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Underground Railroad

We're most frequently asked for information about the underground railroad.

Since this was an illegal activity, nothing was written down at the time and we rely heavily on hearsay and tales passed down by "old timers". There are quite a few old tales.

"Father" William Bradford Dodge, the local minister at the time, was a fervid anti-slavery activist. His involvement in anti-slavery activities did quite a lot to establish Millburn as a part of the underground railroad. Father Dodge was elected president of the Lake County Liberty Association in March, 1846. This group was established to sway public opinion about slavery.

One of the means for changing public opinion was to have lectures, such as this one in 1854, by Dr. R. L. Cooper.

Rev. Dodge also wrote letters to the editors of newspapers, such as this one in January, 1866.

Many visitors to Millburn ask which buildings in town were used to shelter slaves. We have to answer honestly that we don't know. We suspect that "Father" Dodge may have been the best person to ask.

Beatrice Anderson pulled most of the local information together in her scrapbook.

We also have a lengthy article about the Underground Railroad in general.

Barbara Apple, Waukegan News-Sun Librarian, wrote a newspaper article about the underground railroad in 1981.