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NY Sites on the Underground Railroad

Following is descriptive information on locations associated with the Underground Railroad in New York. Persons wishing to contribute information to this page are invited to contact the site editor.

Site Description Sources


Jerry Rescue Site
Syracuse, NY
Onondaga County
[Site Photo]
[Area Map]
Daniel Webster came to Syracuse in May of 1851 and threatened enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law during the next anti-slavery convention in Syracuse. It happened October 1, during the NYS Liberty Party convention. The fugitive, William Henry (a.k.a. Jerry) was liberated by a huge mob that literally broke down the door where he was held.He escaped to Canada Numerous accounts of the Jerry Rescue can be found. There is a monument to the event in Downtown Syracuse, and a mural in a local bank. Narrative descriptions have been published by the Onondaga County Historical Association, and in the biographies of Gerrit Smith, Jermain Loguen, and others
Gerrit Smith Estate
Peterboro, NY
Madison County
[Site Photo]
[Area Map]
The estate of Gerrit Smith was a mecca for reformers of all types, and of abolitionists in particular. Smith's cousin Elizabeth Cady met her husband, Henry Stanton here. As a young woman, Stanton also met fugitives from slavery here, and wrote about these experiences in her autobiography. Here Smith met with John Brown and others of Brown's Northern supporters. Smith also sold Brown his farm at North Elba, NY. Smith's property interests in the Lake Ontario port city of Oswego were also reportedly used to assist persons fleeing to Canada. Some also simply chose to remain in Peterboro. In addition to Stanton's biography (Eighty Years and More), there are other accounts of the escape of Harriet Powell, whom Stanton met at Peterboro. Smith's biographies, including that by Frothingham recount that it was a common practice for fugitives to stop by Peterboro on their way to Canada. Smith's property interests in the Lake Ontario port city of Oswego were also reportedly used to assist persons fleeing to Canada. Some also simply chose to remain in Peterboro.

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