Download Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Vermont by Michelle Arnosky Sherburne PDF

By Michelle Arnosky Sherburne

Manybelieve that help for the abolition of slavery was once universally permitted inVermont, however it was once truly a fiercely divisive factor that rocked the GreenMountain country. in the middle of turbulence and violence, although, a few braveVermonters helped struggle for the liberty in their enslaved Southern brethren.Thaddeus Stevens—one of abolition’s such a lot outspoken advocates—was a Vermontnative. Delia Webster, the 1st lady arrested for helping a fugitive slave,was additionally a Vermonter. The Rokeby condo in Ferrisburgh used to be a hectic UndergroundRailroad station for many years. Peacham’s Oliver Johnson labored heavily withWilliam Lloyd Garrison through the abolition flow. observe the tales ofthese and others in Vermont who risked their very own lives to assist greater than fourthousand slaves to freedom.

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Burlington Underground Railroad operator Lucius Bigelow had helped a fugitive slave who settled in Burlington. He bought a house, had a family and worked as a waiter at a restaurant beside the railroad station. The man was working one day and saw his former owner in the restaurant and left immediately. He went to Bigelow, who put him on the train to Canada. Then Bigelow notified the man’s wife and family of his whereabouts. He arranged for them to join him in Canada. RECAPTURE HAPPENED ALL over the country, and fugitive slaves were returned to their owners.

The more the North tried to limit the expansion of slavery in new territories and states, the more Southerners became indignant, leaning toward separating themselves in the Secessionist movement. Politically, if new territories were added as slave states to the Union, then the scales wouldn’t be equal. It is similar to the balance of power today in Washington between the Democrats and Republicans. So with new states, the North wanted to have the advantage and add them to its team. In free states, tension existed within the Northern attitudes on slavery, prejudice and racism and created challenges for abolitionists and Underground Railroad agents.

Many times, opponents would resort to violence to stop lectures. Abolitionist lecturers or ministers who preached against slavery were physically threatened, which was serious business, not to be taken lightly. The famous Connecticut abolitionist Reverend Samuel May wrote a letter in 1857 to Topsham, Vermont abolitionist minister Reverend Nathan R. Johnston, conveying his goal of traveling around Vermont to spread abolitionism: We wish to have the people of Vermont understand, better than they do now, the real character of our movement, the reasons of our “No Union” position, both in the matters of state and church, and why it is that we have got ourselves so proscribed and odious, why it is that we are accounted infidel…No movement (in my humble judgment) ever had a clearer foundation in reason, common sense, the fundamental principles of morals, and the whole genius of Christianity, than our movement.

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