The Underground Railroad, Abolitionism, and

African American Life,



A Preliminary List of People, Events, and Places


Survey Results:  People and Places               


The attached list includes people, places, and events associated with the Freedom  Trail, abolitionism, and African American life in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York. It is based on printed materials, selected primary sources, and the names of every African American listed in the 1855 New York State census.


This list was compiled in the fall of 2001 by Judith Wellman, Project Director, with the assistance of Milton Sernett, Co-Director, and April Harris, and Angela Williams, Project Researchers. Special thanks to Milton Sernett for sharing his voluminous research files; Sally Roesch Wagner, Director, Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation; Dennis Connors, Curator, Onondaga Historical Association; Gary Jones, Onondaga County Public Library; Lou Nefflon, Archives, Onondaga County Clerk's Office; Rebecca Ambrose, Onondaga County Historical Association, and to all those who have worked so diligently to understand how the underground railroad really operated.


A few words about using this preliminary list:

1. Addresses come from the 1851 Syracuse city directory or from plat maps. Household and family numbers refer to the 1855 census. Today, street numbers are generally different from the ones listed in the 1850s.

2. This list is designed as a beginning, not an end. As the project continues, we will be able to refine our understanding of the roles that each person played, adding or subtracting people from this list.

3. Volunteer researchers are welcome!


To contribute information about people, events, and sites associated with the Freedom Trail in Syracuse and Onondaga County, contact Angela Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., Library, Syracuse University (315-443-9349, aawillia@syr.edu), Vanessa Johnson, Onondaga Historical Association (428-1864), or Judith Wellman (wellman@twcny.rr.com). For further information about this project, contact the Preservation Association of Central New York (475-0119).