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Underground Railroad

History of the Underground Railroad

The Finger Lakes is full of historical sites and museums dedicated to leaders of the past that once called this region home.

Harriet Tubman 

Harriet Tubman escaped from the horrors of slavery in 1849. Traveling by night and following the North Star, Tubman fled Maryland and headed north. Eventually, she found a home in the Finger Lakes.

Once Tubman had her freedom she did everything she could to free other slaves. Taking countless trips south, she saved her family first and then led countless others to freedom as well. Hundreds found freedom thanks to Harriet Tubman, who is known to many as the 'Moses of Her People'. She is honored in Auburn, the site of her local residence. You can visit the site and tour the home of Harriet Tubman year-round.

Frederick Douglass

After gaining his freedom, Frederick Douglass became a leader for the abolition of slavery. First, he became a licensed preacher in 1839 and held a number of leadership positions including Sunday School Superintendent, Sexton and Steward. He went on to lead abolition meetings and publish a weekly journal called "The Liberator" from his Rochester, NY home.

Douglass became a leader for equality for all, not just African Americans, giving a number of famous speeches throughout the Finger Lakes and across the globe. He even became the first African American nominated for Vice-President for the Equal Rights party.

Frederick Douglass called the Finger Lakes home, living in Rochester, NY for 25 years. He is buried in Rochester at Mt. Hope Cemetery and is honored throughout the city.