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Underground Railroad Historian Chris Saunders
February 29, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pmFree
Underground Railroad Historian Chris Saunders will discuss the critical history of our region in The Underground Railroad, the Civil War and our contributions to abolition and reconstruction. . Saunders is researching Ceredo’s connections with Underground Railroad conductors and safe houses in Burlington and South Point, Ohio. He will also display some of his Underground Railroad and Civil War artifacts, including some specifically related to slavery and the Underground Railroad. Saunders is the co-author of the article “Burlington 37 Cemetery” in Tri-State Living (2012). Saunders was contacted by PBS to help research the family history of nine-time Grammy winning R&B singer John Legend for the show Finding Your Roots, which led him to the Polley family, who after legally obtaining their freedom were kidnapped and held captive in Wayne County, Virginia. After the show aired, his research helped obtain a retroactive finding of freedom for the Polley children in the Wayne County (West Virginia) Circuit Court after 162 years, a legal conclusion to the longest active fugitive slave case in U.S. history.
He has portrayed Underground Railroad conductor Jim Ditcher in the Ironton Woodland Cemetery Ghost Walk. He also has made presentations at The WV Cultural Center and to local schools, historical societies, and other groups. Free and open to the public.