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Underground Railroad Research Forum

From "The Other Adams Family"

Date: Sunday, 4 May 2008, 8:06 pm

In the 1960s a distant cousin of mine and his wife wrote a story about our family based on information given to him from his grandparents, Jonathan K. Adams (aka John) and Margaret Adams with whom he had lived, and his own personal knowledge. The story contains a genealogy down to my Mother.

John Adams was born 1835 in Greene County, Pennsylvania. On the first page of their story, George and Thelma Adams write:

“John, the Civil War foot soldier, trudged heavily toward home, pausing as he came upon familiar scenes to look, half-seeing, at the trees and sheds where he had hidden the fleeing slaves over night.”

That statement in itself has more weight when combined with the information found while researching the Abraham Adams family, also of Greene County. Two of the sons of Abraham Adams b Maryland d about 1834 Greene County PA; Eli Adams abt 1810 and John Adams b abt 1814; both of Hargus Creek, are mentioned in historical accounts of the Underground Railroad in Greene County. Jonathan K.'s grandfather, Jacob Adams b about 1780 in Maryland, was appointed administrator to the estate of Abraham Adams in 1834 and Jonathan's father, Archibald H. Adams was a witness to the Letters of Administration, but the exact relationship between Abraham and Jacob is still unknown.

Another ADAMS in Washington County PA, just one county to the north, known to be active in the Underground Railroad, was Tower Adams, also born Maryland. Tower, also known as "Tar" Adams, is a folk hero of sorts having earned a place in the historical fiction book written by Jean Fritz titled "Brady" I believe first published in 1958.

"Brady" is set in Washington County PA and tells the story of the MINTON family and their part in the Underground Railroad. Another character that may have a basis in fact is Drover Hull. I have no idea how much of the story is true and am looking for information about the MINTON family being active in the UGRR. An internet search for Jean Fritz tells me that she was born a MINTON. "Tar" Adams is known to have aided Francis Julius Lemoyne in Lemoynes efforts to hide and move escaping slaves and some of the MINTONs named in the story can be found in the census for Washington County.

I am currently gathering information for an interactive online map of the UGRR in Southwest Pennsylvania and would love to hear more about other stops, the ADAMS families, the MINTON family and any others who are known to have been active participants.

Jan Slater


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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