Harrowing Journey Historical

Harrowing Journey Historical (HM1UH2)

Location: Buffalo, NY 14213 Erie County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 54.851', W 78° 54.173'

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National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

Freedom Seekers faced daunting odds and demonstrated remarkable courage. Most started their journeys with little knowledge of what lay before them, and many sought help from free blacks and sympathetic whites once they reached the north. Relativley safe routes trough Ohio and Western Pennsylvania into Western New York, leading to Buffalo, the Niagara River, and Canada. Slave catchers were sent north seeking fugitives and watching out at key points, such as the ferry at Black Rock. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made catching Freedom Seekers a federal responsibility and forced local authorities to actively assist in their pursuit. Left: 1834 canal map showing the location of the ferry on the stone pier (New York State Archives from NTF p5) Account drawn from the Anti-Slavery Record, 1836: "I heard of one who ...reached the Erie River at Black Rock, near Buffalo, and in sight of Canada...The ferryman was loosing the boat from the shore, when , to his utter dismay, up rode his master upon a foaming stead,...drew his loaded pistol, and plainly told the ferry man - "If you loose that boat to convey my Negro to the opposite bank, I'll blow your brains out!" The Negro in an instant seized a handspike, and, holding it menacingly over the ferryman's head, said, "If you don't loose the boat and ferry
me across, I'll beat your brains out!" The ferry man...looked a moment, first at the one and then the other, seeing both equally determined and decided...he said cooly, Wall! I can't die but once; and if I die, I guess I would rather die doing right. So here goes the boat." He loosed it and shoved off." (Ward 1855: 177-178) Background image: View of the Village of Black Rock from the Canada Shore in 1823 (Multiple Property Doc From Appendix B, p1; also NTF cited as Dey and Vance, 1825 Map pf the Western Part of the State of New York, available online)
HM NumberHM1UH2
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 19th, 2016 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 671173 N 4753418
Decimal Degrees42.91418333, -78.90288333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 54.851', W 78° 54.173'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 54' 51.06" N, 78° 54' 10.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3 Bird Ave, Buffalo NY 14213, US
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