Several structures in New Bedford have been identified as possible safe houses used by freedomseekers on the Underground Railroad. Many of the city's free African-American residents and Quakers were active in the abolitionist movement and are believed to have helped harbor enslaved African Americans seeking their freedom. An estimated three hundred to seven hundred escaped slaves lived in New Bedford between the mid 1840s and 1860. In a city whose official population of color hovered around one thousand persons, the number of escaped slaves in New Bedford was large even by the more conservative estimate. Frederick Douglass was one of those who found refuge in New Bedford. He arrived in 1838 with his wife Anna and stayed with abolitionists Nathan and Mary Johnson. Douglass lived in New Bedford from 1838-1843 and three of his five children were born in New Bedford. The Johnson home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.
Location: 33 William Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, Massachusetts
Contact Person: Frank Barrows
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