Twelve Years A Slave: The Road to Emancipation

The book Twelve Years a Slave is the true story of a man whose life before, and after, slavery was spent along Lakes to Locks Passage. Born a free black man in the Lake Champlain region, Solomon Northup spent much of his young life working on farms and the Champlain Canal. He was considered a fine fiddler, and was able to earn a living playing. In 1841, Solomon was tricked into traveling to Washington DC, where he was sold into slavery and held captive for twelve years. Upon his return to his wife and family in Glens Falls, Solomon lectured on behalf of the abolitionist movement, telling about his experiences and the evils of slavery. Explore the landscape, history and heritage of Solomon Northup and the Champlain Line of the Underground Railroad.

Layers

Day 1

The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence
1
The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Museums and Attractions
Stephen and Harriet Myers were the point people in Albany regarding the Underground Railroad in the 1850’s. While they lived at a variety of buildings in Arbor Hill in the 1850’s, this is the only one that still stands. This location also has the distinction of being documentable through the flier that has survived from that period. The Vigilance Committee Flier, shown elsewhere on this site, along with other historic records document that this house was a headquarters for Underground Railroad activity in the mid 1850’s.

As a documented Underground Railroad site, The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence stands as a testimony to the work of African American abolitionists and their supporters in the fight for equal rights for all Americans as promised in the…

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Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center
2
Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center
Heritage Areas and Sites | Lakes to Locks Passage Gateway Visitor and Heritage Centers
A historical marker was placed by the City of Saratoga Springs on Broadway at the side entrance of the Visitor Center marking the point of Solomon Northup's abduction. The Saratoga Springs City Council proclaimed the third Saturday in July to be annually recognized as “Solomon Northup Day” and the “Celebration of Freedom” event is held every July.

Centrally located at 297 Broadway, across from Congress Park, the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center is open year round to offer information about  history, attractions, accommodations, recreation, events, and much more in our region.

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Day 2

Mowry Park Underground Railroad Walking Tour
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Additional information can be found at Stealawaytofreedom.com.

The Town of Easton and Greenwich were originally settled by Quakers. They believed that all men were equal in the eyes of God and were early to take on the abolitionist cause. Many historic homes in the area were known to harbor fugitive slaves…

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Old Fort House Museum
4
Old Fort House Museum
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Museums and Attractions
Solomon Northup was a resident at the Old Fort House. There is a Solomon Northup Exhibit on the second floor of the house.

The  Old Fort House Museum  is located on Lower Broadway  and features a five building complex of local artifacts including a "Toll Keepers" house from 1840, the Riverside School House, the 1853 A. Dallas Wait Law Office, the Cronkhite Pavilion,…

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Underground Railroad Stone Chair
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Underground Railroad Stone Chair
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites
Please do not touch or sit in the chair. Be respectful of private property.

Along the backroads of Washington County is what appears to be a stone chair with engraved markings. It dates from 1841 and local historians believe it was a map for fugitive slaves. It depicts a fort, a mountain, a smokestack, and a sailboat.…

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Old Stone House Library
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Old Stone House Library
Heritage Areas and Sites | Lakes to Locks Passage Gateway Visitor and Heritage Centers
Visit with the library staff and ask if you can see the underground railroad hiding place. They can also tell you the history of the Knapp Estate, thought to be another stopping point on the underground railroad.

The library was built as a private home in 1825 by Willis Swift. In 1922, the building was given to the town by George Knapp to be used as a community house and library.

Note the fort-like construction, with no windows in the side walls.…

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Day 3

North Star Underground Railroad Museum
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North Star Underground Railroad Museum
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Museums and Attractions
Check the website for details on a guided mini-bus driving tour.

The Underground Railroad helped tens of thousands of slaves to freedom before the Civil War, and thousands came through the Lake Champlain Corridor to Canada.  This museum brings to life that struggle for freedom as it played out in the Lake Champlain/…

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John Brown Farm Historic Site
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John Brown Farm Historic Site
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Museums and Attractions

High in New York State's Adirondack Mountains is the home and grave of abolitionist John Brown. Many Americans know the song "John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave," but most do not associate the words with this simple farm at North Elba,…

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the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Andrew Alberti

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Trip Plan Details

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In This Trip Plan

1 The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence
2 Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center
3 Mowry Park Underground Railroad Walking Tour
4 Old Fort House Museum
5 Underground Railroad Stone Chair
6 Old Stone House Library
7 North Star Underground Railroad Museum
8 John Brown Farm Historic Site