Portsmouth in Scioto County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Crossing at Scioto County / The Underground Railroad
Historic Underground Railroad Site
The Crossing at Scioto County (front)
The Ohio River was a formidable obstacle for escaping slaves. Many runaways from Kentucky were aided by James Poindexter, an African-American barber and local resident, who picked up fugitives in Kentucky and rowed them across the Ohio River to Portsmouth. After arriving on the Ohio side, they were sometimes hidden by another man of color, John Adams, in his home on Chillicothe Street near Eleventh.
Riverboat captain William McClain, whose principal route was between Cincinnati and Portsmouth, picked up runaways on the Kentucky side of the river and delivered them safely to the Portsmouth stations of Joseph Ashton and Milton Kennedy or northeast to J. J. Minor in South Webster.
Because slave catchers also crossed the Ohio River at this place, runaway slaves more often than not were taken as swiftly as possible to the next station north of town.
The Underground Railroad (back)
The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad, but a system of loosely connected safe havens where those escaping the brutal conditions of slavery were sheltered,
Erected by Friends of Freedom Society, Ohio Underground Railroad Association, and Ohio Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Civil Rights • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 38° 43.904′ N, 82° 59.791′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, Ohio, in Scioto County. Marker is at the intersection of Chillicothe Street and 2nd Street (U.S. 23), on the right when traveling north on Chillicothe Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth OH 45662, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bigelow Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alexandria / Alexandria Flood / Stone House / Court Street Gateway (approx. ¼ mile away); Introduction / The Mound Builders / Early Shawnee Village, 1730 / Celeron de Blainville, 1749All Saints' Episcopal Church (approx. ¼ mile away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Eli Kinney House (approx. ¼ mile away); Platting of Portsmouth, 1803 / The 1810 House / The 1812 Era / Flood Gate House / Early Boneyfiddle (approx. ¼ mile away); Stagecoach / Hanging Rock Region / Ohio and Erie Canal / Early Industries (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
Also see . . .
1. The Friends of Freedom Society, Ohio Underground Railroad Association. (Submitted on September 12, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Ohio Underground Railroad Information Station. (Submitted on September 12, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Ohio''s Role in the Underground Railroad. (Submitted on September 12, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,228 times since then and 90 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 12, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.