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Edward Mathews Burial Site at Yellow Hill

Yellow Hill was the site of an African American community, including dwellings, a church and cemetery that by the mid-19th century became part of a network of sites providing safe haven for freedom seekers following two of Pennsylvania’s major routes of the Underground Railroad. Edward Mathews (1807-1874), a native of Maryland, acquired 16 acres here in 1842 and became a farmer. At Yellow Hill, Mathews collaborated with other free African Americans and their white neighbors – mainly members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) – in assisting hundreds – collectively perhaps up to 1000 – freedom seekers. In addition to activities as an Underground Railroad stationmaster, Mathews was a community benefactor. He bequeathed land adjacent to his homestead for the community church and burial ground. The Yellow Hill African Methodist Episcopal (AKA Union) Church was destroyed in a suspicious fire sometime in the late 19th century. Veterans of the U.S. Colored Troops were buried at this site. Today, this unassuming parcel of ground remains as the last remnant of the community of Yellow Hill where this chapter in the story of the Underground Railroad can be interpreted.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: Yellow Hill Rd, 2 miles west of intersection PA Rt. 34, Butler Township, 17307

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Alisha Sanders

Location Type: Site

UGRR Operatives: Edward Mathews