The Underground Railroad in Crawford County
The Underground Railroad
Runaway slaves used a web of routes through Crawford County, most going through the city of Bucyrus. Present-day State Route 98 to State Route 4, laid out in 1822 from Norton in northern Delaware County through Bucyrus to Sandusky in Erie County, so straight that no conductor was needed. Bucyrus’ most notable abolitionist was its second sheriff, John Moderwell, a Presbyterian whose house could hold twenty slaves in a false attic. Another notable Bucyrian , John Anderson, used an upstairs room in the American Hotel on Sandusky Avenue at Warren Street, to hide runaways. A famous abolitionist speech had been given in that same room in 1839. The “Old Quaker” Benjamin Warner lived five and a half miles south of Bucyrus on route 98 and gave ‘runners’ “a place to sleep and a hearty breakfast, and sent them on their way rejoicing.” He made many trips to Friends living north of Bucyrus, hauling his trembling passengers in broad daylight, concealed under nothing but loose straw. Runaways along the Tiffin Road worked for a time for Fisher Quaintance on the Jackson Farm. Jackson’s sons were often seen hauling wagonloads into Seneca County where blacks living there would provide aid and shelter. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made Peter Wert move to New Winchester. “Black Pete” hid hundreds
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, fed, clothed, nursed, concealed, disguised, and instructed during their journey to freedom. Although this movement was one of America's greatest social, moral, and humanitarian endeavors, the details about it were often cloaked in secrecy to protect those involved from the retribution of civil law and slave-catchers. Ohio's history has been permanently shaped by the thousands of runaway slaves passing through or finding permanent residence in this state.
Erected by co-sponsorship of ODOT and Friends of Freedom Society.
Location. 40° 48.253′ N, 82° 58.529′ W. Marker is in Bucyrus, Ohio, in Crawford County. Marker is on South Sandusky Street (Ohio Route 4), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Bucyrus City Hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 S Sandusky Ave, Bucyrus OH 44820, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Lieutenant Harry L. Martin (approx. 0.3 miles
Additional keywords. The Underground Railroad
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 15, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 103 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 15, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.