Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 26, 2013

BRADBERRY: Niagara's Heritage: Beyond, race, borders

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — • 1848: Thomas Garrett, one of the underground’s most important station masters, is put on trial in Wilmington, Delaware for helping the escape of six fugitive slaves. After his acquittal, he defiantly declares that he will add another story to his home to accommodate more fugitives. The first national women’s rights conference is held in Seneca Falls. Women have long been active in the underground. Increasingly, they identify their own oppression with that of slaves.

 1849: Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland. She will return to Maryland at least 13 times to rescue slaves, and guide them to safety in the North, becoming the most famous “conductor” on the underground. Thomas Garrett and William Still will be among her closest collaborators.

1850: Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Act. The law requires all citizens regardless of their personal beliefs to collaborate with public officials in capturing and returning fugitive slaves to their masters. Protests against the law erupt across the North. Recruits flock to help the Underground Railroad.

• 1850s: Fugitive slaves in Canada number more than 20,000. Communities mature and prosper. Fugitive slave, underground activist, and journalist Henry Bibb establishes the Voice of the Fugitive, which reports details of fugitives’ arrivals in Canada. His rival, Mary Ann Shadd, the daughter of an underground station master, becomes the first black woman to publish a newspaper in North America.

 1861: South Carolina troops fire on Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor. The Civil War begins.

• 1861-1865: The Underground Railroad is superseded by the Civil War. Wherever Union armies march, slaves flock to their protection.

• 1870: The Fifteenth Amendment extends suffrage to African-Americans. Underground veteran Levi Coffin proclaims that the underground has reached its symbolic end. “Our work is done,” he declares.

While the work of the Underground Railroad may have come to a symbolic end, the war to end racism and the efforts to fully integrate our entire history has only just begun…

Contact Bill at bill.bradberry@yahoo.com

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

    July 24, 2014

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page