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
- This New York Times ‘Hitler’ book review sure reads like a thinly veiled Trump comparison
- Chicago Tribune editorial: The government should release secret grand jury testimony about its 1942 scoop: "Jap Plan to Strike at Sea"
- US owes blacks reparations over slavery: UN experts
- Mali Islamist jailed for nine years for Timbuktu shrine attacks
- Poland wrestles with its past — and present
- What Historians Are Saying About the First Trump-Clinton Debate
- Princeton professor documents the movement that ended single-sex education at elite schools
- Annette Gordon-Reed tells historians the controversy over Harvard law school's shield is different from the fight over the Confederate flag
- Historian EP Thompson denounced Communist party chiefs, files show
- Voting opens soon for the leaders of the OAH in 2017