National Park Service Network to Freedom Announces New Underground Railroad Sites



VannHouse - National Park Service Network to Freedom Announces New Underground Railroad Sites

The Vann House in Chatsworth, Ga. Is one of 18 new listings added to the Underground Railroad to Freedom network:
NPS / Jackson

Staff report –

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Park Service recently announced 18 new additions to Freedom’s underground rail network in 11 states to better understand the experiences of freedom seekers who escaped slavery, as well as those who helped them.

“The stories of freedom seekers, who risked everything to claim their freedom, inspire us every time we consider Network to Freedom applications,” Shawn Benge, deputy director of the National Park Service, said in the press release announcing additions.

“The new lists remind us of the power that Underground Railroad stories hold today and we look forward to working alongside our new members to share the Underground Railroad story with the public,” he said. -he declares.


Vann House [site], located in present-day Chatsworth, is the historic home of Cherokee Chief James Vann and the Cherokee Nation’s largest plantation. Vann enslaved at least 100 black individuals, many of whom escaped. Moravian missionaries, brought in to proselytize and educate the Cherokee children, also lived on his plantation and recorded stories of freedom seekers. In 1835, the Vann family and other Cherokees were forced west on the trail of tears to Oklahoma.


Fort Gaines [site] is a site from which freedom seekers escaped during its construction and took refuge in the fort during the civil war.

Advertisements in local newspapers highlight the escapes of freedom seekers Eli, Alfred and Edmond. The US Navy took freedom seeker Wallace Turnage to Fort Gaines from Mobile Bay, where he had the choice of enlisting or enlisting with a Union officer. He chose the latter.

Turnage published his story in A Slave No More: Two men who escaped freedom, including their own stories of emancipation.

Kingdom of Hal marker [site] recognizes Hal, a self-emancipated man, and the brown colony established under his leadership. When the community was discovered and threatened with capture, Hal and his fellow freedom seekers refused to surrender voluntarily. Hal was shot and died of his injuries.


Pensacola Pass [site], a shipping canal in Pensacola, Florida, served as a transportation route on the Underground Railroad in the mid-1800s.

For example, in 1844, a white abolitionist by the name of Jonathan Walker sailed seven freedom seekers, including Charles, Moses, Philip and Leonard Johnson, Silas and Harry Scott and Anthony Catlett, through the Pass on their journey to the British Bahamas. Six years later, freedom seeker Adam secretly boarded a ship bound for Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After an altercation, the abolitionists in Portsmouth rushed Adam to Canada. Today the site is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.


Graceland Cemetery [site], founded in 1860, is the final resting place of at least 28 Underground Railroad activists.

Among the most important are Mary Richardson Jones (1820-1910) and her husband John Jones (1816-1879). Free African-Americans, the Joneses emigrated to Chicago in the 1840s, are among the city’s most active Underground Railroad agents, and shared a lifelong commitment to the struggle for civil rights.


Newton Union Cemetery [site] is an urban cemetery in Newton, Iowa. Founded in 1854, 10 freedom seekers who escaped Missouri in the early 1860s are buried here.

Eight freedom seekers continued in the struggle against slavery, enlisting in the United States’ 60th Colored Troops and serving in the Civil War.

Woodland cemetery [site] in Des Moines is the burial place of 15 agents of the Underground Railroad and freedom seekers. For example, Isaac Brandt was active in the Underground Railroad. Jefferson Logan, a Missouri freedom seeker who aided Brandt, became a well-known Underground Railroad agent in the area. Another notable agent buried here is Delia Webster, whose activity took place elsewhere but died in Des Moines.


Freedom Frontier National Heritage Zone (FFNHA) [program], authorized by Congress in 2006, works with the National Park Service and local organizations to tell important regional stories related to the enduring struggle for freedom, including the Underground Railroad.


Mont Clare station [site] is along a railway line used by known and unknown American slaves on their journey to freedom. Well-known freedom seekers, including Henry “Box” Brown and William and Ellen Craft, have passed through this place.

Eliza Howard Parker and the Bellevue Farm Family Escape Site [site] it was there that in 1846-1847, Eliza Howard, her mother and her siblings took their freedom. Eliza participated in Christiana’s resistance on September 11, 1851, when a Maryland slaveholder was killed in pursuit of her enslaved property. The battle took place at Eliza’s new home in Pennsylvania town where she lived with her husband John Parker and her young family.

Elkridge Furnace [site] was one of the largest operating iron kilns in colonial Maryland and used slaves, contracts, and convicts. At least five people have escaped from this site. Some people repeatedly escaped and suffered severe punishments, but persisted in their quest for freedom.

Henry Massey Escape Site [site] It was at the Stoopley-Gibson Plantation that this 14-year-old boy escaped slavery in 1849. Massey was identified as a runaway slave in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, five years later. Despite legal representation by the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, Massey was sentenced to trial and returned to his slavery.


The Jackson Corridor, Michigan Central Railroad (MCRR) [site] It was there that in the mid-1800s, a stretch of railroad in Jackson connected a passenger depot in the west to a freight depot in the east, which allowed searchers to access and pass through. freedom, like the Crosswhite family, who escaped by rail to Detroit.

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Bowne House Historical Society [facility] hosts documents which reveal that three members of the Bowne family – Samuel, Robert and William Bowne Parsons – were active in a network helping several freedom seekers. Letters from this Quaker family document their contacts with prominent Underground Railroad activists.

Decatur cemetery [site] is the final resting place of two well-known local Underground Railroad operatives, Dr Greenleaf Norton (1793-1869) and Reverend Jesse Lockhart (1793-1879), and two freedom seekers who escaped Kentucky during the Civil War, Lemuel Parker (c. 1850-1941) and Mrs. Phoebe Rice Duckins (d.1918).

Uri B. Seeley House [site] was the home of Uri Seeley (1791-1877). Seeley had a fiercest hatred of slavery and provided food, shelter, transportation, and financial support to freedom seekers. Underground Railroad historian Wilbur H. Siebert called Seely’s house a “fugitive retreat.”

Wilson Bruce Evan House [site], located in Oberlin’s historic interracial anti-slavery stronghold, was the home of Wilson Bruce Evans, a free man of color. In 1858 Evans and 36 others participated in the “Oberlin-Wellington Rescue”, after which they were arrested for preventing the reconquest of freedom seeker John Price. During the Civil War, Evans served in the Union Army, after which he returned to Oberlin and lived in the house until his death.

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Entering the planter marker [site] commemorates Robert Smalls, his family and the families of other freedom seekers who requisitioned the CSS Planter in Charleston Harbor. On May 12, 1862, the three white officers of the Planter decided to spend the night ashore. In the early hours of the morning, Smalls and seven enslaved crew members decided to escape. Smalls sailed the Planter from what was then known as Southern Wharf, stopping only to pick up his own family and the families of other crew members. This action helped secure their freedom.

The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom serves to honor, preserve and promote the history of resistance to slavery through escape and flight, which continues to inspire people around the world.

The network currently represents more than 695 locations in 39 states, plus Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands. Through its mission, the Network to Freedom helps advance the idea that all human beings embrace the right to self-determination and freedom not to be subjected to oppression.

Many Network to Freedom lists are private and not open to the public. Otherwise, the agency asks the public to respect the privacy of the owner.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 423 national parks of the United States and work with communities across the country to help preserve local history and create recreational opportunities close to home. Learn more about NPS.Gov as well as social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.



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