Why Was The Underground Railroad In Ohio? (Question)

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.

  • To truly gain their freedom, African Americans had to leave the United States. As a result, some Underground Railroad stops existed throughout Ohio and other free states and provided freedom seekers with safe places to hide on their way to Canada. Although slavery was illegal in Ohio, some people still opposed the ending of slavery.

Why did slaves go to the Ohio River?

For many enslaved people the Ohio River was more than a body of water. Crossing it was a huge step on the path to freedom. Serving as natural border between free and slave states, individuals opposed to slavery set up a network of safe houses to assist escaped slaves seeking freedom.

Did the underground railroad run 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.

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.

Were there slaves in Ohio?

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 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.

Was Ohio a Union or Confederate state?

The Union included the states of Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, California, Nevada, and Oregon. Abraham Lincoln was their President.

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.

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.

Why was the Underground Railroad important?

The underground railroad, where it existed, offered local service to runaway slaves, assisting them from one point to another. The primary importance of the underground railroad was that it gave ample evidence of African American capabilities and gave expression to African American philosophy.

When did Ohio abolish slavery?

While the Ohio Constitution of 1851 banned slavery in the state, it left open one exception.

What was the nickname given to the Ohio route on the Underground Railroad?

Northeast Ohio was home to two ‘stations’ along the Underground Railroad, and ‘Station Hope ‘ was, for many escaped slaves, the last stop before reaching freedom. The conductors guided the slaves. The routes offered less than ideal conditions. Many of them led north, led to Ohio.

What state ended slavery first?

In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery when it adopted a statute that provided for the freedom of every slave born after its enactment (once that individual reached the age of majority). Massachusetts was the first to abolish slavery outright, doing so by judicial decree in 1783.

What was the last state to free the slaves?

Mississippi Becomes Last State to Ratify 13th Amendment After what’s being seen as an “oversight†by the state of Mississippi, the Southern territory has become the last state to consent to the 13th Amendment–officially abolishing slavery.

Underground Railroad – Ohio History Central

“How can I construct a psychologically plausible plantation?” Whitehead is said to have pondered himself while writing the novel. As he explained to theGuardian, rather of portraying “a pop culture plantation where there’s one Uncle Tom and everyone is just incredibly nice to each other,” the author preferred to think “about individuals who’ve been traumatized, brutalized, and dehumanized their whole lives.” “Everyone is going to be battling for that one additional mouthful of breakfast in the morning, fighting for that one extra piece of land,” Whitehead continued.

If you bring a group of individuals together who have been raped and tortured, that’s what you’re going to get, in my opinion.

She now lives in the Hob, a derelict building reserved for outcasts—”those who had been crippled by the overseers’ punishments,.

As Cora’s female enslavers on the Randall plantation, Zsane Jhe, left, and Aubriana Davis, right, take on the roles of Zsane and Aubriana.

  1. “Under the pitiless branches of the whipping tree,” the guy whips her with his silver cane the next morning, and the plantation’s supervisor gives her a lashing the next day.
  2. It “truly offers a sense of the type of control that the enslavers have over individuals who are enslaved and the forms of resistance that the slaves attempt to condition,” says Crew of the Underground Railroad.
  3. By making Cora the central character of his novel, Whitehead addresses themes that uniquely afflict enslaved women, such as the fear of rape and the agony of carrying a child just to have the infant sold into captivity elsewhere.
  4. The author “writes about it pretty effectively, with a little amount of words, but truly capturing the agony of life as an enslaved lady,” adds Sinha.
  5. Amazon Studios / Atsushi Nishijima / He claims that the novelist’s depiction of the Underground Railroad “gets to the core of how this undertaking was both tremendously brave and terribly perilous,” as Sinha puts it.
  6. Escapees’ liminal state is succinctly described by Cora in her own words.

that turns a living jail into your sole shelter,” she muses after being imprisoned in an abolitionist’s attic for months on end: ” How long had she been in bondage, and how long had she been out of it.” “Being free has nothing to do with being chained or having a lot of room,” Cora says further.

  • Despite its diminutive size, the space seemed spacious and welcoming.
  • Crew believes the new Amazon adaption will stress the psychological toll of slavery rather than merely presenting the physical torture faced by enslaved folks like it did in the first film.
  • view of it is that it feels a little needless to have it here.
  • In his words, “I recognized that my job was going to be coupling the brutality with its psychological effects—not shying away from the visual representation of these things, but focusing on what it meant to the people.” “Can you tell me how they’re fighting it?

History of the United States of America True Story was used to inspire this film. Books Fiction about the Civil War Racism SlaveryTelevision Videos that should be watched

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.

Underground Railroad in Ohio

The monument shown above, which was erected by Cameron Armstrong on the campus of OberlinCollege and represents the beginnings of the Underground Railroad in Ohio, may be seen above. A critical crossroads on the Underground Railroad, Oberlin connected five separate paths that fleeing slaves may have traveled in order to escape. During the Civil War, no fugitive who lived in Oberlin was ever returned to bondage, and the town has been dubbed “The Town that Started the Civil War.” When Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, one of the stipulations prohibited slavery in any future state admitted to the Union that was located north of the Ohio River.

  1. Later, Congress amended the legislation to include a provision making it a federal criminal to help or hide fugitive slaves, which might result in harsh penalties or even imprisonment if the act was committed.
  2. Even in a free state like Ohio, living was made incredibly difficult as a result of this.
  3. This would be especially true in the lower half of the state, where inhabitants were more likely to have been previous residents of Virginia or Kentucky, or to have descended from ancestors who had lived in these states at some point in their lives.
  4. While speaking at local gatherings, anti-slavery activists may frequently transform them into a confrontational confrontation.
  5. In reality, most of the people on the network were only familiar with a few of the other users, which helped to keep everyone’s identities safe.
  6. Ohio, with around 3000 miles of pathways used by fleeing runaways, had the most active network of any other state, despite the fact that there were Underground Railroad networks throughout the country, including the Southern states.
  7. First and foremost, Ohio shared a border with two slave states: Virginia and Kentucky.
  8. Among all the states participating in these subterranean networks, Ohio was the one that was closest to Canada, with a distance of just roughly 250 miles or less between any point along the Ohio River and Lake Erie, where freedom might be found.
See also:  What Was The Underground Railroad Really Like?

While the Pennsylvania Quakers were largely responsible for the inception of the abolitionist movement, the Ohio Quakers appeared to have been more directly involved in transporting escaping slaves on their way north and toward freedom, particularly those fleeing slaves from the Virginia plantations.

Prior to it, there was a scarcity of knowledge regarding railways in general.

There was no railroad, and there was no underground railroad with the Underground Railroad, of course.

The term railroad was utilized because the persons participating in the activities used phrases that were frequently associated with railways to describe different parts of their operations, leading to the name railroad being used.

  • Slaves were referred to as “cargo” or “passengers.” Stations were used to refer to hiding locations or safe homes. Conductors were the guides who escorted the runaway slaves to freedom. Those who assisted slaves in their escape but did not guide them were referred to as agents. People who contributed financial resources to these endeavors were referred to as shareholders.

The use of the same terminology associated with railroads to describe the activities associated with the Underground Railroad became more widespread as physical railroads became more common. This allowed those actively involved in the Underground Railroad to communicate openly without fear of being turned over to the authorities by someone overhearing their conversation. At the time, these code phrases were not known outside of the network, which is understandable given their importance. The title “liberation train” or “the gospel train” was used in certain parts of the country, and in others it was referred to as “the freedom train.” By the 1850s, the name “Underground Railroad” had become the most often used in the state of Ohio.

A fugitive slave could not be assisted under state or federal law, and this was a criminal offense.

It was the plantation owner’s responsibility to apply further punishment to captured slaves when they were returned to the plantation and fields from where they had escaped.

Ohio Anti-Slavery Society

An organization known as the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society was founded by a group of people who shared a strong opposition to slavery. The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society was created in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1835, and was modeled after the framework of the American Anti-Slavery Society, which was founded in 1833 in New York City. When the society was founded, its members committed to work for the abolition of slavery and the adoption of legislation to safeguard African-Americans when they were released from the bonds of slavery.

People who opposed the abolitionists’ ideals were motivated mostly by fear, which was frequently shown in mob attacks on the abolitionists’ homes and workplaces.

When the conference was held in a barn outside of Granville, a mob erupted and attacked the abolitionists who had gathered in the barn.

In addition to bigotry, and because they were unable to accept that racism, they argued that runaway slaves from the southern states would take their employment here in Ohio.

Freedom Center in Cincinnati

The fact that the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located in Cincinnati is a blessing for the state of Ohio. This center serves as a clearinghouse for information regarding the Underground Railroad and organizes educational programs to raise awareness of issues impacting African-Americans, among other things. The Center first opened its doors in 2004. There are three buildings that make up the Freedom Center, and they represent the three foundations of freedom: courage, cooperation, and perseverance.

The Freedom Center is located at 50 East Freedom Way in Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 and can be reached at (513) 330-7500. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The Journey

Ohio was divided on the question of slavery, and only a few localities could provide complete protection. Oberlin was one of the locations where fugitive slaves may feel safe while trying to flee. Oberlin, which is located in north central Ohio, became one of the primary staging areas for fugitive slaves fleeing to Canada. More villages in the south, including Columbus and Zanesville to the east,Mechanicsburg and Urbana to the west, came together to help, as did a number of other cities. For runaway slaves, there were even more little settlements in southern Ohio, which provided them with sanctuary in an incredibly perilous region.

The major entry point into Ohio was along the Ohio River, with the most notable location being a little town known as Ripley.

Journey’s end

When it came to slavery, Ohioans were divided, and only a few localities could provide complete protection. Slave fugitives could feel secure at Oberlin, which was one of those towns. Oberlin, which is located in north central Ohio, became one of the primary staging areas for fugitive slaves fleeing the South. More cities in the south, including Columbus and Zanesville to the east,Mechanicsburg and Urbana to the west, came together to help, as did a number of other communities in Ohio. For runaway slaves, there were even more little settlements in southern Ohio, which provided them with sanctuary in an incredibly perilous area.

It was along the Ohio River, most notably in a little village named Ripley, that the majority of people came into the state of Ohio.

African-Americans helped make the Underground Railroad work

The fact that escaping slaves made the Underground Railroad feasible was the most significant component of the Underground Railroad’s history. If it hadn’t been for their daring, tenacity, and innovation, the railroad would have been nothing more than a footnote in the history of our nation’s development. It was necessary for the majority of runaway slaves not only to get away from their owner’s estate, but also from all of the areas between them and the Ohio River, as well as from all of the other entrance points between the slave and free states.

  1. Aside from avoiding their previous masters, they also had to dodge the slave-catchers who prowled the countryside in pursuit of fugitives.
  2. The runaway slaves had a tough voyage since they had to hide in the woods during the day and travel only at night.
  3. As soon as they passed over the Ohio River, they had to make contact with someone they had never met before, and they had to hope that they would be able to give them with refuge and assistance on their long voyage ahead of them.
  4. That occurred at a period when the Ohio River frequently froze over, making it possible for the runaways to cross the river without the need of a boat.
  5. The ice was frequently more like giant pieces of floating ice, which needed cautious footwork to make it safely across the river at night, just by looking at the river itself and not taking into consideration the extremely low temperatures.

Slaves who had already completed the trek to freedom would frequently return to assist others, putting their own safety and freedom at tremendous risk.

Paying the Price:

A fugitive slave from a Kentucky farm owned by John Bacon who was 17 years old at the time of his capture on September 13, 1858, by two slave hunters and two federal marshals in Oberlin, Ohio, was residing in Oberlin at the time of his arrest. Realizing that attempting to apprehend the young black man in the town of Oberlin would be difficult due to the well-known anti-slavery attitudes held by the town’s residents, they devised a plan to lure John Price away from the protection of Oberlin. On the pretext of digging potatoes for money, they persuaded Shakespeare Boynton, the son of a prominent Oberlin landowner, to accompany John Price to a farm west of Oberlin where he would be paid for his efforts.

  • The ruse was successful.
  • Anti-slavery activists in Oberlin were angry as soon as they saw what had happened and rallied together to try to save the slaves.
  • By late afternoon, more than 200 people from Oberlin and Wellington had gathered outside the Wadsworth Hotel, where Price was being kept captive.
  • There was a window with a little balcony that overlooked the town square in that room.
  • The sheriff wanted to make sure that all of the paperwork was in order.
  • Then, from the outside, someone set up a ladder near the room’s window, and a group of Oberlin locals climbed in via the window while another group entered through the door.
  • Price went on the Underground Railroad to Canada a few days later, but was never seen or heard from again after that.

In lieu of posting bond, they were sent to the Cuyahoga County Jail for almost one month, where they remain today.

The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue Case had a significant impact on the public’s opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act, which was one of the reasons that contributed to the American Civil War.

Smith, Richard Winsor, Simeon Bushnell, David Watson, William E.

Scott, Ansel W.

Peck, and James M.

Smith. Ralph Plumb, James Bartlett, John Watson, and Henry Evans are seated at the table. A technicality in their indictments caused two of the men, Jacob B. Shipherd and Orindatus S.B. Wall, to be released sooner than the others. As a result, they are not featured.

Additional information aboutthe Underground Railroad

The state of Ohio played a significant part in guiding runaway slaves from their lives of slavery to their aspirations of freedom. Many runaway slaves used the Underground Railroad, a legendary path to freedom traveled by thousands of runaway slaves, to reach northern destinations where they were more likely to avoid capture. The Underground Railroad was a complex system designed to transport slaves to northern destinations where they were more likely to avoid capture. According to Warren Van Tine, a history professor at Ohio State University, “Ohio was extremely vital to the success of the Underground Railroad.” “Because of its geographic position, Ohio was possibly the most important state in terms of the success of the Underground Railroad.” According to Van Tine, the Ohio River and Lake Erie served as a transportation route between Canada and Virginia.

  • Several locations in Franklin County may take pride in their involvement with the Underground Railroad.
  • Second Baptist Church, the Kelton House Museum and Gardens, the Margaret Agler House, and the Southwick-Good Funeral Chapel, all of which are located at 3100 N.
  • “I believe that the functioning of the Underground Railroad was a very essential aspect of American history,” said William Good, proprietor of Southwick-Good Funeral Chapel in Southwick, Massachusetts.
  • Attempts were made to chronicle this heritage by William Siebert, who had worked on the Ohio State University campus as a history professor and department head.
  • Despite the fact that his publications and studies presented a thorough history of Ohio counties, the pathways followed by runaways and their conductors, and various personal experiences, some may argue that his works omitted certain critical information.
  • In his writings, there are a number of subterranean conductors who aren’t mentioned, particularly African-Americans,” Van Tine explained.
  • Finding information on specific places suspected of being train stations can be a challenging endeavor because of the secrecy surrounding them.

The Underground Railroad in Ohio

Topic The Underground Railroad in Ohio
Time Period Early to mid 1800s
Keyword(s) Slavery, Underground Railroad, African Americans, Abolition
Grade level(s) 6-12
Learning standard(s) (Grade 8 Social Studies) History Strand: Historical Thinking and Skills, Content Statement 1; Colonization to Independence, Content Statement 4; Civil War and Reconstruction, Content Statement 12 / (High School Social Studies) American History: Historical Thinking and Skills, Content Statement 2; Industrialization and Progressivism, Content Statement 13
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Underground Railroad is a word used to describe a secret network of individuals and locations that supported runaway slaves in their attempts to flee slavery in the southern United States.” This activity was most prevalent during the three decades leading up to the Civil War, and it was concentrated mostly in the regions bordering slave states, with the Ohio River serving as the focal point of much of the action.

  • It is important to note that Beneath Train activities did not physically take place underground or along a railroad track, nor was it a formal group with a well defined organizational structure.
  • Those who believed in abolitionist principles were at the center of the Underground Railroad campaign.
  • They were members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
  • The dissemination of abolitionist ideals then extended westward into the territory that would become Indiana and Ohio in the following decades.
  • The conflicting features of independence for a society that still kept enslaved people were also considered by others, which prompted many to get involved in the Underground Railroad.” Thanks to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for this image.
  • The Underground Railroad as seen in photographs Portraits of those involved in the Underground Railroad Conductors The Underground Railroad: Its History and Legacy There is also anAdditional Resourceslist and aTeaching Guidefollowing the major source items.

The Teaching Guide also contains discussion questions and classroom exercises.

The Underground Railroad

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County provided this contribution.

Additional Resources

  1. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County made a contribution to this work.

Teaching Guide

As a starting point, this guide will detail some possible ways for students to interact with digital content. It also includes recommendations for having students pull information from the examples given above. Guide for Participation in a Discussion (Download)

  1. As a starting point, this guide will detail some possible ways for students to engage with digital content. It also includes recommendations for having students pull information from the examples given before. Guide for the Discussion (Download)

Activities in the Classroom (Download)

  1. Were fugitive slaves from other states uniformly welcomed in Ohio? Investigate the history of the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850, including how they influenced the operations of the Underground Railroad, as well as the perspectives of Ohioans on slavery during the nineteenth century. Visit the National Park Service’s list of official Underground Railroad locations for further information. Individuals or small groups can participate in this activity. Choose one to research for a brief presentation for the class (individual) OR one to research for a short presentation for the class (group) Divide the class into small groups and assign each group a different Ohio location for a group presentation. Imagine that you, or you and a group of people, have managed to flee the southern United States and make your way north
  2. Using the information you’ve learned about the Underground Railroad, write a first-person account of what it would have been like to make this perilous journey, either alone or with a group of other people. Consider the hazards you would face along the journey, the route you would take to get to safety, and how you would have felt about the individuals who assisted you
  3. Think about the people who aided you.

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • John Rankin was a conductor on the Underground Railroad who became well-known as a result of his exploits.
  • 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.
  • For a period of time, the abolitionist journal The Philanthropist was published out of New Richmond.
  • Several historic landmarks still stand, notably the Ross-Gowdy Home, which served as the residence and office of Dr.
  • The New Richmond shoreline has been classified as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site by the National Park Service (NPS).
  • Residents of those towns are reminded of the battle against injustice by historical buildings such as the Robert E.
  • Huber mansions, which are still standing today.
  • 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.

Underground Railroad in Ohio

Wilbur Siebert, a history professor at Ohio State University, claims that the state possessed the most extensive Underground Railroad network of any other state, with an estimated 3000 miles of pathways utilized by runaways. It was possible to enter the Ohio River from as many as twenty different sites, and to escape the river from as many as ten different points along Lake Erie. Image courtesy of the Underground Railroad Monument. Cameron Armstrong, a student at Oberlin College, developed the term Terminology.

  1. Using the term underground was appropriate because assisting runaway slaves was illegal and needed to be kept a secret.
  2. Stations are locations where people go to hide or feel protected.
  3. Agents are those who assist fugitive slaves in their escape but do not guide them.
  4. Backstory The Underground Railroad (UGRR) was a network of safe homes, hiding sites, and forest pathways that assisted runaway slaves in their attempts to escape to freedom in the northern United States or Canadian provinces.
  5. As early as the 1810s, other Ohioans were providing assistance to runaway slaves.
  6. From one station to the next, fugitive slaves made their way north.
  7. Owning slaves had been prohibited in Ohio since the state’s constitution was adopted in 1802, but some residents of the state continued to favor slavery.

These activists were adamant in their opposition to the Underground Railroad; some attacked conductors, while others attempted to return fugitives to their owners in the goal of receiving rewards from them.

This rule enhanced the likelihood that free blacks would be kidnapped and forced into slavery as a result of enslavement.

Runaway slaves were guided by conductors to the northernmost section of the state of Ohio, where they would spend the night before being carried over Lake Erie to freedom in Canada on the final step of their voyage.

The Underground Railroad was run by African-Americans.

There would have been virtually no opportunity for fugitive slaves to escape into freedom if they hadn’t been protected and assisted by free blacks.

Abolitionist newspaper publisher James G.

Colored individuals are virtually always in charge of such issues, which is not surprising.

It’s been a long and difficult road.

Work schedules were flexible, and slaveholders took advantage of the opportunity to travel during the holidays.

There were fewer cars on the highways due of the cold, yet there was little vegetation in the winter landscape because it was so cold.

Running away from home was made feasible by the regular freezing of the Ohio River, which allowed them to cross it on foot, although the ice was sometimes more like enormous pieces of floating ice, which needed precise footwork to make it safely over the river in the dark.

Aside from avoiding slave catchers, fugitives also had to escape roaming gangs of bounty hunters who searched the countryside in search of fugitives.

Under the Fugitive Slave Law, slaves could be traced down and returned from anywhere in the United States, but an escaped slave who crossed the Ohio River and crossed the Mason-Dixon Line was in relative safety north of the Mason Dixon Line.

Ohio was divided on the topic of slavery, and only a few places provided total sanctuary for runaways, with the town of Oberlin being the safest of these areas.

Oberlin, Ohio, was the site of Oberlin College, which was the first institution in the United States to accept females and African-Americans.

As they were aware that kidnapping Price in the town of Oberlin would be difficult due to strong anti-slavery sentiment held by the citizens of that town, they persuaded Shakespeare Boynton, the son of an influential Oberlin landowner, to lead Price to a farm west of Oberlin under the guise of digging potatoes for which he would be paid $20.

  • After realizing what had occurred, anti-slavery activists in Oberlin grew enraged and promptly formed an organization in order to launch a rescue mission.
  • The Ohio Historical Society provided permission to use this image.
  • Eventually, after many hours of tense negotiations, the captors permitted a small number of men, including the local sheriff, to enter the room in order to verify that their paperwork were properly completed.
  • Soon later, a number of Oberlin residents climbed through the window, and another group entered through the door.
  • After rescuing Price, his rescuers placed him into a wagon and returned him to Oberlin.
  • The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue played a significant role in mobilizing opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act in the United States.
  • In lieu of posting bond, they were sent to the Cuyahoga County Jail, where they stayed for the time being.

Abolitionist and civil rights activist Langston delivered an impassioned address in court that made a powerful argument for abolition and justice for “colored folks.” However, I stand here to state that if I am sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of one thousand dollars for what I did on that day in Wellington, under the Fugitive Slave Law, and such is the protection that the laws of this country afford me, I must assume the responsibility of self-protection; and if I am claimed as a slave by some perjured wretch, I will never be sold into slavery again.

I stand here to state that I will do all in my power to assist any individual who has been apprehended and detained, despite the fact that the inevitable consequence of six months jail and a thousand dollars fine for each infraction hangs over my head!

You would do so because your manhood demanded it, and no matter what laws were in place, you would be proud of yourself for doing so; your friends would be proud of you for doing it; your children for generations to come would be proud of you for doing it; and every good and honest man would agree that you had done the right thing in the end!

  1. According to the judge, Langston will serve only 20 days in prison after being found guilty.
  2. Further south, a number of communities, including Columbus and Putnam to the east, Mechanicsburg and Urbana to the west, provided assistance to runaway slaves, including Columbus and Putnam.
  3. Organization known as the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society In 1835, the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society was established in Zanesville, Ohio.
  4. Despite the fact that Ohio was a free state, the Society was frequently targeted by local individuals wherever they conducted their meetings.
  5. Fear was a significant motive among people opposed to the society’s ideals, and it was frequently demonstrated in crowds who attacked abolitionists on the streets.
  6. When the abolitionist convention was held in a barn outside the city boundaries, a mob erupted and attacked the delegates and other attendees.
  7. One of the state’s oldest communities, Putnam was founded about 1800 and merged into the neighboring city of Zanesville in 1872, making it one of the state’s oldest municipalities.
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Putnam was home to numerous important abolitionists throughout the nineteenth century.

Both the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society’s conventions, held in 1835 and 1839, were held at this location.

Weld, who was lecturing at the Stone Academy in preparation for the 1835 convention.

Additional violence was avoided as a result of the arrest of several of the instigators.

William Beecher, the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, served as the church’s first pastor when it was built in 1835, and many other anti-slavery preachers, including Frederick Douglas in 1852, have spoken here.

The Underground Railroad ran through southern Ohio.

There was a tiny village called Ripley that served as the primary access point.

The Freedom Stairway is a photograph.

John Rankin is a Scottish author and poet.

Located on a three hundred-foot-high hill overlooking the Ohio River, his mansion included various secret rooms where runaway slaves might be secreted if they escaped.

Image courtesy of John Rankin House Ripley, Ohio is a town in the state of Ohio.

John Parker, a kindred soul who resided in Ripley as well, was responsible for transporting hundreds of fugitives from slavery over the Ohio River on a small boat.

Parker was taught to read and write by the doctor’s family, who also permitted him to work as an apprentice in an iron foundry.

He then relocated to Ripley, where he established a successful foundry in the back of his home.

In a subsequent interview, John Parker stated that while the fugitives must, in most cases, take care of themselves south of the border, once they cross the Ohio River, they are in the care of their friends and family.

The majority of the time, slaves traveled northward on their own, looking for a signal that would indicate the presence of food, shelter, and rest.

Many will stay unidentified for the rest of their lives. Putnam Historic District (National Park Service) Underground Railroad – Ohio History Central, Inc. Ohio on the Road: The Underground Railroad in Ohio The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society is featured on Ohio History Central.

Underground Railroad

Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the southern United States by providing them with refuge and assistance. It came forth as a result of the convergence of numerous separate covert initiatives. Although the exact dates of its inception are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy were carried out in a less-secretive manner until the Civil War ended.

Quaker Abolitionists

The Society of Friends (Quakers) is often regarded as the first organized group to actively assist escaped enslaved persons. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Quakers for attempting to “liberate” one of his enslaved servants. Abolitionist and Quaker Isaac T. Hopper established a network in Philadelphia in the early 1800s to assist enslaved persons who were on the run from slavery. Abolitionist organisations founded by Quakers in North Carolina lay the basis for escape routes and safe havens for fugitive slaves during the same time period.

What Was the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.

MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:

How the Underground Railroad Worked

The majority of enslaved persons aided by the Underground Railroad were able to flee to neighboring states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made catching fugitive enslaved persons a lucrative industry in the deep South, and there were fewer hiding places for them as a result of the Act. The majority of fugitive enslaved people were on their own until they reached specific places farther north. The escaping enslaved people were escorted by individuals known as “conductors.” Private residences, churches, and schools were also used as hiding places throughout the war.

The personnel in charge of running them were referred to as “stationmasters.” There were several well-traveled roads that ran west through Ohio and into Indiana and Iowa.

While some traveled north via Pennsylvania and into New England, or through Detroit on their route to Canada, others chose to travel south. The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.

Fugitive Slave Acts

The Fugitive Slave Acts were a major cause for many fugitive slaves to flee to Canada. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved individuals from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the fleeing enslaved people. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in certain northern states to fight this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to reinforce the preceding legislation, which was perceived by southern states to be insufficiently enforced at the time of passage.

The northern states were still considered a danger zone for fugitives who had managed to flee.

Some Underground Railroad operators chose to station themselves in Canada and sought to assist fugitives who were arriving to settle in the country.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad during its heyday. When she and two of her brothers fled from a farm in Maryland in 1849, she was given the name Harriet (her married name was Tubman). She was born Araminta Ross, and she was raised as Harriet Tubman. They returned a couple of weeks later, but Tubman fled on her own again shortly after, this time making her way to the state of Pennsylvania. In following years, Tubman returned to the plantation on a number of occasions to rescue family members and other individuals.

Tubman was distraught until she had a vision of God, which led her to join the Underground Railroad and begin escorting other fugitive slaves to the Maryland state capital.

Frederick Douglass

In his house in Rochester, New York, former enslaved person and celebrated author Frederick Douglasshid fugitives who were assisting 400 escapees in their journey to freedom in Canada. Reverend Jermain Loguen, a former fugitive who lived in the adjacent city of Syracuse, assisted 1,500 escapees on their journey north. The Vigilance Committee was established in Philadelphia in 1838 by Robert Purvis, an escaped enslaved person who later became a trader. Josiah Henson, a former enslaved person and railroad operator, founded the Dawn Institute in Ontario in 1842 to assist fugitive slaves who made their way to Canada in learning the necessary skills to find work.

Agent,” according to the document.

John Parker was a free Black man living in Ohio who worked as a foundry owner and who used his rowboat to ferry fugitives over the Ohio River.

William Still was a notable Philadelphia citizen who was born in New Jersey to runaway slaves parents who fled to Philadelphia as children.

Who Ran the Underground Railroad?

The vast majority of Underground Railroad operators were regular individuals, including farmers and business owners, as well as preachers and religious leaders. Some affluent individuals were active, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who stood for president on two separate occasions. Smith acquired a full family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841 and freed them from their captivity. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, is credited with being one of the first recorded individuals to assist escaped enslaved persons.

Coffin stated that he had discovered their hiding spots and had sought them out in order to assist them in moving forward.

Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitive enslaved individuals no matter where he was.

John Brown

Ordinary individuals, farmers and business owners, as well as pastors, were the majority of those who operated the Underground Railroad. Several millionaires, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who campaigned for president twice, were involved. For the first time in his life, Smith purchased and freed a whole family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, was one of the earliest recorded individuals to assist fleeing enslaved persons. Beginning in 1813, when he was 15 years old, he began his career.

They eventually began to make their way closer to him and eventually reached him.

End of the Line

Operation of the Underground Railroad came to an end in 1863, during the American Civil War. In actuality, its work was shifted aboveground as part of the Union’s overall campaign against the Confederate States of America. Once again, Harriet Tubman made a crucial contribution by organizing intelligence operations and serving as a commanding officer in Union Army efforts to rescue the liberated enslaved people who had been freed. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.


Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad? ‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented.

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