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Charles Brown Gothic Cottage, built 1846, was a well-known stop on the Underground Railroad, now in North Bloomfield, OH
Charles Brown Gothic Cottage, built 1846, well-known stop on the Underground Railroad (currently in North Bloomfield, OH) Photo courtesy Wendell F. Lauth, 1999

Railroad to Freedom

In the decades of the early 19th century, fugitive slaves from the South traveled northward by many varied routes toward freedom in Canada or in safe havens in free states like Ohio. The network of persons who assisted the escapees became known as the Underground Railroad. The four Ohio counties (Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull, and Ashtabula) from the Ohio River to Lake Erie and bordering western Pennsylvania were active locales for the Underground Railroad. This project records Ohio's contribution to the Underground Railroad and the history of the African American escape from slavery through the assistance of heroic citizens. Includes documentation of farms, family members, and houses that are part of the story.

The search for early information, first-hand records and newspaper accounts -- contemporary to actual events -- proved fruitful in providing new understanding and in discovering previously unknown persons who were involved in the Underground Railroad. Biographies and obituaries were checked for indications of anti-slavery activity by the person cited.

The search to discover and confirm the Underground Railroad history continues as a renewed national focus points the way to the new National Underground Railroad Freedom Center being built in Ohio. It will open in 2003 during the state's bicentennial year.

This project constitutes original historical research and is exceptionally well-documented with a narrative of 30 pages with footnotes and bibliographies, 30 slides with accompanying descriptions, newspaper articles, a collection of short essays called "Road to Freedom," Salem, Ohio Style, and "Pap's Diary, Selections from the Diary of Daniel Howell Hise," anti-slavery activist.

Originally submitted by: James A. Traficant, Jr., Representative (17th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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