Dec 1, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Levi & Catharine Coffin
See the Levi and Catharine Coffin home by candlelight and engage with stories that highlight the experience of the freedom-seekers who chose to risk everything to escape slavery. Understand why winter was a common season for escapes, and why some freedom-seekers stayed in Fountain City before moving further north. Also, find out how free Blacks were instrumental to the Underground Railroad. Recommended for ages 8+. Registration required by 5 p.m. day of tour. Walk-ups will be accommodated if space allows.
Price: $16/adult, $11/youth (ages 3-17), 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.