Jan 6, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Levi & Catharine Coffin
Experience the Levi and Catharine Coffin home by candlelight and hear stories highlighting the experiences of freedom-seekers who chose to risk everything to escape slavery. *Explore why wintertime was a common season for escapes with longer nights providing a chance to travel farther in a day and less chance of being detected. Learn why some freedom-seekers chose to stay in Fountain City before moving further north and find out how free Blacks were just as instrumental to the Underground Railroad as white conductors. Registration required by 5 p.m. the day of the program.
Price: $15/adults, $13/seniors, $10/youth, 25% discount for members
6 – 7 p.m. tourRegister
7 – 8 p.m. tourRegister
*There were multiple reasons for wintertime escapes:
- It was not uncommon for escapes during the holiday period because some enslaved Africans would get permission to visit family on other farms and plantations. This timeframe would allow freedom-seekers a head start to the arduous journey ahead before their absence was noticed.
- In general, the labor required of enslaved Africans, especially in the Upland South, greatly lessened. This also served as a good period of escape in hopes that enslavers would not be watching as closely as they would during the growing and harvest seasons.
- The New Year period was very common for slave sales. Some would escape if they learned they may be sold or separated from their families.
- Levi Coffin specifically calls out that the winter was common for some he helped because of the challenge of crossing the Ohio River. It tended to freeze over, which meant crossing over solid ice instead of the risks of swimming, stealing a boat, or trusting someone to help you across.