About

As a youth, I was told that my grandfather’s house, The Latta stone house, was part of the Underground Railroad. This blog started because of the research I was doing regarding the house (in Washington County, Pennsylvania) to determine if it was fact or just family lore.

I learned about the Underground Railroad as a youth in Ohio, a northern, “free” state. I believed (or was taught?) thousands, if not most of the runaway slaves, escaped via the Underground Railroad; that the “free” states were anti-slavery and most whites helped the fugitive slaves. I believed that you were either for slavery or against it. No middle ground. A “sanitized” version of history. After this research, many of my original thoughts on the Underground Railroad and the people involved have dramatically changed.

This blog is a master’s thesis reflecting upon this journey which started with a family lore at my grandfather’s house. I broadened the geographic focus of my research to cross the Monongahela River into Fayette County which, with parts of Washington County, is considered the Monongahela Valley area. This blog offers written and visual reflections on the people I encountered, the places I traveled, and the lessons I learned. Relevant literature, archival research and interviews with historians helped to frame the original reflections and photographs I share on this site.

This blog, starting with researching the family lore takes the reader through my research process and the discoveries I made on how issues raised with the Underground Railroad still relate to race issues more than 150 years later.

Pennsylvania 1845

Image: http://www.bergbook.com/htdocs/woda/data/demo/images/19685-02.jpg

Bibliography

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Published on September 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lou,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story that is about to be created by you. I encourage you to continue and it is nice to know what you are doing.

    Freya

  2. Lou,

    This project is very exciting to me as I am researching in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I am happy to discover that you are doing the research that others have not attempted because it was much easier just to say that a site was a stop or that a person was conductor on the Underground Railroad. The trouble is that if one person or a group of people say it often enough it is mistaken for fact. Thank you for taking the harder path.

    I will be following your blog with great interest.

    Jan Slater
    Researching Slavery, Free Persons of Color and the Underground Railroad in Greene County and Southwestern Pennsylvania.


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