The C&O Canal National Historical Park is offering a program on the canal's role in the underground railroad.
The presentation, scheduled for Saturday in Williamsport, Maryland, will feature narratives from runaway slaves and African-Americans who worked on the canal from the mid-1800s to the 1920s, according to a statement from the park.
The C&O Canal Association, a private support group, said on its website that historians have documented thirty-one cases of runaway slaves associated with the canal in some way.
The group said some of them worked on the canal, either as slaves supplied by hiring contractors or as runaways who found paid work there. Other runaways saw the canal as an escape route to the free state Pennsylvania; the border was just five miles north of the waterway's western terminus in Cumberland.