There are institutions in America that are designed to help us do so, and one of the finest is The Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. My family and I filled up a bus to celebrate our reunion there 2 years ago, and in honor of confederate (traitor) history month I thought I’d share some of my recollections.
That is the John Roebling Bridge between Cincinnati and Covington Kentucky, and you can see it very well directly behind the facility. The bridge was constructed during the civil war and completed in 1866, and if it looks like a mini Brooklyn Bridge it was, instead of spanning areas between two great boroughs it spanned a kind of freedom and not freedom. The other side of that bridge was cruel bondage.
Just to the left of the bridge is what is now I understand a nice little bed and breakfast however what it started life out as is a slave gulag.
Ohio entered the Union in 1802 as a free state, but not a bastion of freedom. Should a black person have escaped that plantation and made it across the river freedom was by no means assured. They were instead met by the black laws passed in 1804.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio , That from and after the first day of June next. no black or mulatto person shall be permitted to settle or reside in this state, unless he or she shall first produce a fair certificate from some court within the United States, of his or her actual freedom, which certificate shall be attested by the clerk of said court, and the seal thereof annexed thereto, by said clerkThe Black Laws
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted , That if any person or persons shall harbour or secret any black or mulatto person, the property of any person whatever, or shall in any wise hinder or prevent the lawful owner or owners from retaking and possessing his or her black or mulatto servant or servants, shall, upon conviction thereof, by indictment or information, be be fined in any sum not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, at the discretion of the court, one-half thereof for the use of the informer and the other half for the use of the state
Hey ever wonder how slaves actually got to the south? I mean think about it. The Louisiana purchase opened up vast tracks of slave territory where did all them slaves come from especially after the British made slave trading something they would hang you over. Well if you didn’t know they were marched south from the north in America’s first trail of tears. The vast tracts of new cotton land made Mississippi and the other deep south states the destination for untold 100's of thousands of slaves who had known nothing but northern climes. Talk about culture shock from a Connecticut yankee slave serving tea to a cotton picker. That is if you survived the trip south.
They actually deconstructed this house where the chains are on the floor from a nearby city in Kentucky and rebuilt it in the middle of the museum. It was one of many way stations along the trip south. They would chain the men on an upper floor while they kept the women on the bottom. If you look closely you can still see the marks where men apparently tried to claw out. One could only imagine what happened to the women folks on the bottom floor.
It is interesting to me what America chooses to teach, to remember, to revere. Here's to the day when all sides of history are taught, here's to the day when evil is not honored, and here's to the day when all men will truly be treated equal. I was never forced by law at least to ever ride in the back of a bus (THANKS MOMS AND DAD), but im the first generation to ever not have to. I'm not even 50. Happy Confederate History Month