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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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 Marker (front) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 3, 2012
1. The Crossing at Scioto County Marker (front)
Inscription.

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, 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 Underground Railroad Marker (back) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 3, 2012
2. The Underground Railroad Marker (back)
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 Friends of Freedom Society, Ohio Underground Railroad Association, and Ohio Department of Transportation.
 
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.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bigelow Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Scioto County, Experience Our Heritage (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Scioto County, Experience Our Heritage (approx. 0.2 miles away); All Saints' Episcopal Church (approx. mile away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. mile away); Eli Kinney House (approx. mile away);
The Crossing at Scioto County / The Underground Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 3, 2012
3. The Crossing at Scioto County / The Underground Railroad Marker
Looking north along Chillicothe Street
a different marker also named Scioto County, Experience Our Heritage (approx. mile away); a different marker also named Scioto County, Experience Our Heritage (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.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsWaterways & Vessels
 
The Crossing at Scioto County / The Underground Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 3, 2012
4. The Crossing at Scioto County / The Underground Railroad Marker
Looking south toward bridge over Ohio River
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 12, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 806 times since then and 85 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 12, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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