St. Johnís Episcopal Church
The Underground Railroad
Called “Station Hope” by many freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad, St. Johnís was one of their final stops. Though aiding freedom seekers was a crime and often could not be described in public documents, Sheila T. Hatch (c. 1848- 1935), an historian of Cuyahoga County and a member of St. Johnís for her entire life, notes that “in the tower of St. Johnís Church were often secreted runaway slaves until such time as they could be shipped to Canada.” From the tower, they watched for lantern signals from small boats that took them to Whiskey Island. There, they boarded the larger boats that sailed to Canada in search of freedom.
Among the founders and early members of St. Johnís were several prominent opponents of slavery. Josiah Barber (1771- 1842) was mayor of Ohio City and vice-president of the Cuyahoga County Colonization Society, which held that slaves should be purchased by the federal government and re-settled in Africa. John Beverlin (c. 1813- 1891), a later mayor of Ohio City, was a member of the executive committee of the Free Soil Club, which stood for “free soil,
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 The Friends of Freedom Historical Society, Inc. The Episcopal Diocese Ohio.
Location. 41° 29.395′ N, 81° 42.486′ W. Marker is in Cleveland, Ohio, in Cuyahoga County. Marker is at the intersection of Church Avenue and West 26th Street, on the right when traveling west on Church Avenue. marker is in front of St. Johnís Episcopal Church in “Ohio City”. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2600 Church Ave, Cleveland OH 44113, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans •
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Credits. This page was last revised on September 26, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2019, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 25, 2019, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.