Long lost underground railway site found in MichiganBreaking News
Experts estimate that 1,500 fugitive slaves arrived in Cass County before the Civil War seeking freedom. They were mostly aided by Quakers and free blacks. Some left for Detroit or Canada.
For the 200 who stayed, the Quakers provided small plots of land in exchange for harvesting crops or clearing trees for farmland. Blacks lived in sharecropper-style cabins on the land, sometimes for years.
In 2002, archaeologists uncovered 1,143 artifacts at 12 sites in Penn and Calvin Townships near Vandalia in southwestern Michigan.
The Western Michigan team submitted a final report last month to the Michigan Historical Center, a state agency that commissioned the research to identify Underground Railroad sites.
A few decades after the abolition of slavery, the Ramptown remains could not be found. The location of the community, originally Young's Prairie, never appeared on historical maps, and people with firsthand knowledge started dying out.
"Because this was a clandestine activity, it's been difficult to try to identify evidence of this," Professor Nassaney said.
His team surveyed sites for signs of domestic households. Searching in agricultural fields being plowed, the team found nails, horseshoes and pieces of pottery, glass and brick.
Because the sites did not coincide with housing on maps from the mid-1800's, the team used written and oral historical accounts and concluded that Ramptown residents had occupied the sites.
comments powered by Disqus
- The First Time a Plane Was Bombed
- Female World War II Pilots Can Now Have Their Ashes at Arlington National Cemetery
- Obama Signs Bill Removing ‘Negro,’ ‘Oriental’ from Federal Laws
- ISIS Destroys Ancient Adad & Mashki Gates in Nineveh, Iraq
- Geographical names with “Jim Crow” are history in this state
- Timothy Garton Ash Puts Forth a Free-Speech Manifesto
- Iowa historian makes independent bid for US Senate
- British feminist historian declines prestigious Israeli award following BDS pressure
- Robert W. Gutman, Biographer of Wagner and Mozart, Dies at 90
- Greg O’Malley’s go-to slave trade database will soon show more than the path the ships took from Africa to the New World