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Speech to highlight Burlington's role in the Underground Railroad

Mar. 21, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

BURLINGTON, Ohio -- Lawrence County has a rich history as a major player in the Underground Railroad. While many residents have heard of the "Burlington 37," a group of freed slaves who settled in Burlington after crossing the Ohio River, fewer folks are likely able to name those Lawrence County residents who worked as "conductors" for the Underground Railroad, helping to shepherd African-American men, women and children to safety and freedom.

You can learn that information and more at a free presentation, "Underground Railroad in Burlington, Ohio," given by Chris Saunders from 6-7 p.m. Monday, March 25, at Burlington Baptist Church (located in the Burlington "S" curve).

According to a news release from Ohio University Southern professor Steve Call, "The Underground Railroad was America's first Civil Rights movement toward equality for all men. In the small river town of Burlington, Lawrence County's first county seat, the movement was alive and well. Slaves from the neighboring slave states of Kentucky and (West) Virginia would risk their lives for freedom from America's 'Peculiar Institution.' The men and women who were Conductors on the Underground Railroad also risked their lives, fortunes, freedom and social standing to assist people they didn't know and who they would most likely never see again."

Call said Saunders' presentation, the audience will learn who Burlington's conductors were and find out about their lives; learn about slavery and Ohio's Black Laws, and Burlington's places of historical significance.

"Discover why, in Burlington, Ohio, there was honor among thieves," Call said in the release.

For more information, contact Steve Call at 740-550-9540 or thetravelprofessor@gmail.com.