(no date or source)
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.
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