Abraham Depp Freedom Station
Underground Railroad Marker
No one was more fiercely committed to the Underground Rail Road than former slaves.They knew first-hand the darkness and despair of bondage. Such was Abraham Depp (1791- 1858), known as Abram, born a slave on a tobacco plantation in Powhatan County, Virginia. When he was ten (18o1), slave-holder John Depp issued an emancipation deed for Abram, mother Lucinda (1765- 1857), and his siblings awarding them 500 acres in Powhatan County upon John and wife Elizabeth’s deaths. In 1806, Virginia law required freed slaves to leave the state or risk arrest for loitering and sale back into bondage. As he waited, Abram became a skilled blacksmith, industrious and trustworthy. Abram’s freedom moment came in 1831 when John Depp passed. Abram was 40. Thereafter, Abram’s life changed quickly. He inherited property “both land and negroes,” but some family members remained in bondage while Mrs. Depp lived. On March 19, 1832, Abram’s petition to the Virginia General Assembly was granted for the privilege of residing in the county unmolested. for two years to dispose of his property and make arrangements for his departure from the Commonwealth. On March 5, 1834, Abram and wife Mary registered their marriage. He then journeyed north to Columbus, Ohio where he found other free blacks from Virginia- all
In February 1835, Elizabeth Depp died. Within two weeks, Abram's family sold their Virginia acreage and immigrated to Ohio, while the remaining Depp slaves were sold. Abram's wife Mary died on the trip north. In June, 1835, Abram paid $1100 to Joseph Sullivant for 300 acres in Concord Township. Upon settling on his land, Abram established a Baptist church and an Underground Railroad station using a limestone cave along the Scioto River (since flooded in 1925 by the O’Shaughnessy Reservoir). It was sad that Ethelred (Dred) Weaver and others operated between the Friend Street (Main Street) Station in Columbus and the Depp Station. Abram had three children with his wife Mary, including son Aurelius who attended Oberlin College and later joined the 27th Ohio Colored Troops with step-brother John (1864). They fought in Virginia during the Civil War. Abram had six children with second wife China (1838), one of whom was Lucy Depp Whyte. It is said that the bell at Lucy Depp Park was once used as an “all clear” signal for runaways making their way from Columbus to the Depp Station.
Erected 2016 by Lucy Depp Civic Association Wm L. and Irene Williams Friends of Freedom Society.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lucy Depp Park & The Depp Settlement (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Grand Carousel (approx. 1.3 miles away); Polish Patriot Thaddeus Kosciusko (approx. 1.8 miles away); Jerome Township Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away); Jerome United Methodist Church/Company E, 30th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (approx. 1.9 miles away); Leatherlips (approx. 2.2 miles away); Jack Nicklaus (approx. 2.9 miles away); Powell WW I Memorial (approx. 3˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Powell.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 128 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 7, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.