progressed to become the proprietor of a general shop, then an investor and director in the Bank of Indiana, as well as an operator of a mill.
- In his maids’ quarters, a hidden entrance was built, through which up to 14 persons might hide in a tight crawl space between the walls of the room.
- Coffin was a founding member of the Western Freedmen’s Aid Society in 1863, and he made a $100,000 donation to the organization after the Civil War ended.
- On September 16, 1877, he passed away in his house in Avondale, Ohio.
- Four of his eight pallbearers were free blacks who had collaborated with Coffin on the Underground Railroad during his life and death.
- When asked why he aided slaves, Coffin responded, “The Bible, in commanding us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, mentioned nothing about color, and I should attempt to follow the precepts of that wonderful book.” Coffin was born into slavery.
Photo: Levi Coffin’s artwork, which was based on an etching from around 1850. Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime in behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives, who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, and many other incidents.
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Chicago citation style:
Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. A collection of recollections of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; comprising a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave, as well as the stories of numerous fugitives who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, as well as numerous other incidents Web.
APA citation style:
The Memoirs of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, and many other incidents. Coffin, L. (1876). The Memoirs of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave. The following image was obtained from the Library of Congress:
MLA citation style:
Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. A collection of recollections of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; comprising a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave, as well as the stories of numerous fugitives who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, as well as numerous other incidents Web. Obtainable from the Library of Congress, lccn.loc.gov/13005748 (located on the Internet).