This site is a city lot once belonging to Jameson Jenkins, a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Springfield, Illinois. On this lot stood the home of Jameson Jenkins, who was a successful drayman living in Springfield during the 1850s. Jenkins lived one block south of Abraham Lincoln.
On January 16, 1850, Jameson Jenkins assisted a group of runaway slaves escape the hands of slave catchers and took them north to the next stop on the Underground Railroad: Bloomington, Illinois. During the following days, both town newspapers reported various and contradictory stories regarding the runaway slaves, them being caught, and the person who betrayed them. The newspapers later revealed that the person who assisted the runaway slaves was Jameson Jenkins. The newspaper also explained the reasoning behind the various contradictory stories was so that the Underground Railroad car that Jenkins traveled on would not be discovered.
Today the Jenkins lot is located within Lincoln Home National Historic Site, which contains the home of Abraham Lincoln within a historical neighborhood setting. However, the lot is empty, the original Jenkins house was razed sometime between 1896 and 1917. The location of the lot; within a National Park, ensures that archeological resources related to the home of Jameson Jenkins are preserved.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 516 South Eighth Street, Springfield, Sangamon, 62701
National Park Unit: Yes
Ownership: National Park Service
Location Type: Site
Freedom Seekers: Hempstead Thornton
UGRR Operatives: Jameson Jenkins