The significance of the Hamilton and Rhoda Littlefield House is in its use as a refuge for runaway slaves during the pre-Civil War era. Throughout his life in Oswego, Hamilton B. Littlefield was closely allied with Gerrit Smith and Smith’s land agent, John B. Edwards. This alliance supported not only Littlefield’s business activities but also his involvement with abolitionism and the Freedom Trail.
Documentation for the use of Littlefield’s house as a way station comes from three sources: a letter from Edwards to Smith; and oral tradition collected in the early 20th century and delivered in a DAR speech; and an oral tradition passed through the family of the minister of Edwards’ church. Because Edwards’ letter is a primary source, written by a person directly involved at the time of the events, the documentation for the Littlefield House as an Underground Railroad site is excellent. Though some exterior changes are evident, the house retains integrity of location, setting, feeling and association.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 44 East Oneida Street, Oswego, 13126
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Michael Parkinson
Location Type: Site