Historic Underground Railroad Site
Hudson had a long tradition of being an anti-slavery town. By 1826, records show that the town's founder, David Hudson, was hiding runaway slaves at his home. Early Settler Owen Brown and his family helped organize the Underground Railroad in town. His son, John, who spent over 20 years of his life in Hudson, grabbed national attention with his raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry on October 16, 1859 and his execution on December 2, 1859.
At first, Hudson's citizens supported the colonization movement but in the 1830's, many became abolitionists. The anti-slavery community became divided, a struggle which cast both Hudson and Western Reserve College into the national spotlight. Owen BrownSide B
removed his financial support from the college and helped to form multi-racial Oberlin College as an alternative. 1n 1842, Owen Brown split from the First Congregational Church of Hudson over racial issues and formed the Free Congregational Church, which supported pure Abolitionism. An oath against slavery was required for admission.
The anti-slavery community in Hudson included David Hudson, Timothy Hudson, Owen Brown, John Brown, Jeremiah Root Brown, Asahel Kilbourne, Jesse Dickinson, Titus and Marion Brown Hand, John Buss, John Markillie, Lora Case, Elizur Wright Jr., Philo Wright, Beriah Green, and William Dawes. A complete list of Underground Railroad sites in Hudson is available at the Hudson Library and Historical Society.