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Gillette House

The Gillett property (a.k.a. the Fitzsimmons House), located at 1005 Grove Street in Jacksonville, Illinois, was used in at least one incident as a hiding place for three enslaved women escaping from St. Louis, Missouri on the Underground Railroad in 1849. Evidence of the incident is found in several printed versions of the episode and in a paper written in 1905 by Julia Wolcott Carter, the daughter of Elihu Wolcott, the acknowledged leader of the Underground Railroad movement in Jacksonville. Carter's evidence is based on her interview with Underground Railroad activist Jonathan Baldwin Turner. According to Turner, the three women had been hidden "in an old shanty on what is now known as the Fitzsimmons place (the Gillett property)" before being transported to another location.

Because the "shanty" no longer exists, the house which was associated with the property at the time the incident occurred, it is the best place to represent this history. The house is now part of Illinois College.

Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.

Location: 1005 Grove Street, Jacksonville, Morgan, 62650

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Illinois College

Location Type: Site

People/Organizations Associated with the site: Julia Wolcott Carter

UGRR Operatives: Elihu Wolcott,Jonathan Baldwin Turner