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Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad--Introduction to the Spring 2005 Issue of Milestones

Milestones Vol 30. No. 2

Charles Townsend, editor


Special Note to Online Readers: This is the Introduction to the Milestones Spring, 2005 issue which presented an overview to the Underground Railroad in Beaver County. The articles in that issue presented a seamless history of this movement. However, these articles are not linked in this on-line version. You must go to the Antislavery Section in the Topical Index or go to the Milestones Index to get the rest of the stories in this issue. In both cases the articles in this issue will be in consecutive order.

The study of Arthur Bullus Bradford on his farm between Darlington and Enon.
Buttonwood, his home, sands in the background.
Much Abolitionist and "Underground Railroad activity was conducted here.


The Underground Railroad was by necessity amorphous and secretive. Safe houses had to stay in the shadows. Thus, many aspects of the network in Beaver County were never documented. Much of the information in this article has come down by word of mouth from generation to generation.

This history is no less real, but its hidden nature has given the movement an aura of legend and myth.

There are probably some inaccuracies to the unfolding of this story, as there is undoubtedly much in this history that is lost for ever. But this article outlines with a broad brush stoke the main known and sometimes speculated aspects of one of the most interesting and most important themes running through Beaver County history.

The editors have many to thank, but special thanks go to Peggy Townsend, who researched and wrote much information here presented. Also, thanks go to Odette Lambert for her extensive research into the Underground and to Ken Locke for his visual explorations of this history.