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Slaves Once Found Haven In This Area

     Being situated between the southern slave states and free Canada, it was only natural that this part of Ohio should become involved in the underground railway.
     Congress had enacted the Fugitive Slave Law which forbade "harboring, feeding, clothing, aiding or abetting runaway slaves."  Yet in spite of this law, the northern opponents of slavery helped the runaways in their flight to Canada and freedom.
     Escaping slaves who crossed to the home of Jacob Heaton, a Columbiana County Quaker, who has them conducted to "depots" at Warren, Gustavus, Hartford and Andover.  After leaving Andover, they were guided to the homes of Albert Kellogg, Sidney Bushnell and S. Hayward in the Kelloggsville area.  Their next stop was usually at the residence of M. W. Wright or Rev. Rufus Clark at the South Ridge.
     All precautions were taken to keep the owners from finding their slaves.  It was the duty of local authorities to return slaves to their owners so the members of the underground railway system had to be doubly careful.  Secret rooms and sub-cellars were built in houses and barns for hiding the fugitives,  and traveling was confined for the most part to hours of darkness.
     The William and David Gould homes, across the state line in West Springfield, were the "depots" most often used after the slaves left South Ridge.  From there they were sent on toward Canada by way of Erie or Buffalo.  The abolition of slavery ended the necessity for the underground railway.

This Web Page has been created to promote the City of Conneaut, Ohio by Sharon Wick 2002