“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Norfolk, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Laura Troy, November 4, 2007
1. The Underground Railroad Marker
Inscription. After northern states began abolishing slavery during the Revolutionary era, fugitives from throughout southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina started to escape by ship from the Norfolk waterfront. With luck and determination, many succeeded in enlisting the aid of black crewmen working aboard northward-bound vessels. Two of the South’s most famous Underground Railroad fugitives, George Latimer and Shadrach Minkins, escaped from Norfolk, most likely by sea. A few ship captains were known by local Railroad agents as being sympathetic to fugitives or at least agreeable to transporting them secretly for a price. Captain William D. Bayliss of the Keziah and Captain Alfred Fountain of the City of Richmond bravely transported runaways from Norfolk during the 1850s when local sentiment against the Underground Railroad was at its highest. The City of Richmond docked at John Higgins’ wharf, east of the Berkley Bridge. Higgins was a former owner of Shadrach Minkins.

The City of Norfolk was placed on the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom in 2004.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia, Norfolk Heritage Cannonball Trail marker series.
Location. 36° 50.623′ N, 76° 17.465′ W. Marker is in Norfolk, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Waterside Drive. Touch for map. This marker sits on the dock at Waterside. Marker is in this post office area: Norfolk VA 23510, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ferries to Portsmouth and Berkley (here, next to this marker); Main Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); Norfolk 1682 (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Customhouse, 1859 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Commercial Place (approx. 0.2 miles away); Four Farthing or Town Point (approx. 0.2 miles away); Navy Escort Carriers Based in Norfolk (approx. ¼ mile away); Granby Street (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norfolk.
More about this marker. This marker is part of the Norfolk Heritage Cannonball Trail.
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican Americans
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 11, 2007, by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,894 times since then and 48 times this year. Last updated on February 22, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Photo   1. submitted on November 11, 2007, by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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