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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Jacksonville Remembers Underground Railroad

Michael Huffaker built this home in 1824 and became a well known farmer, trusted by many in Jacksonville.

"Michael Huffaker was never suspected of breaking the law or being someone who would help fugitive slaves," Chairman of the Underground Railroad Committee, Carole Crim, told us.

His quiet kept actions in the 1840s and 1850s proved him to be a conductor for the Underground Railroad. Memories written in letters found in the home tells of what one of his daughters was used to seeing on the farm.

"When she was a child, peeked over the stairway at night and saw fugitive slaves standing at the bottom of the stairs, obviously being helped by her father's friend and other men," Crim said.

"It's let me know there were people didn't believe in slavery and there were people who did help you when you were trying to reach your freedom," volunteer Ruth Linear said.

Linear gives tours at the farm. The fact that this was a part of the Underground Railroad hits home for her. Her family grew up in the south and she recalls being told how African Americans were treated, even after the Emancipation Proclamation

"Just hearing my grandfather talk about things that went on when he was a little boy really makes you be thankful that slavery was abolished," Linear said.

"We have a black President now," Crim said. "You look back to what was going on in those days and now what we have going on. It's just amazing."

 
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