Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Belpre in Washington County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Underground Railroad Crossings / Near Border War

 
 
Underground Railroad Crossings Marker (Side A) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2009
1. Underground Railroad Crossings Marker (Side A)
Inscription.
Underground Railroad Crossings
Underground Railroad crossings, agents, and conductors were common along the Ohio River between Washington County, Ohio and Wood County, Virginia. At Constitution, six miles upriver from Belpre, Judge Ephraim Cutler listened for hoot owl calls that signaled when a boatload of runaway slaves was crossing from Virginia to the Ohio shore. “Aunt Jenny,” a slave woman in Virginia, used a horn signal to alert abolitionist John Stone in Belpre when fugitive slaves were crossing. At Little Hocking, eight miles downriver from Belpre, slaves crossing from Virginia looked for a lantern signal to guide them to the Horace Curtis Station on the Ohio River shore. Runaway slaves were also assisted by Thomas Vickers at Twin Bridges, James Lawton at Barlow, and others as they traveled northward by various routes through Morgan County to Putnam in Muskingum County where the Underground Railroad merged with the Muskingum River Corridor.

Near Border War
In July 1845, an incident at Belpre nearly led to war between Ohio and Virginia when armed Virginia slave catchers intercepted six fugitive slaves getting out of a boat on the Ohio shore. Ohio citizens Peter M. Garner, Crayton J. Lorraine, and Mordicai Thomas were arrested by the Virginians, taken to jail in
Near Border War Marker (Side B) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2009
2. Near Border War Marker (Side B)
Parkersburg, Virginia, and held without bail on charges of violating Virginia's fugitive slave laws, laws not applicable in Ohio where slavery was illegal. Jurisdictional issues regarding the states' boundary lines were raised. The question was whether the prisoners had actually been apprehended in Ohio or Virginia. Tensions increased when Ohio's governor threatened to use Ohio's militia to enter Virginia and free the prisoners. After six months Virginia courts finally released the prisoners on their own recognizance with the question of jurisdiction never resolved.
 
Erected 2008 by Belpre Historical Society and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 22-84.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 39° 16.292′ N, 81° 34.47′ W. Marker is in Belpre, Ohio, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of Ridge Street and Locust Street, on the left when traveling west on Ridge Street. Click for map. Marker is in front of the Belpre Historical Society. Marker is at or near this postal address: 509 Ridge Street, Belpre OH 45714, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Women of Courage (approx. 0.6 miles
Underground Railroad Crossings / Near Border War Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2009
3. Underground Railroad Crossings / Near Border War Marker
Belpre Historical Society in background.
away in West Virginia); Vital Transportation Center (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia); Escape to Freedom (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia); Railroads (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia); Blennerhassett Island (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia); Early Parkersburg (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia); The Point (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia); Historic Blennerhassett Hotel (approx. 0.6 miles away in West Virginia).
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansHeroesWaterways & Vessels
 
1915 Parkersburg-Ohio Bridge Company Builder's Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2009
4. 1915 Parkersburg-Ohio Bridge Company Builder's Marker
In front of Belpre Historical Society
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,468 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement