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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Oakland, Illinois

Someone asked me – “Why did you post a message about the slave trial on the Underground Railroad forum”? This is in reference to the Matson Slave Trial.

The slave trial involves the town Oakland, Illinois. It was Independence, Illinois in the 1840s. It was a stop on the underground railroad and some of the people involved in the trial were abolitionists. Some of the descendants of the abolitionists play the roles of their ancestors in the reenactment. I ate lunch in a building where runaway slaves were hidden years ago. It was awesome!

I need volunteers (not for the full time) to play the roles of residents of the Brushy Fork community of free blacks that lived in Coles County, Illinois in the 1840s. Most had purchased their own freedom. Some had been given their freedom by the plantation owners. A lot of them were the children of plantation owners who freed them, bought land for them in Illinois, and saw to it that they could make a living. A good number of them had been slaves in Kentucky and Virginia.

I have been in touch with some of their descendants. They might be able to attend the event. I have an outfit picked out that I will wear during the reenactment. I have been asked to sing a few songs as I go about my chores.

I will be playing a role of a resident of Brushy Fork. I may not know what you’re talking about if you see me there and speak to me. For me, it will be 1847.

Ed Adams


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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