Ohio River towns played a transforming role in transporting enslaved Africans to freedom. Although this waterway provided a recognizable physical landmark, it also represented a formidable barrier to liberty. Anti-slavery citizens in these border towns created a loosely formed line of resistance, known as the Underground Railroad. Arthur Thome and his son James, creators of "White Hall" in Augusta, Kentucky, became this town's most vocal advocates of the anti-slavery movement as well as accused conductors of fugitive slaves. At James' urging in the 1830s, Arthur emancipated his fifteen Africans and sought the immediate end to slavery, for which they wre banished at gunpoint and forced to forfeit "White Hall." Relocating to Athens, Missouri, Arthur was credited again with utilizing his home as a safe-house for fleeing fugitives. James Thome became a "Lane Debater and Rioter" as well as Vice President of the National Anti-Slavery Society. While living at "White Hall", James scripted "Emancipations in the West Indies", which was utilized significantly in the Amistad trials. In 1839, he temporarily fled Oberlin College to avoid arrest for assisting a runaway Kentucky fugitive. Arthur and James Thome actively dedicated their lives to the replacement of slavery with freedom.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 212 Elizabeth Street, Augusta, 41002
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Dr Milton & Maryalis Brindley
Location Type: Site
UGRR Operatives: Arthur and James Thome