Manage episode 301728389 series 2819014
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This week we are in New York speaking with Joseph Malek, the Visitor Experience Specialist at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. Join us as we talk about the (not so underground) Underground Railroad and the important role Niagara Falls played in the fight for freedom. The Heritage Center focuses on the stories of individual freedom seekers, shining light on the dark history of slavery.
We learn about Nancy Berry, and how she crossed the river to freedom during her enslavers honeymoon at Niagara. Nancy escaped with the help of the black free men working at the infamous Cataract House. The Cataract House only hired black men and was once the premier hotel and dining of Niagara Falls, even serving Abraham Lincoln! It was an important “stop” along the Underground Railroad, with connections in free Canada, just a ferry ride away.
We also talk about the brave men at the Cataract Hotel, who were an integral part of the Underground Railroad, helping men like Patrick Sneed. The Cataract Hotel only hired black men and these workers had a strong network to help people cross the border to Canada.
- Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center official webpage: https://www.niagarafallsundergroundrailroad.org/
- Folklife article about Quilt Codes of the Underground Railroad: https://folklife.si.edu/magazine/underground-railroad-quilt-codes
- The Project Gutenberg eBook of Lucy Delaney’s book “Struggles For Freedom’: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/17