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Josiah Henson

Ohio

58

Freedom seeker Josiah Henson and his family came to Cincinnati in the 1820s.

As a Methodist preacher, Henson lectured at length on slavery’s evils, and he published his autobiography in 1849. Henson’s book often served as the major source for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Active in the Underground Railroad, Henson helped more than 100 freedom seekers escape slavery. In 1841, Henson, together with other abolitionists, purchased land in Dresden, Ontario, Canada, and created a vocational school called the "British American Institute for Fugitive Slaves."