C&O Canal Park Offers Program on the Underground Railroad

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. (AP) — The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is offering a program on the canal’s role in the underground railroad.

A park statement says the presentation Saturday in Williamsport will feature narratives from runaway slaves and African-Americans who worked on the canal from the mid-1800s to the 1920s.

The C&O Canal Association, a private support group, says on its website that historians have documented thirty-one cases of runaway slaves associated with the canal in some way.

The group says some of them worked on the canal, either as slaves supplied by hiring contractors or as runaways who found paid work there.

The association says other runaways saw the canal as an escape route to Pennsylvania, a free state five miles north of the waterway’s western terminus in Cumberland.

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