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“J.B. Grinnell and the Iowa Underground Railroad,” a free program by David Connon
September 18, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
“Preacher,” “Congressman,” “negro-stealer” — Iowa pioneer Josiah Bushnell Grinnell was called all of those things during his life from 1821 to 1891.
He and other residents of the new east central Iowa community, which was named after him, helped at least 37 fugitive slaves who passed through their town on the “Underground Railroad” before the Civil War. But some residents opposed this work.
In a program at the Greene County Historical Museum on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m., historical researcher David Connon, of Earlham, will tell a story of racism, noble actions and conflict during that era in Grinnell. He will highlight abolitionist John Brown’s visit to the community, and the town’s riot over the presence of fugitive slaves in the public school.
Both the program and refreshments will be free.
The event is co-sponsored by Humanities Iowa, the Jefferson Public Library and the Greene County Historical Society.