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100 Years Ago


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Underground Railroad Station

Although there were many stations throughout Ohio, the Rankin House in Ripley, east of Cincinnati is considered to be one of the most notable. Located on a small hill (now called Liberty Hill) overlooking the Ohio River, the Rankins, along with other compassionate neighbors, sheltered more than 2,000 runaway slaves from 1825 to as late as 1865.

John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister/educator, and his wife Jean, dedicated their lives to the plight of blacks in America. Rankin, published his book, "Letters on American Slavery" in 1826 and in 1834 he founded the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in Zanesville, Ohio. Slave owners offered rewards of as much as $2,500 for the abduction or assassination of Rankin and other underground railroad conductors.

This facility was made a National Historic Landmark in September, 1997, and is operated by the Ohio Historical Society.

'Black History' segment written in June, 1998 by David Lodge

 

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