3,000 to 4,500 freedom seekers passed through northeastern Illinois from the 1820s through 1861. Of those traveling through Chicago, roughly one-third came to Chicago and went by ship to Detroit and Canada, one-third traveled by train from Chicago after 1852, and one-third left Chicago overland first south through the Calumet region and then east through northwest Indiana and onto Michigan. Their movements reached from La Salle and Livingston Counties to the southwest into Will and Cook Counties, with some traveling through what are now the western and northern suburbs.
MY WORK -- My presentations and publications include:
"Will County and the Underground Railroad," the 2007 Fall quarterly of the Will County Historical Society. An expanded version of this was published in February, 2011 as: "Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad in Will County, Illinois." [These are available through the Society in Lockport, Illinois.]
Papers and presentations at the annual symposium of the Illinois State Historical Society:
2006 -- "The UGRR South of Chicago"
2007 -- "Chicago and the UGRR"
2010 -- "Freedom Seekers in Illinois"
July, 2010 -- presented “Freedom Seekers in Illinois” at the annual
National Park Service Network to Freedom conference in
July, 2014 -- presented "Women Freedom Seekers and Chicago" at the
annual National Park Service Network to Freedom conference in
For my suggestions on the most important UGRR sites to be recognized and added to the Network to Freedom historic site listings with the National Park Service, go to the "Top 7 Needed UGRR Sites"