Feb 9th, 2014 George Bailey
Niagara Freedom Trail
February is Black History Month
Niagara played a big part in helping slaves that escaped from the Southern United States enjoy freedom.
In 1834, slavery came to an end when it was abolished throughout the British Empire, this included Niagara. During the 1840’s, 1850’s and 1860’s an “Underground Railroad” was established along the Niagara border between Buffalo and Fort Erie to assist escaping slaves.
The Underground Railroad was a series of safe houses where run away slaves were housed, and given assistance by people committed to anti-slavery.
The Buffalo/Fort Erie communities were the major conduits of this imaginary railroad .Escaping families were ferried across the Niagara River to Fort Erie. Once in Canada they were housed at Bertie Hall (The building is still here today).They were housed here until permanent accommodations and jobs could be found.
To learn more about the Underground Railroad I suggest you pick up these books: Niagara’s Freedom Trail by Owen Thomas and Niagara Underground Railroad by Black abolitionist William Still.