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View of High Street View of High Street, looking north from Union Street

  David Updergraff House David Updergraff House
Photographs by Judith Kitchen. Courtesy of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.

The historic village of Mount Pleasant was established in 1803 by Robert Carothers, an Irishman from Virginia, and Jesse Thomas, a Quaker from North Carolina, and is important for the role it played in the antislavery movement and the Underground Railroad. Incorporated in 1814, the town became a center for pork packing and shipping and was especially successful in the milling industry. The strong Quaker population in Mt. Pleasant preached and practiced its abolitionist views and published antislavery literature, such as Benjamin Lundy's Genius of Universal Emancipation. A station on the Underground Railroad, the town was a refuge for fugitive slaves and a welcome home for free blacks. Local residents built and administered a school for free black children, and in 1848 established a Free Labor Store which sold no products that were produced by slave labor. Rice, for instance, was made by Quakers and cotton was made by German immigrants, but nothing sold in the store was produced from the efforts of slavery. The store remained open until 1857. As an important station on the Underground Railroad and a distinct voice in the abolitionist sentiment, the village of Mount Pleasant played a vital role in the antislavery movement.

The Village of Mt. Pleasant Historic District is located in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio and is roughly bounded by Third, North, High, and South Streets. While most of the buildings are private, the Mt. Pleasant Historical Society offers Underground Railroad walking tours which include tours of several houses within the district. Call 1-800-752-2631 for further information.

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