The Real Underground Railroad
By Tim McDonnell
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT
We have an exciting, illustrated program on a topic that we in Lima have often mused about— possible involvement of 19th century Lima residents in the Underground Railroad. On May 16th, Tim McDonnell, a very popular speaker on the RIT Osher Speakers’ Bureau, and an adjunct associate professor at Monroe Community College, will be speaking about the Real Underground Railroad in our region.
He will talk about how this loosely-organized “conspiracy” against slavery operated before the Civil War. Since New York has a long border with Canada, our state was the important last “station” on the way to freedom. Tim will discuss the routes used by the “conductors,” including routes that led through Livingston County. He will talk about the men and women of the Underground Railroad (UGRR), some famous and most not. Since they were breaking federal laws, this was not an enterprise without danger, both to the runaways (or “Freedom Seekers”) and to the people who assisted them. Tim will conclude his talk with a discussion of why the Underground Railroad is important in the 21st century. The illustration above shows the Freedom Statue in Lewiston, NY on the Niagara River, with Canada in the background. This was the last stop on the UGRR for many formerly-enslaved people.
VIEW A RECORDING OF THE PRESENTATION BELOW