Abolitionists in the Attic: Family Ties and Antislavery Beliefs in Ashtabula County

Fanatics! Madmen! Lunatics and idiots! Disunionists! These were the epithets hurled at immediate abolitionists in the era preceding the Civil War. To many today, the idea of abolitionism is synonymous with antislavery overall. Yet, such a view clouds the complexities of antislavery belief in this time. Indeed, many persons–northerners included–abhorred abolitionist beliefs, preferring that they just disappear into the attic, never to be heard from again.
The 43rd Annual Hubbard House Underground Railroad pilgrimage will highlight the complex antislavery beliefs within certain Ashtabula County families. The tour will focus on how these beliefs often found opposition among family members. The pilgrimage will take attendees to several stops around the county, including the Platt R. Spencer house in Geneva and the Joshua R. Giddings Law Office in Jefferson. The pilgrimage is free for those who wish to attend; you must provide your own transportation to the sites.

Those wishing to attend to pilgrimage may assemble at the Hubbard House Underground Railroad museum beginning at 10 a.m. This year’s tour will occur in person. Masking is encouraged. The Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum is located at 1603 Walnut Blvd. (at the corner of Lake Ave. and Walnut Blvd) in historic Ashtabula Harbor. Please call the museum at (440) 964-8168 with any questions.