The Center for AntiSlavery Studies


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Welcome to CASS

Since 1996, the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies (CASS) has researched, documented, and preserved the history of the Abolition and Underground Railroad activities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our research has found that Northeastern Pennsylvania’s story is one not commonly told within the larger scope of the Underground Railroad.

Many escaping slaves who passed through this area did not simply stop here for a night hidden in a barn or a back room. Certain residents actively encouraged and supported slaves’ efforts to escape, and were willing to take enormous personal risks to prove it. They offered them jobs, money, land, and gave them an opportunity to establish themselves. Many fugitive slaves and free blacks successfully integrated into local communities that accepted them and actively supported their freedom.

CASS story – told both through public programs and through the identification & preservation of historic places – is a testimony to how both black and white people lived and worked together in this region; it is about their individual and common struggles, their triumphs, and their attempts to live ordinary lives in an extraordinary time. For many, Northeastern Pennsylvania was not just a stop on the way to freedom in Canada, but a place they came to call home.


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