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Kentucky's Underground Railroad-Passage to Freedom
Total Running Time: 57:00

Text:
In 1850 one in every five Kentuckians was held in bondage. Over 200,000 black men, women, and children were bought and sold like animals, their families torn apart. Shackles and whips enforced the master's rule, and brutal patrollers roamed the countryside. Still, thousands of slaves attempted to escape. Many made it across the Ohio River and beyond. Others were not so lucky. This is the story of some of those who ran, and those who helped them on their way.

Featuring

  • Dr. Blaine Hudson, University of Louisville
  • Dr. Anne Butler, Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans, Kentucky State University
  • Pen Bogert, The Filson Club Historical Society

Summary:
Discussions of the size of slave holding in Kentucky, importance of Kentucky in the domestic slave trade, slave breeding, myth of the mildness of Kentucky slavery, lyrics to My Old Kentucky Home.

Featuring:

  • Dr. Charles Blockson, Temple University
  • Diane Perrine Coon, Trimble County, KY
  • Jerry Gore, Mason County, KY
  • Dr. James Klotter, Georgetown College
  • Larry Gara, The Liberty Line
  • Dr. Marion Lucas, The History of Blacks in Kentucky

Summary:
Discussions of the correspondence of Underground Railroad terms with the locomotive train system, relationship of Kentucky to the Mason-Dixon Line, the myth of the well organized Underground Railroad, the harsh realities of slavery and the separation of families, courageous acts of resistance including help from free black people, particularly in Louisville; stories of Josiah Henson, Louis Hayden, Delia Webster and Calvin Fairbank.

Featuring:

  • Jerry Gore, Mason County, KY
  • David Cartmell, Mason County, KY
  • Nona Marshall, National Underground Railroad Museum, Inc., Maysville
  • Walker Gollar, Catholic Slaves and Slave Holders

Summary:
Descriptions of the Marshall Key house and relationship to Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Paxton Inn as a safe house, origination of the name Underground Railroad as slaveholder propaganda, National Underground Railroad Museum in Maysville.

Featuring

  • Eugene Settles, Ripley, OH

Summary:
Grandson of former slave Joseph Settles, who crossed the Ohio River twice to get family members, tells the family history.

Featuring:

  • Betty Campbell, Ripley, OH
  • John Cooper, Ripley, OH
  • James Setles, Ripley, OH

Summary:
Explanation of the abolitionist network in Ripley, Ohio and the work of Presbyterian minister Rev. John Rankin and John Parker to help hundreds of slaves escaping from Kentucky. John Parker was a former slave who purchased his freedom and owned several patents on inventions; the story of Eliza Harris crossing the frozen Ohio River and inclusion in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Featuring:

  • Ted Harris, Covington, KY
  • Walker Gollar, Catholic Slaves and Slave Holders
  • Ed Rigaud, National Underground Freedom Center, Inc.

Summary:
Explanation of the impact of Kentucky's geography and the Ohio River as border to freedom, natural corridors used by escaping slaves, importance of Cincinnati as destination for escaping slaves; stories of Levi Coffin, the "president" of the Underground Railroad, and James Bradley, a former slave; the importance of Uncle Tom's Cabin, "the book that started the Civil War."

Featuring:

  • Joanne Caputo, Diversity of Love
  • Jay Stottman, University of Kentucky
  • Kim McBride, University of Kentucky
  • Steven Weisenburger, The Modern Medea

Summary:
An archeological dig at Maplewood, home of Margaret Garner, who killed her daughter Mary rather than have her return to slavery. Discussion of the family devastation and trauma caused by slavery.

Featuring:

  • Dr. Marion Lucas, The History of Blacks in Kentucky
  • Joel Strangis, Lewis Hayden and the War Against Slavery
  • Randolph Runyon, Delia Webster and the Underground Railroad
  • James Prichard, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
  • Dr. Doris Wilkinson, University of Kentucky
  • Dr. Anne Butler, Kentucky State University

Summary:
Lexington had the highest concentration of slaves in Kentucky. Explanation of the escape of Louis Hayden from Lexington, with the aid of Delia Webster and Calvin Fairbank and their resulting imprisonment; the 1848 Doyle Conspiracy in Lexington, the greatest mass escape of slaves in the state; the story of escaped slave William Well Brown, Lexington native.

Featuring:

  • Lillian Gentry, Lexington, KY
  • Dr. Doris Wilkinson, University of Kentucky
  • Fannie Mae Huggins, Lexington, KY

Summary:
Discussion of the importance of black churches in assisting slave escapes; the hidden meanings of spirituals and codes used in escapes.

Featuring:

  • Dr. James Klotter, Georgetown College
  • Dr. Marion Lucas, The History of Blacks in Kentucky
  • Richard Sears, Berea College
  • David Birney, Danville, KY
  • Richard Brown, Danville, KY

Summary:
Discussion of the lack of opposition to slavery in Kentucky, everybody had a profit motive; the stories of the exceptions: Cassius Clay in Madison County, James G. Birney in Danville, and John G. Fee in Berea, includes examples of the role of newspapers in anti-slavery movements.

Featuring:

  • Diane Perrine Coon, Trimble County, KY
  • James Prichard, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
  • Franklin Inskeep, Madison, IN
  • Dr. Marion Lucas, The History of Blacks in Kentucky

Summary:
Discussion of the stories of Elijah and William Anderson, free blacks in Indiana who helped slaves escape from Trimble and Carroll Counties; and the story of escaped slave Henry Bibb from Bedford, KY, whose autobiography was an important instrument of the abolitionist movement.

Featuring:

  • Jackie Sheppard Ford, Georgetown, IN
  • John Sherwood, Marshall, MI

Summary:
A relative, seven generations removed, tells the family history of Adam and Sarah Crosswhite who fled Carroll County and relocated to Marshall, MI and the heroic effort of the town to save the Crosswhite family from the slaveowner who came after them, includes modern-day perspective on crossing the Ohio River.

Featuring:

  • Kathy Wilkerson, New Albany, IN

Summary:
A student field trip to a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Featuring:

  • Gwen Robinson, Chatham, Ontario
  • Bryan Prince, Buxton, Ontario
  • Shannon Prince, Buxton Museum
  • Barbara Carter, Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site

Summary:
Interviews with members of the Buxton Settlement in Ontario, Canada, which was founded by escaped slaves from Kentucky and is still thriving; and with a great-great-granddaughter of Josiah Henson, who fled from Owensboro with his family to Canada and is regarded as the inspiration for Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe's book.

Featuring:

  • Dr. Doris Wilkinson, University of Kentucky
  • Ed Rigaud, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Inc.
  • Dr. James Klotter, State Historian
  • Dr. Blaine Hudson, University of Louisville
  • Jerry Gore, National Underground Railroad Museum, Inc, Maysville

Summary:
A collection of memorable quotes summarizing the legacy of the fugitive slave movement and Kentucky's slave history.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 09-May-2006 10:39:20 EDT