Sandusky, Ohio, was active in the Underground Railroad both before and during the Civil War. The Underground Railroad was a network of people who aiding in helping escaped enslaved people get to freedom. These people often provided food, shelter and transportation.
Ohio’s southern river boundary was over 450 miles long, creating an extremely long border between the anti-slavery State of Ohio and slave-holding areas of Virginia and Kentucky. If slaves were able to cross the Ohio River, then they could be funneled to cities like Sandusky or Cleveland, or even escape to Canada since slavery had been outlawed in Great Britain since 1833.
Many of the residents of Sandusky were anti-slavery since a good portion of the people who lived there had come from New England and often sympathized with the slaves. Ohio’s railway lines helped bring freedom-seekers to Sandusky, where they could escape aboard vessels.
Sandusky actually played a major role in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin since it was many times the final stop to freedom.
Historical Marker Inscription
Many homes in Sandusky and other parts of Erie County were stations on the Underground Railroad before and during the Civil War. Residents provided food, shelter, clothing and transportation to Canada. Harriet Beecher Stowe used Sandusky as the gate to freedom for the run-away slaves in her book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
Jackson Street Pier, 233 West Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, Ohio 44879
41° 27′ 26.562″ N, 82° 42′ 49.020″ W