By Michelle Arnosky Sherburne
Manybelieve that help for the abolition of slavery was once universally authorized inVermont, however it used to be really a fiercely divisive factor that rocked the GreenMountain kingdom. in the course of turbulence and violence, even though, a few braveVermonters helped struggle for the liberty in their enslaved Southern brethren.Thaddeus Stevens—one of abolition’s such a lot outspoken advocates—was a Vermontnative. Delia Webster, the 1st girl arrested for helping a fugitive slave,was additionally a Vermonter. The Rokeby apartment in Ferrisburgh was once a hectic UndergroundRailroad station for many years. Peacham’s Oliver Johnson labored heavily withWilliam Lloyd Garrison through the abolition flow. detect the tales ofthese and others in Vermont who risked their very own lives to assist greater than fourthousand slaves to freedom.
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Additional resources for Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Vermont
Another ripple effect from this law was that many records of Underground Railroad assistance were destroyed. Any paper trail linking a person to helping a fugitive, or even an affiliation to an antislavery society, was destroyed. Documented proof of aiding fugitives was incriminating and dangerous. IN HIS OWN WORDS: JOHN WHITE LIVING INCOGNITO IN VERMONT John White lived in Manchester for twenty-nine years and no one knew his past or his real name. He lived, married, worked and was accepted into the community.
Abolitionist lecturers traveled the Northern states rallying support for their movement. In New England, the circuit encompassed Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. In the early 1830s and 1840s in Vermont, antislavery conventions were held in Middlebury, Ferrisburgh, Waterbury, Bradford, West Randolph and Montpelier. In some Vermont towns, abolitionists were welcomed. But in other towns, the atmosphere they faced was the opposite. Threats, violence and riots broke out around Vermont just like in Pennsylvania, New York or Massachusetts when abolitionists lectured.
All too often magistrates found such evidence convincing,” wrote William Breyfogle in Make Free; The Story of the Underground Railroad. All it would take was one white person to point out a black person and say, “I think I know this is a fugitive,” and the shackles were on, no questions asked, and the black person was shipped to the slave auction. Similarly, if a black person made a white person angry, he could be turned in, whether he was a fugitive or free. A story of trickery is in Norwich, Vermont: A History about Norwich native Jim Glory.
Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Vermont by Michelle Arnosky Sherburne