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Marietta in Washington County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Muskingum River Underground Railroad / Marietta Leaders of the Underground Railroad
 
Muskingum River Underground Railroad Marker (Side A) Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2009
1. Muskingum River Underground Railroad Marker (Side A)
 
Inscription.
Muskingtum River Underground Railroad
People living in Marietta and along the Muskingum River shared a history of slavery opposition. Manasseh Cutler, from Massachusetts and an Ohio Land Company agent, helped draft the Ordinance of 1787 that prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory. General Rufus Putnam, Captain Jonathan Stone, and other Ohio Land Company Revolutionary War veterans, founded Marietta at the mouth of the Muskingum River in 1788 bringing with them their anti-slavery sentiments. A proposal to legalize slavery in the proposed state of Ohio was vetoed largely due to the efforts of Marietta's Ephraim Cutler and General Putnam at the 1802 Ohio Constitutional Convention. These conditions were precursors toward the formation of the Underground Railroad as fugitive slaves crossed the Ohio River seeking freedom. From 1812 through 1861, large numbers of fugitive slaves fleeing toward Canada, were aided by descendants of early settlers who operated Underground Railroad Stations along the Muskingum River.

Marietta Leaders of the Underground Railroad
James Davis (1787-1862) was born in Harmar (Marietta) and was the first documented African American born in the Northwest Territory. During his adult life, he became an Underground Railroad activist in Dayton, Ohio. David Putnam,
 
Marietta Leaders of the Underground Railroad Marker (Side B) Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2009
2. Marietta Leaders of the Underground Railroad Marker (Side B)
 
Jr. (1808-1882), a great grandson of General Israel Putnam, was born and raised in Harmar where he later conducted Underground Railroad activities. Francis Dana (Barker) Gage (1808-1884), daughter of Colonel Joseph Barker, was born in Marietta and became a leading figure nationally with the Abolitionist, Temperance, and Women's Suffrage Movements. Faculty and students from Marietta College became active in the Washington County Anti-slavery Society when it was formed in 1836 at the college. Charlotte Scott, a freed slave living in Marietta at the time of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination suggested placing the Emancipation Monument in Washington DC to honor Lincoln. She donated the first five dollars to raise funds culminating in an 1872 dedication ceremony.
 
Erected 2008 by Belpre Historical Society and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 20-84.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 39° 25.216′ N, 81° 27.771′ W. Marker is in Marietta, Ohio, in Washington County. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of the Ohio River Museum, 601 Front Street. Marker is between the museum and the Washington Street bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Marietta OH 45750, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
 
Muskingum River Underground Railroad / Marietta Leaders of the Underground Railroad Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2009
3. Muskingum River Underground Railroad / Marietta Leaders of the Underground Railroad Marker
Looking west, with the Towboat W. P. Snyder, Jr. and Muskingum River in background.
 
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oweva Engine (a few steps from this marker); The Towboat W. P. Snyder Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Life on the River / Boats on the Ohio (within shouting distance of this marker); The W. P. Snyder Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Tour of the Snyder (within shouting distance of this marker); Mighty River / Learning the River (within shouting distance of this marker); River Town / Sails and Steam / The Highway West (within shouting distance of this marker); Flood Heights (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Marietta.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 15, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 1,663 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 15, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
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