The Underground Railroad Historical

The Underground Railroad Historical (HM1TDM)

Location: Whitehall, OH 43213 Franklin County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 57.331', W 82° 52.391'

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The Historic National Road in Ohio

The Underground Railroad (UGRR) was neither underground nor a railroad, but a system of loosely connected safe havens where those escaping the brutal conditions of slavery were sheltered, fed, clothed, nursed, concealed, disguised, and instructed during their journey to freedom. Although this movement was one of America's greatest social, moral, and humanitarian endeavors, the details about it were often cloaked in secrecy to protect those involved from the retribution of civil law and slave catchers.
One such safe haven was in what is now the City of Whitehall. In the 1800's, several free blacks settled in Truro Township, Franklin County, and began assisting runaway slaves to freedom. One of these men was John T. Ward, who was born a free black man in 1820 at Richmond, Virginia. Ward and his wife came to Ohio in 1836 and built their home on a sixteen acre tract of land in 1838.
In addition to farming and serving as an UGRR conductor, John T. Ward also worked as a clerk in a downtown Columbus hardware store. During the Civil War, Ward had contracts with the federal Government to haul supplies to Camp Chase, the U.S. Army camp and Confederate prison located along the National Road, four miles west of Columbus.
Ward's son, William S. Ward, learned the hauling business and founded the Ward Transfer Line in 1881. Many of John
T. Ward's activities were documented in his diary and recounted by his great-grandson, Eldon Ward, the first black chairman of the Columbus Foundation. and owner of the family's moving company before his death.
Today, the E. E. Ward Transfer and Storage Company continues to maintain its proud heritage by treasuring its roots of once "hauling people to freedom by night and transporting goods by day".
Series This marker is part of the The Historic National Road series
Year Placed2015
Placed ByThe Ohio National Road Association, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, July 31st, 2016 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 339996 N 4424500
Decimal Degrees39.95551667, -82.87318333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 57.331', W 82° 52.391'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 57' 19.86" N, 82° 52' 23.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)614
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 973-981 Rosemore Ave, Whitehall OH 43213, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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