U is for Underground Railroad History Project

Stephen A. Myers
Stephen A. Myers
This being the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, I figure I should note one of the treasures of the Albany, NY area: the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region. In case you are unaware, the Underground Railroad was the “effort–sometimes spontaneous, sometimes highly organized–to assist persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery.” See also information from the PBS site and History.com.

The UGRR History Project started when Mary Liz, an elementary school teacher was interested to see if there was any UGRR history in the Albany area. Most of the experts told her no. Yet she and her husband Paul , who works for a community loan fund, were dissatisfied with the answer, and kept digging for more.

Eventually, they found enough historically significant sites to give walking tours in Albany. The non-profit organization they helped form has held a well-regarded conference on the topic for a dozen years.

Most significantly, they discovered a residence of Stephen and Harriet Myers, “point people in Albany regarding the Underground Railroad in the 1850s, which their organization has helped rebuild. Here’s the Wikipedia page about the structure.

In October, Paul and Mary Liz Stewart bicycled 730 miles across New York State on the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Trail. They brought attention to the important role the Erie Canal played in the Underground Railroad movement and raised funds for Underground Railroad History Project.
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ABC Wednesday, Round 15

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

18 thoughts on “U is for Underground Railroad History Project”

  1. That period in time is fascinating. Peanut and I just finished the American Girl book series about Addy, a slave that ran away with her mother to freedom during the Civil War. She had so many questions and opened a lot of opportunity to talk about that period in history.

  2. History is always an interesting topic, especially if you hear it from various sides. In wars we always read that we are the good guys, and our enemies are the bad ones, of course.
    Thanks for your post.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  3. I always admire the pioneers.
    Glad they attempted this. How unique & unusual at that time, Roger!
    Have a wonderful week!

  4. Its always a learning curve stopping by here. What I know, you add to. Blogging can be so educational and fun. Excellent unusual choice.

  5. I am glad they were able to save the Meyer’s family home and restore it. Kudos to Mary Liz and Paul for persevering and starting the walking tours in Albany.

  6. Great information. I don’t really get to Albany, but when I do, I look forward to checking this out. Love this kind of stuff. In the meantime, your links will have to suffice. Thanks.

  7. This is so interesting something I didn’t know so thanks for sharing this with us, I’m going to Wiki P to read more,

    Best wishes,
    Di, xx
    ABCW team.

  8. I imagine there are a lot of untold stories about the underground railroad so its rather wonderful when people uncover another part of its history.

  9. I have always been interested in the Underground Railroad but have never taken a tour. When the weather improves, maybe in the spring, I’d like to visit the Harriet Tubman House in Auburn, NY and maybe find out a little more about the UGRR here in Wayne County.

  10. In Singapore, the underground MRT is called the underground train, though most of it is above ground.

    Thanks for the History.

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