By Michelle Arnosky Sherburne
Manybelieve that aid for the abolition of slavery was once universally permitted inVermont, however it was once truly a fiercely divisive factor that rocked the GreenMountain nation. in the course of turbulence and violence, notwithstanding, a few braveVermonters helped struggle for the liberty in their enslaved Southern brethren.Thaddeus Stevens—one of abolition’s so much outspoken advocates—was a Vermontnative. Delia Webster, the 1st girl arrested for supporting a fugitive slave,was additionally a Vermonter. The Rokeby apartment in Ferrisburgh was once a hectic UndergroundRailroad station for many years. Peacham’s Oliver Johnson labored heavily withWilliam Lloyd Garrison throughout the abolition circulation. notice the tales ofthese and others in Vermont who risked their very own lives to assist greater than fourthousand slaves to freedom.
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Additional info for Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Vermont
As a form of defiance, many Northerners chose to ignore the law, and it is difficult to find court cases or newspaper accounts of fugitive slave returns after 1850. Throughout the nation, there was increased activity of the Underground Railroad instead of people abiding by the new law and turning in fugitives. The law fueled abolitionists to do as much as they could to help fugitive slaves. Another ripple effect from this law was that many records of Underground Railroad assistance were destroyed.
But his family had been found! At age seventy-five, White decided to share his slave background with his Manchester friends. They encouraged him to share his story and go visit his family. Manchester resident Elizabeth Wickham was a member of the same church as White and volunteered to write an article about his life. She wrote an article that was published in the Manchester Journal on January 12, 1869. A month later, it was printed as a pamphlet called, “A Lost Family Found: An Authentic Narrative of Cyrus Branch and His Family, Alias John White, of Manchester, Vermont” to raise money for a trip to Virginia to see his family.
When a town was mentioned, I had to find out the who, what, when, where and how. I learned that cross-referencing was key in learning how people were connected. I would find a phrase like “a teacher from Vermont, Delia Webster” or “Springfield, Vermont” referenced in a book about the Underground Railroad. It took piecing together information to learn more about that reference. The forerunner in researching the Underground Railroad was Wilbur Siebert. Born in 1866, he was a University of Ohio professor who collected and recorded a history of the Underground Railroad throughout the country.
Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Vermont by Michelle Arnosky Sherburne