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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
York in York County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Underground Railroad and Precursors to War

 
 
The Underground Railroad and Precursors to War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Henry T. McLin, September 29, 2009
1. The Underground Railroad and Precursors to War Marker
Inscription. Among the events in the 1850s that helped drive the nation into civil war, the Christiana Riot put a controversial new law to a bloody test. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 ordered federal officers to arrest suspected runaway slaves; it also threatened imprisonment to anyone aiding a runaway. In 1851, Edward Gorsuch, a Maryland farmer, heard that four of his escaped slaves had been seen in southern Pennsylvania. With an armed posse, Gorsuch arrived at William Parker's Christiana home, where fugitives had been hiding. Parker, an escaped slave himself from Maryland, had passed first through York before settling in Christiana. After neighbors gathered to oppose the posse, Gorsuch was shot and killed. Federal authorities charged participants with treason, but all were acquitted. Southerners fumed over the verdict. John Brown's raid on the Federal arsenal in Harper's Ferry, Virginia, lit the country's already short fuse. The Federal force sent after Brown included York resident Lieutenant Michael P. Small. Among Brown's raiders was Osborne Perry Anderson who escaped to Chambersburg on foot. From there he turned to the Underground Railroad for safety. A local conductor, Freedman William C. Goodridge, hid him in York. Anderson eventually escaped to Canada.
 
Erected 2009 by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series.
View looking Northwest from Center Square. image. Click for full size.
By Henry T. McLin, September 29, 2009
2. View looking Northwest from Center Square.
Marker in left center.
This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 57.749′ N, 76° 43.673′ W. Marker is in York, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street (Pennsylvania Route 462) and West Market Street and North George Street on Market Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: York PA 17403, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Black Horse Tavern (a few steps from this marker); York surrenders to save city (a few steps from this marker); Articles of Confederation (a few steps from this marker); McClean House (within shouting distance of this marker); Continental Treasury (within shouting distance of this marker); Provincial Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Globe Inn (within shouting distance of this marker); York and York County World War II Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in York.
 
More about this marker. In the lower half of the marker is a portrait captioned, Osborne Perry Anderson, one of John Brown's raiders, escaped to Chambersburg following the 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry. Anderson was hidden in York by William Goodridge before escaping to Canada.
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,062 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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