New Garden Friends Meeting in Greensboro, NC, was the spiritual home of Levi and Vestal Coffin – cousins
active with the Underground Railroad. Vestal and his wife Alethea are buried in the New Garden Cemetery.
New Garden Friends Meeting was responsible for the entire site until 1928, when the cemetery incorporated
with a board to separately manage the cemetery portion. The site is across New Garden Road from Guilford
College and within walking distance (just under one mile) of the Guilford College Woods site, known as the
Underground Railroad’s southern terminus. The Quaker belief in “that of God in everyone” led to intense
soul searching in the meetinghouse over the issue of slavery. Both the local Friends and visitors made
strong anti-slavery statements when the location hosted statewide annual sessions from 1814 to 1865.
There were multiple legal institutional responses among North Carolina Friends to slavery, (i.e. petitioning
the legislature, prohibiting members from ownership or economic gain through slavery, and purchasing
those enslaved for their protection when manumission was not permitted). The Underground Railroad
required direct individual action by connecting sympathetic persons (both black and white) in NC to those in
free states and assisting fugitives to freedom.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 801- 901 New Garden Rd, Greensboro, Guilford, 27410
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Tim Lindeman
Location Type: Site