Underground Railroad History

Cairo, Illinois


From: "The Underground Railroad in Illinois" A map in Professor Siebert's book, showing the routes and principal stations of the "Undergound Railroad," makes mention of the following places in Illinois, in addition to those already referred to: Carlinville, in Macoupin County; Payson and Mendon, in Adams; Washington, in Tazewell; Metamora, in Woodford; Magnolia, in Putnam; Galesburg, in Knox; Princeton (the home of Owen Lovejoy and the Bryants), in Bureau; and many more. Ottawa appears to have been the meeting point of a number of lines, as well as the home of a strong colony of practical abolitionists. CAIRO also became an important transfer station for fugitives arriving by river, after the completion of the Illinois Central Railroad, especially as it offered the speediest way of reaching Chicago, towards which nearly all the lines converged. It was here that the fugitives could be most safely disposed of by placing them upon vessels, which, without stopping at intermediate ports, could soon land them on Canadian soil. "The History of Alexander, Union Pulaski Counties, Illinois", Biographical section, pages 9-10. Edited by William Henry Perrin, 1883




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