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AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum

Following the long trail to freedom

Following the long trail to freedom
Mark Stevens
Special to the Star

WINDSOR–Scrambling through thick undergrowth, an errant branch slashes my face.

I teeter on a plank on the ground then step into ankle-deep mud. I hear an ominous growl. A teenager behind me stops short. Wide-eyed he scans the bush.

"Was that real?'' he asks.

We're reliving history near Windsor, Ont., at the John Freeman Walls Historic Site and Underground Railroad Museum. The trail that snags us at every turn is certainly real. Fugitive slaves once sought and found sanctuary on this very site.

Minutes ago we stood outside a wagon shed, beside a buckboard with a false bottom and two pairs of feet sticking out from the end.

We heard how runaway slaves hid in these wagons and huddled in the lofts of stables. Bryan Walls, who runs this tribute, holds a megaphone in one hand, a carved African walking stick in the other.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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