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8 Underground Railroad stops in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

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02/01/2022, 10:40 p.mUpdated 22 million ago

Through: News 12 employees

The Underground Railroad that carried escaped slaves to freedom ran through New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Here’s a look at eight notable spots in the tri-state area.

Harriet Tubman home

180 South St Auburn, New York

Click HERE for more information about the house.
Click HERE for more information on Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.
Harriet Tubman bought a farm on the outskirts of Auburn, New York, in the town of Fleming in 1859.  Upon her return from the war in 1865, her home turned into a haven for a cacophony of people, including her parents and other relatives, and anyone in need of food, clothing, shelter, or medical attention.  Tubman lived on this property for over fifty years while fighting as a suffragist, social activist and advocate for the elderly.  Today the home is owned and managed by Harriet Tubman National Historical Park's legislative partners, Harriet Tubman Home Inc., under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.  The house is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Harriet Tubman bought a farm on the outskirts of Auburn, New York, in the town of Fleming in 1859. Upon her return from the war in 1865, her home turned into a haven for a cacophony of people, including her parents and other relatives, and anyone in need of food, clothing, shelter, or medical attention. Tubman lived on this property for over fifty years while fighting as a suffragist, social activist and advocate for the elderly. Today the home is owned and managed by Harriet Tubman National Historical Park’s legislative partners, Harriet Tubman Home Inc., under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The house is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged and Infirm Negroes

180 South St Auburn, New York

The Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged & Indigent Negroes is owned and managed by Harriet Tubman National Historical Park's legislative partners, Harriet Tubman Home Inc., under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
The Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged & Indigent Negroes is owned and managed by Harriet Tubman National Historical Park’s legislative partners, Harriet Tubman Home Inc., under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Home of Stephen and Harriet Myers

194 Livingston Ave. Albany, New York

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Listed as a site on the Network to Freedom, the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence served as one of the offices for the Vigilance Committee of Albany in the 1840s and 1850s.  This organization helped hundreds of freedom seekers who passed through Albany fleeing slavery.  Stephen and Harriet Myers played key roles in this Vigilance Committee and in Underground Railroad activism within the city.  Today the building is owned by the Underground Railroad Education Center, which opens the house for tours by appointment.  (Image credit: NPS photo)
Listed as a site on the Network to Freedom, the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence served as one of the offices for the Vigilance Committee of Albany in the 1840s and 1850s. This organization helped hundreds of freedom seekers who passed through Albany fleeing slavery. Stephen and Harriet Myers played key roles in this Vigilance Committee and in Underground Railroad activism within the city. Today the building is owned by the Underground Railroad Education Center, which opens the house for tours by appointment. (Image credit: NPS photo)

Plymouth Church

57 Orange St Brooklyn Heights, New York

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Parishioners of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, a listed site on the Network to Freedom, participated in Underground Railroad activism throughout the 19th century.  Church members involved in Underground Railroad activities included Henry C. Bowen, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Lewis Tappan.  The Church's many connections to the Underground Railroad led an early Church historian to call the site
Parishioners of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, a listed site on the Network to Freedom, participated in Underground Railroad activism throughout the 19th century. Church members involved in Underground Railroad activities included Henry C. Bowen, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Lewis Tappan. The Church’s many connections to the Underground Railroad led an early Church historian to call the site “the Grand Central Depot of the Underground Railroad.” (Image credit: NPS photo)

Stephen Smith House

645 Lafayette St. Cape May, New Jersey

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The Stephen Smith House in Cape May, New Jersey, listed as a site on the Network to Freedom, served as Stephen Smith's summer home from the 1840s through the 1870s.  Born a slave, Smith bought his freedom before moving to Philadelphia and starting a very successful charcoal and lumber business.  It is not known if Smith used this house specifically for his underground railroad activism - but Smith played an important role in Philadelphia's underground railroad community.  This home provides an important opportunity to share Smith's story with the public.  Today the home is privately owned and the Network to Freedom requires that the homeowner's privacy be respected.  (Photo credit: NPS Photo / Krawitz)
The Stephen Smith House in Cape May, New Jersey, listed as a site on the Network to Freedom, served as Stephen Smith’s summer home from the 1840s through the 1870s. Born a slave, Smith bought his freedom before moving to Philadelphia and starting a very successful charcoal and lumber business. It is not known if Smith used this house specifically for his underground railroad activism – but Smith played an important role in Philadelphia’s underground railroad community. This home provides an important opportunity to share Smith’s story with the public. Today the home is privately owned and the Network to Freedom requires that the homeowner’s privacy be respected. (Photo credit: NPS Photo / Krawitz)

New London Customs House

150 Bank Street, New London, Connecticut

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A listed Network to Freedom location, the New London Custom House witnessed two significant moments in the history of the Underground Railroad.  After federal officials arrested freedom seekers hiding on the Cuban ship Amistad in 1839, they towed the ship from Long Island Sound to the New London Custom House for an investigation.  In September 1858, federal agents arrested freedom-seeker Benjamin Jones, who was hiding on a wooden schooner to find freedom.  Despite the Federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the agents chose to release Jones.  Today the New London Custom House serves as a private non-profit museum.  (Image credit: New London Maritime Society)
A listed Network to Freedom location, the New London Custom House witnessed two significant moments in the history of the Underground Railroad. After federal officials arrested freedom seekers hiding on the Cuban ship Amistad in 1839, they towed the ship from Long Island Sound to the New London Custom House for an investigation. In September 1858, federal agents arrested freedom-seeker Benjamin Jones, who was hiding on a wooden schooner to find freedom. Despite the Federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the agents chose to release Jones. Today the New London Custom House serves as a private non-profit museum. (Image credit: New London Maritime Society)

Bowne house

37-01 Bowne St Flushing, New York

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Listed as a Network to Freedom facility in September 2021, Bowne House serves as the historic house museum and archive.  Three former residents of the home, Samuel, Robert, and William Bowne Parsons, along with a network of other New Yorkers, actively served underground railroad activism.  Archival records kept in the home, documenting over 300 years of family and community history, provide the context of a Quaker family's underground work.  (Image credit: Bowne House)
Listed as a Network to Freedom facility in September 2021, Bowne House serves as the historic house museum and archive. Three former residents of the home, Samuel, Robert, and William Bowne Parsons, along with a network of other New Yorkers, actively served underground railroad activism. Archival records kept in the home, documenting over 300 years of family and community history, provide the context of a Quaker family’s underground work. (Image credit: Bowne House)

Gerrit Smith National Historic Landmark

5304 Oxbow Rd, Peterboro, New York

Click here for more info.
The Gerrit Smith Estate served as the home for prominent abolitionist Gerrit Smith and a prominent place for freedom seekers to stop after escaping slavery.  Smith also financially supported notorious abolitionist John Brown's work in Kansas and was among Brown's
The Gerrit Smith Estate served as the home for prominent abolitionist Gerrit Smith and a prominent place for freedom seekers to stop after escaping slavery. Smith also financially supported notorious abolitionist John Brown’s work in Kansas and was among Brown’s “Secret Six” supporters of the Harpers Ferry raid. (Copyright: Heitzman, Gerrit Smith Estate NHL)

MORE TO CHECK

  The 7-mile Cape May Underground Railroad Trolley Tour describes six specific locations and highlights this important community's contributions to Underground Railroad activism.  Today the program is administered by Cape May MAC - a private non-profit organization.  (Photo credit: Cape May Museums, Arts and Culture)
The 7-mile Cape May Underground Railroad Trolley Tour describes six specific locations and highlights this important community’s contributions to Underground Railroad activism. Today the program is administered by Cape May MAC – a private non-profit organization. (Photo credit: Cape May Museums, Arts, & Culture) African Burial Ground National Monument – ​​Located in New York City, this national monument honors the memory of the free and enslaved Africans buried there and focuses on the role of slavery in New York.
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The memorial at African Burial Ground National Monument (Photo: AP)

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