A group of people in a snow covered town
The Underground Railroad, 1893 (oil on canvas) by Charles T. Webber (1825-1911); 132.6x193.3 cm; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, USA; the picture depicts notable abolitionists Levi Coffin (1798-1877), his wife Catherine White and Hannah Haydock leading a group of people to freedom.Footnote 1
© Subscription Fund Purchase / Bridgeman Images

 

The Underground Railroad in Canada was designated a national historic event in 1925.

Historical importance: Network dedicated to helping free and enslaved African Americans find freedom.

Commemorative plaque: 200 Pitt Street East, Windsor, OntarioFootnote 2

From the early 19th century until the American Civil War, settlements along the Detroit and Niagara rivers were important terminals of the Underground Railroad. White and black abolitionists formed a heroic network dedicated to helping free and enslaved African Americans find freedom from oppression. By 1861, some 30,000 freedom-seekers resided in what is now Ontario, after secretly travelling north from slave states like Kentucky and Virginia. Some returned south after the outbreak of the Civil War, but many remained, helping to forge the modern Canadian identity.

 

Commemorative bronze plaque
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada commemorative plaque for The Underground Railroad National Historic Event
© Parks Canada, 2004
Commemorative bronze plaque installed at a statue for the Underground Railroad
Commemorative plaque for The Underground Railroad National Historic Event
© Parks Canada, 2004

Related information about this designation:

Other national historic designations associated with this one:

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

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