On April14, 1860 Alexander McClure, an enslaved man from Nashville, Tennessee, arranged for friends to place him in a box and ship him to a "Hannah M. Johnson" care of Levi Coffin, a prominent Underground Railroad activist living in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the train station in Seymour, Indiana (Jackson County) Alexander's was broken while being transferred to the southeast bound train and he was revealed, ending his journey to freedom. Alexander was arrested and extradited to Tennessee. Alexander implicated three persons who helped him in his attempted escape, a free black man, an enslaved black man, and a white man.
Nathan James, a free black in Nashville, was arrested and found to be an escaped slave himself.
It is unclear what happened to James, but it appears he might have been sold into slavery.
Alfred Savage, the slave who allegedly introduced the Alexander to the third conspirator, a white man, was given 15 lashes for his part. It is unclear what ever became of Savage.
The white man's identity was never revealed, as all of the others involved claimed not to know his name.
Levi Coffin was questioned about his role in the escape, but he denied any knowledge.
Hannah M. Johnson, the woman to whom Alexander had tried to ship himself, was never found.
After his failed escape, it seems Alexander remained in Tennessee as he can be found living and working in Nashville after the Civil War.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: Corner of Jeffersonville Avenue, St. Louis Avenue, and Cicle Street, Seymour, Jackson, 47274
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Richard Elmore
Location Type: Site
Freedom Seekers: Alexander McClure
UGRR Operatives: Alfred Savage,Levi Coffin,Nathan James