The Abolitionist Movement and the
Underground Rail Road in Marblehead
This exhibit featured images and information about the Abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad in Marblehead. Through photographs and objects from the Museum’s collection, Marblehead’s past history in fighting slavery, prejudice and discrimination was presented.
During the Abolitionist Movement, Slaves were hidden in safe houses throughout Marblehead. They were hidden in attic rooms or cellar storage spaces or even secret staircases and closets that had existed already and were used by Marbleheaders to hide smuggled goods long before they hid human contraband. Marblehead, situated as it was on the Atlantic seaboard, was a good stop along the Underground Rail Road. When a signal was given, slaves were put into dories, in the dark of night, and rowed out to ships usually bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia. In Canada, the slaves would be out of range of bounty hunters and enraged slave owners, who were known to track their escaped slaves all the way to northern states.This exhibit was a triple collaboration between the Marblehead Museum, the Abbot Public Library and the Task Force Against Discrimination and was made possible through a generous grant from the Harold B. and Elizabeth L. Shattuck Memorial Fund. June 11- 28, 2014 at Abbot Public Library – Virginia A.Carten Gallery