Warren, Ohio (Trumbull County)
— Historic Underground Railroad Site —
Born in Connecticut in 1789, Judge Leicester King and his wife Julia Ann Huntington King, moved to Warren in 1817 from Westfield, Massachusetts. He was one of the principle promoters of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal, which connected Ohio's eastern border with the Ohio and Erie Canal in Akron. In 1834, he presided over the first meeting of the newly-formed Ohio Anti-Slavery Society's convention in Putnam, Ohio, in Muskingum County.
Soon, King achieved prominence in Trumbull County and was elected as a judge, then an Ohio state senator, twice nominated for governor on the Liberty Party ticket. While in the Ohio Senate, he was an outspoken opponent of Ohio's "Black Laws."
Judge and Mrs. King built their house in 1828, near the banks of the Mahoning River along the right-of-way of the old Warren-Ashtabula Turnpike. It is no longer standing. Judge King was an active Underground Railroad conductor in the mysteries of Ohio's Underground Railroads, Wilbur Siebert notes that on one occasion, Judge King was responsible for transporting passengers to Painesville.
The Underground Railroad on the Warren-Ashtabula Turnpike
In the early day, Route 45 was one of the most active routes on the Underground Railroad.
Known as the Warren-Ashtabula Turnpike, from Wellsville, Ohio to Ashtabula, Ohio it ran along this important route, many runaways found food, shelter and safety from the many sympathetic abolitionists in Trumbull County who stood strongly and boldly against slavery and were not afraid to offer assistance when needed.
Two of the most important factors that distinguished the Warren-Ashtabula Turnpike (Route 45) as a significant part of the Underground Railroad is its direct link to Ashtabula Harbor and its many agents and friends that lived along the way that were not afraid to boldly stand and assist in the fugitive slaves stand for freedom.