Michelle Ann Kratts

Was the Underground Railroad actually a Railroad in Niagara?

In Niagara Falls, The African Americans of Niagara Falls, The Underground Railroad on August 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm
Underground Railroad, September 22, 1858 Niagara Falls Gazette

Underground Railroad, September 22, 1858
Niagara Falls Gazette

Perhaps in Niagara the Underground Railroad was actually a railroad. 

This interesting little piece was printed in the Niagara Falls Gazette on September 22, 1858.

For historians, these two sentences imply so much.  Who were the “four highly colored chattels?”  Who were the suspicious railroad officials?   And, most importantly…who wrote this? It is quite apparent that he (or she) knew all the little secrets of Niagara’s role in this most significant movement.  William Pool was the editor of the Niagara Falls Gazette during this time period.  He was quite active in the Whig and Republican parties and overt in his anti-slavery views.  Perhaps it was him?

William Pool, editor of the Niagara Falls Gazette

William Pool, editor of the Niagara Falls Gazette

This piece also makes it quite obvious that at least one line of the network ran through the railway lines from Rochester to Niagara Falls–with Frederick Douglass at the helm– and on across the Suspension Bridge.  This would have been the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge, the second suspension bridge in Niagara Falls.

Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge

Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge

Apparently, the world’s first railway suspension bridge served many purposes–including assisting in the freedom of man.

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