Monday, November 19, 2012

Underground Railroad Reminiscences

One of my current projects has given me the amazing opportunity to learn about the Underground Railroad and the incredible events that took place in Erie County, Ohio, and beyond. I found the following account presented to the Firelands Historical Society in 1887 to be particularly moving.

On December 25, 1859 or 1860 when H.F. Paden was a passenger conductor on the old Sandusky, Mansfield and Newark Railroad, he assisted nine fugitive slaves in their journey to freedom in Canada. Paden got the men as far as the Sandusky, Ohio, where he observed the following:

“Between them and their goal lay Lake Erie, its waters congealed by the forces of nature into a mighty bridge, thirty miles across, treacherous withal, liable to be swept by furious winds and cruel blinding storms of snow. To the certain and uncertain places of this bridge, alike unknown to them, with a pocket compass for their sole guide, these men were about to commit themselves, their hopes, their dearest interests, their very lives, with trustful confidence in a God of freedom, for one grand, final effort to achieve ownership of their own bodies and souls.”

No comments:

Post a Comment