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The Underground Railroad In Hudson County - Final Chapter

By Alexander Maclean

Edited by GET NJ, Copyright 2002

The difficulties and dangers to which the small group in Jersey City was exposed can only be imagined now.

How many runaways were carried over the Jersey City and Hoboken ferries is not known. It is certain that many of the individual operators had passed a thousand fugitives through their care, and that, of something over one hundred thousand slaves who were aided to freedom, more than sixty thousand went through Jersey City. The fact that, as I have said, great secrecy was necessary and that the movement was carried on after dark, and in covered wagons, prevented the general public from knowing the extent of the business.

The difficulties and dangers to which the small group in Jersey City was exposed can only be imagined now. Often, by the various routes, twenty-five or thirty would reach them in a single night. These had to be provided for with food and shelter, and with transportation; in cold weather, it also meant extra clothing.

John Everett's house became a base of supplies. Still, his resources as well as his ingenuity were frequently taxed to the utmost, in order to provide for his guests. The train fare alone sometimes calling for more than a hundred dollars in a single night. But the chain of contributors kept him supplied, though who these contributors were, was not always known even to him.

They are all gone now -- these men whose courage and devotion had no record save in a consciousness of a duty well done. Whose belief in a higher law made them defy the written statute. Many a grave in a southern battlefield holds all that remains of their disciples and assistants. Truly, the active abolitionists sowed the seeds that armed a nation of free men and led the way to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the constitutional amendment that forever removed the stigma of slavery from our country. Now our flag flies over the homes of the brave and the land of the free.

Hudson County Facts  by Anthony Olszewski
Hudson County, New Jersey is a place of many firsts - including genocide and slavery.
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