The Underground Railroad in Adams County
“Gettysburg’s Untold Struggle for Freedom”
The incredible drama of the Underground Railroad in the Gettysburg area will be the topic of the March 3 meeting of Historic Gettysburg Adams County. Dr. Charles Teague, president of the society, will be the presenter for this 7:30 p.m. program. The location is the GAR Hall at 53 East Middle Street, Gettysburg. There is no charge to attend, and reservations are not required. Simply show up at the GAR Hall.
For too long, the decisive Battle of Gettysburg has overshadowed earlier struggles for freedom in the Gettysburg area. This was an early and significant area for freedom seekers trekking north. The mountains and shore lines of Virginia and Maryland tended to funnel fugitives to cross the Mason-Dixon line here before heading for further destinations such as Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Rochester, and Canada.
There was incredible tension about slavery in south-central Pennsylvania, where the institution was once common. Family and business ties to the South made it complicated. Proximity to areas where slavery was still practiced made it inevitable that many fugitives would head this direction seeking freedom.
Through the first half of the 19th Century an increasing number of local men and women, black and white, began to work together to end the atrocity of slavery. Part of this was through the public assertion of abolition principles. Yet a key part was secretive and, indeed, illicit in aiding and abetting fugitives. A 19th Century historian declared Gettysburg to be one of the first stations on the Underground Railroad, which was true geographically and chronologically. Significant and heroic work occurred in this area enabling thousands to breathe free. The heroes and the villains in this story were surprising.
This program is offered free of charge to the public. Historic Gettysburg Adams County, Inc., was established in 1975 to foster the preservation and interpretation of the historic structures, landscapes, and activities of Gettysburg and Adams County, and to encourage the appreciation thereof by the general public. For further questions, you may call 334-5185.