Delaware February 18, 2018
7 Incredible Places Around Delaware That Were Once Part Of The Underground Railroad
Delaware was well-known as a stop on the Underground Railroad, and for many slaves, Kent County was the first free land they crossed into. Though Delaware was a member of the Union during the Civil War, Sussex County farms were still run by slave-owners, and slavery was not abolished in Delaware until the 13th Amendment was ratified by Congress and signed into law. Many of the stops along the Underground Railroad in Delaware are still standing today, and you can visit them.
1. Camden Friends Meetinghouse
The Camden Friends Meetinghouse was one of the first stops in free territory. This Quaker community was involved in Abolitionist movements, and the adjacent burial ground is the final resting spot of John Hunn, who was an "Engineer" along the railroad. The house and burial grounds are open for tours.
Address: 122 E. Camden-Wyoming Ave. Camden, DE 19934
2. Appoquinimink Friends Meeting House, Odessa
This Odessa meeting house is the smallest brick house of worship in the United States, and the community of Quakers who worshiped here assisted many slaves on their road to freedom. Visit as part of your trip to Historic Odessa.
Address: West Main Street, Odessa, DE 19730
3. Daniel Corbit's Clearfield Farm, Smyrna
Clearfield Farm in Smyrna, Delaware was built in the mid-1700s and was home to John Clark. Clark was Governor of Delaware from 1817-1820 and his granddaughters. Their guardian was Daniel Corbit. Corbit was an Abolitionist and turned the property into a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today, a marker stands at the site of Paddock Rd. and Smyrna Landing Rd.
4. The Corbit-Sharp House, Odessa
William Corbit owned this home, and it was a stop along the underground railroad. Odessa was seen as a safe town for slaves on the path to freedom, thanks to the Quaker community and strong Abolitionist movement.
West Main Street (Route 299) Odessa, DE 19730
The history of Woodburn as an Underground Railroad spot is corroborated by the fact that notorious slave trader Patty Cannon conducted several raids on the property. In fact, the mansion is said to be haunted by a slave trader who was chased away, tried to hide in a tree, and fell to his death. To schedule a tour of Woodburn, call the property manager at (302) 739-5656.
6. New Castle Courthouse
New Castle Courthouse was a safe place for slaves on their way to freedom. At the present day Courthouse Museum, you can see an exhibit that tells the story of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.
Address: 211 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720
7. Wilmington Friends Meetinghouse
Like many Quaker meeting houses, the Wilmington house was a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad. In fact, Thomas Garrett was a member of this particular congregation. Garrett, of course, was one of the most influential Stationmasters on the Underground Railroad.
Address: 401 N West St., Wilmington, DE 19801
Delaware is full of so much history that we can really be proud of, such as being a headquarters for many Underground Railroad stations, stops, conductors and engineers. If you enjoy reading about historical happenings in the First State, here’s a great list of
9 Insane Things That Happened In Delaware You Won’t Find in History Books.