This building was located at 1205 Main Street and was an active station on the Underground Railroad. The oldest part of the house reportedly dated back to 1699. Main Street in Darby held the distinction of having the most sites in operation in one area. The Quaker Meeting House, and the Fearne Mansion were active stations too, according to Darby Historical and Preservation Society member Lindy Wardell. Historically the house is associated with John Blunston who sailed with William Penn to America in 1682; and it was known as Freedom or Friendship House in the 1960s when the NAACP owned it. The demolition of the house and out buildings began on December 16, 2005. This picture was taken the next day on December 17.
On May 27, 1863 members of the Native Guard used this road to attack the fortifications at Port Hudson, which controlled the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Vicksburg. As a military action the assault was not successful. Yet the behavior of the Native Guard troops was a bright spot and proved, in the words of General Banks in his report to General Halleck, “The position occupied by these troops was one of importance, and called for there utmost steadiness and bravery. It gives me pleasure to report that they answered every expectation. No troops could be more determined or more daring… The history of this day proves conclusively that the government will find in this class of troops effective supporters and defenders.”
Franklin and Armfield Slave Traders, one of the most active slave trading firms, sold at least one-third of all slaves in the deep South in the 1820’s and 1830’s. A first hand account by abolitionist Professor E.A. Andrews compares the building to a penitentiary, its meticulous cleanliness, white-washed exterior and interior, “high walls…bolts, and bars”, more deplorable than a prison because of the inhabitants’ ancestral life sentence to bondage. The sight remained active until 1861 when the Union Army invaded Alexandria and converted it to a prison for the rest of the war.
Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872-1906) was an influential and eminent African-American poet. His poems are based on his observations of society and the experiences of his parents, who were both former slaves. His poetry voices the social dilemma of disenfranchised people and proclaims black dignity.
The Levi Coffin house is a registered National Historic Landmark. Built in 1839, this Federal style brick home was used as an Underground Railroad station. The false bottom wagon (one of the few extent) was used to transport fugitive slaves. (Breathing holes for the secret human cargo can be seen in the bottom section of the wagon. Levi and Catharine Coffin were Quakers who opposed slavery. They accommodated fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the North. The Coffins’ hid escaping slaves in a secret upstairs room and placed beds in front the door to conceal the entrance. Fugitives sometimes stayed at the Coffins’ home for a couple of weeks to gain enough strength to continue on their journey. The Coffins successfully concealed over 2,000 fugitives and no slaves failed to reach freedom from their house. In 1847, the Coffins moved to Cincinnati so that Levi could operate a wholesale warehouse that supplied goods to free labor stores. The Coffins continued to assist the cause, helping another 1,300 slaves escape.
Formerly Coatesville Public Library. Underground Railroad Site
The Walker House was located at 303 South Union Street in Kennett Square. Mr. Walker a freed slave was an active conductor on the Underground Railroad assisting fugitives coming from Wilmington, Delaware directed to him by Thomas Garrett. The original house on the property served as the station with the kitchen in the rear of the house serving as the hiding place
Underground Railroad Station, built in 1812.
Underground Railroad Site
Underground Railroad Station