AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
FPOC's Longtown, OH Settlement
Thought this would be of interest to those looking for ancestors who may have migrated into Ohio before the 1850's.
A Town Called “Longtown”
An Abstract from an article by Virginia Housman that appeared in the Winter 2000 Issue, Volume 19 of the Darke County, OH Genealogical Society newsletter, “Kindling”.
Located in the North West corner of Liberty Township (formerly German township) in Darke County, OH and adjacent to Indiana state-line and Randolph County, OH, a settlement began to develop in the early to mid 1800’s. the people who settled here are described in an Advocate Newspaper article, dated February 1985. The title “Blacks tied closely to county’s history”. W.E.B. DuBois said of the community in the early 1900’s that the people who filtered into the area from the south, before the civil War, to become farmers were mainly of mixed Negro, Indian and German ancestry. DuBois also wrote that the settlement became a “haven” for interracial couples. By 1914 this small community had 450 inhabitants, 2 churches, four schools and a number of prosperous homes. The settlement , known as Longtown, has extended into Indiana, and formerly supported an academy known as the Union Literary Institute.
An article on Longtown history stated “the Union Literary Institute was a flourishing academy that had very prominent men of both the white and colored races who were educated here and went into the world to fill places of honor in nearly all walks of life, as judges, lawyers, doctors, bishops, presidents of colleges, etc. Tampico, the principle village in this settlement, was laid out in 1830. It appears that a “few members of the Newport (Fountain city) Friends Meeting conceived the idea for the Institute.
“Many of the early Longtown settlers and the hundreds of fugitive slaves who followed the Quaker-led Underground Railroad through Newport (Fountain City) attests to the importance of the Friend’s influence in the freeing of slaves prior to 1865”
The Union Literary Institute’s building is still standing (2000) and a sign above the door says “Union Literary Institute---Manual Labor Boarding School---1856.”
The article has a listing of individuals “Scholars from the Union Literary Institute, since June 22, 1846. There are many surnames mentioned Bass, Goins, Burton/Burden,
A very interesting statistic is found in the enrollment figures up to the 1846 date.
Anyone looking for a possible ancestor or a particular surname, contact us off-board and we will be happy to do a “look-up”.
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