Kidnapping and The Reverse Underground Railroad
The Crenshaw House was a "station" on the Reverse Underground Railroad that transported escaped slaves and kidnapped free blacks back to servitude in slave states. The home’s third floor attic contains 12 rooms long believed to be where Crenshaw operated a secret slave jail for kidnapped free black and captured runaway slaves. A grand jury indicted Crenshaw for kidnapping, once in the mid 1820s (the outcome unknown) and again in 1842 when a trial jury acquitted him. The case’s victims, Maria Adams and her seven or eight children, ended up as slaves in Texas. In 1828, Crenshaw took Frank Granger and 15 others downriver to Tipton Co., Tennessee, and sold them as slaves. Crenshaw also kidnapped Lucinda and her children in 1828. She ended up in Barren Co., Kentucky. Contemporary letters identifying Crenshaw’s role back both cases. Crenshaw also kidnapped Peter White and three others in the 1840s. They were sold into slavery in Arkansas, but later rescued. Stories of strange noises upstairs coming from victims, date to 1851. Despite accounts that the rooms were slave quarters, Crenshaw family stories indicate a distinction between the plantation’s household servants and field hands, and the victim’s of Crenshaw’s criminal activities.
In 2004, the National Park Service named the Crenshaw Mansion, referred to as "The Old Slave House", as part of the Underground Railroad National Network to Freedom program to acknowledge its importance in the reverse underground railroad and the role John Crenshaw played in condemning free blacks to slavery.
The terrible fates of both the kidnapped free blacks and the slaves forced to labor in the salt works are the foundation for persistent tales that the mansion is haunted.
Read more about this topic: Crenshaw House (Gallatin County, Illinois)
Famous quotes containing the words underground railroad, railroad, underground and/or reverse:
“The only free road, the Underground Railroad, is owned and managed by the Vigilant Committee. They have tunneled under the whole breadth of the land.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors cant sayI never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”
—Harriet Tubman (18211913)
“It is in our interests to let the police and their employers go on believing that the Underground is a conspiracy, because it increases their paranoia and their inability to deal with what is really happening. As long as they look for ringleaders and documents they will miss their mark, which is that proportion of every personality which belongs in the Underground.”
—Germaine Greer (b. 1939)
“We came home from the ridotto so late, or rather so early, that it was not possible for me to write. Indeed we did not go ... till past eleven oclock: but nobody does. A terrible reverse of the order of nature! We sleep with the sun, and wake with the moon.”
—Frances Burney (17521840)