Uncovering the Freedom Trail in Syracuse and Onondaga County:

The Underground Railroad, Abolitionism, and African American Life,



Sponsored by the

Preservation Association of Central New York





We need people to help with the following projects:


A.     Documentary research


1.      Researching properties: deeds, assessments, maps.

2.      Researching people.


Using resources at the Onondaga Historical Association, the Onondaga County Clerk's Office, the Onondaga Public Library, Bird Library at Syracuse University, and other libraries and historical societies, we need to research specific names for more information about their involvement with the underground railroad, as well as to find sites associated with their lives.


Contact Judith Wellman (wellman@twcny.rr.com) for more information about how to do this.


B.     Oral traditions.


We need volunteers to work with the Eastside Neighborhood Association, Syracuse University, and the Onondaga Historical Association to collect oral traditions.


Contact Angela Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., LibraryŚ443-9349, Vanessa Johnson, Onondaga Historical Association, 428-1864, or Sally Steindorf ( SASteind@maxwell.syr.edu ) for more information.


C.     Website


1.      Hosting a web site. (Done)

2.      Working as a web master. (Done)


D.    Curriculum units


We will have many primary sources available, and we encourage teachers to use some of these in their classes.




E.     Publicity


1.      Inviting us to speak to your group.

2.      Helping to publicize our project.


F.      Funding


We are looking for funding to carry out specific parts of this project, including:

a.      preparing several more site nominations for the National Register of Historic Places.

b.      preparing nominations to the National Network to Freedom, coordinated by the National Park Service. These can be historic sites or organizations that have resources, programs, or exhibits relating to the underground railroad.

c.       promoting the use of these resources for heritage tourism. The project will produce a script and resource notebook that can be used for bus tours or walking tours of sites in downtown Syracuse and the eastside. What else would people like to see, and how do we facilitate underground railroad tourism?

d.      printing pamphlets, brochures, or booklets for public use.


Notebooks containing information and research materials about this project are available for public use at the Onondaga Historical Association, the Onondaga County Public Library, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Library at Syracuse University, the Onondaga County Clerk's Office, and the Preservation Association of Central New York.