Hoax thrust area into slavery debate (Ohio)

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Trying to preserve the Union during a tumultuous time in history, several prominent local men conspired and manufactured artifacts to support an emerging anti-slavery theory.

Known as Newark's Holy Stones, the artifacts later were proven to be fake. But two local men have done extensive research to discover the reasons behind the conspiracy.

Brad Lepper, an Ohio Historical Society archaeologist, first learned of the pair of hand-carved stones found in the Newark area in 1860 while he was a graduate student working at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, where the original stones are housed.

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