As a city located just across the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri, Alton was the destination for many runaway slaves. Arriving in our city, however, in no way meant that these fugitives could begin new lives with the assurance of security and freedom.
They call him John McCallister, knowing full well it isn't his real name. S ince sun-up he's acted as guide, guardian, teacher. He's led them down dried-up creek beds, up forgotten country ro, over rocky embankments, through field and forest and field again, finally stopping them short of a decaying barn an hour's walk east of the Mississippi. McCallister pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and runs it over his face as he closes on the barn. Yesterday he was a farmer tending an orchard in southern Calhoun County, he told them. Today he's harboring fugitives.
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Getting around Chicago and Illinois is easy with our guide to ways to travel around the state. After the Civil War, slaves heading north toward freedom began trickling into Illinois. Even though Illinois was a free state, it was far from being a safe or welcoming place for slaves. Slave catchers roamed many areas, hoping to capture slaves and return them to their owners for a reward.
This meant slaves had to travel through Illinois discretely, usually under the cover of darkness. They would go from safe house to safe house—a path to freedom that came to be known as the Underground Railroad. From Grafton to Galesburg to suburban Chicago, visitors can see the homes maintained in their 19 th -century style and hear stories about this historic time in history.
Lovejoy moved to Princeton and became a proponent for ending slavery, helping hide slaves in his home. Tours of his s home show the hidden entryways to the cramped, tucked away places. The first stop for several hundred slaves on this side of the Mississippi River was at Dr. Slaves who crossed the border from Missouri would hide out in this two-story earlys home.
This Underground Railroad town along the Mississippi River offers in-depth tours. Underground Railroad expert J. Robinson has been doing walking or driving tours in this area by appointment sincetelling human stories so people can understand the environment slaves were living in, and feel the fear they had of getting caught.
The Alton Underground Railroad tour includes a visit to the Enos Apartments, where underground tunnels that resemble Roman catacombs exist 15 feet below 3 rd Street. It also stops at Rocky Fork Church, one of the first stops for slaves escaping Missouri.
Louis through Illinois on her way to Canada in Eastern Illinois had a safe haven for slaves in Oakland, at the home of Dr. Rutherford was involved with the famous Matson Slave Trial inwhere it was debated whether slaves living in the area were free. The judge ruled in favor of the slaves, and a black community eventually formed there.
Both black and white abolitionists would bring the slaves food here. He risked fines and imprisonment by letting slaves stay on his property. A new documentary about Peck was just released, and an exhibit of his portraits is planned in the summer of The National Park Service is continuing to work to preserve some of these Underground Railroad sites across Illinois, as well as improve their educational efforts.
The timeless and powerful Illinois Holocaust Museum promises a journey contrasti Make it a museum weekend in the Windy City. With a namesake pavilion, museum, historic site, golf course and tournament, plu Find unexpected ways to enjoy Illinois in this biannual magazine that explores every corner of the state. Each issue offers a mix of travel stories, stunning photography and timely trip ideas that make the most of each season. Get inspired by top travel stories, gain access to exclusive promotions and contests, and discover even more reasons to EnjoyIllinois.
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Quincy The first stop for several hundred slaves on this side of the Mississippi River was at Dr. Oakland Eastern Illinois had a safe haven for slaves in Oakland, at the home of Dr. Related Re:. Enjoy Illinois Magazine Find unexpected ways to enjoy Illinois in this biannual magazine that explores every corner of the state. Order Print Version.
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