The Center for AntiSlavery Studies




Underground Railroad Research Training Sessions

PhotoJanuary 12, 13 & 14, 2005
“The history of Abolition and Underground Railroad activities is not found using traditional methods of European-style historic research, but the history is there. You just have to know where to look."

- Karen James, PHMC

GENERAL INFO

A prevalent myth claims that the Underground Railroad never passed through Northeastern Pennsylvania, but recent research is beginning to show that myth to be dead wrong. Now you can help debunk the myth and contribute to telling an accurate history of our region.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) will present an Underground Railroad Research Training Session in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Offered in partnership with the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, the session will be of great benefit to both scholars and lay people alike, introducing them to the region's Underground Railroad history and giving them practical tools for their further research into the subject. All are invited to attend free of charge, but advance registration is politely requested.

An Underground Railroad Research training session will be held in Northeastern PA.
The evening session will be facilitated by Karen James, Manager of PHMC’s Underground Railroad Initiative, and are designed to:

· Give participants and solid sense of what the Underground Railroad was and was not
· Illustrate the vital importance of NEPA in the national struggle against slavery
· Provide an introduction to UGRR-specific research techniques and materials
in your community

Due to the large geographic area of Northeastern PA, Karen will offer the session on three consecutive nights - once in each of three different regions. See below for the date and location of the session in your region.

DATES & LOCATIONS

Due to the large geographic area being covered, three sessions will be offered - one for each region. The same session is being provided to each region.

REGION 1 - Endless Mountains
(Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties)

Date: Friday, January 14, 2004
Location: Bradford County Historical Society
109 Pine Street, Towanda PA 18848
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Click here for full press release


REGION 2 - The Valley Region

(Carbon, Lackawanna & Luzerne Counties)

Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Location: St. Stephens Episcopal Church
(next door to Luzerne County Historical Society)
35 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Click here for full press release

REGION 3 - The Pocono Mountains
(Monroe, Pike & Wayne Counties)

Date: Thursday, January 13, 2005
Location: Pike County Historical Society
608 Broad Street, Milford, PA 18337
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Click here for full press release

MORE INFO...

The Underground Railroad has been receiving increased attention across the nation, but most particularly in our own backyards. An ambitious project to research and interpret Northeastern Pennsylvania’s role in the Underground Railroad is currently underway, funded in its initial phases by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the PA Humanities Council. The project, spearheaded by The Center for Anti-Slavery Studies (CASS) and Keystone College, is a multi-year project that will research the Underground Railroad and Abolition activities of about a 10 county area of Northeastern PA. The public will be invited to participate and offer input into the project’s research & planning phase. At the end of the research phase, collected information will be formatted into a traveling exhibit, companion web-based and DVD resources & curriculum materials, and a “how-to” guide for conducting Underground Railroad research.

The upcoming UGRR research training session will be facilitated by Karen James, Manager of the UGRR Initiative for the PA Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC). Karen is a noted speaker in the Commonwealth who has presented at numerous conferences, Universities, and grass-roots events on the topic of the Underground Railroad. In addition, she travels the Commonwealth assisting counties and organizations in uncovering and understanding their Underground Railroad history. “Pennsylvania is at the heart of the anti-slavery movement in the US, and a part of that movement we call the Underground Railroad,” Karen explained. “Our goal is to learn more about the role of Pennsylvanians in UGRR history. We do this by using all sorts of documents to help us find the names of the people involved or the actions of many people from different communities in PA.”  A recent visit that Karen made to Bradford County was very productive, indeed, in finding “clear evidence of a strong African American community, a good working relationship between white abolitionists and black citizens, and wonderful documentation about those relationships.”

The goals for the Underground Railroad Research Training Sessions are as follows:
first, to give participants a solid sense of what the UGRR was and was not. Second, the session will illustrate the vital importance of Northeastern Pennsylvania on the Underground Railroad. Our role on the national stage is a history that is under-told and much misunderstood. Lastly, Karen will provide an introduction to UGRR-specific research techniques and materials in your community. “The history of Abolition and Underground Railroad activities can not be found using traditional methods of European-style historic research,” she emphasized, “but the history is there. You just have to know where to look.”

 


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