The Barnard Family
For many Chester County Underground Railroad agents,
theirs was a family business: husbands, wives, and children
all contributed to the well-being and progress of freedom
seekers. Few if any local extended families were as
committed as the Barnards.
Eusebius Barnard and his two successive wives, each named Sarah, aided hundreds at their frequently visited home
(right) in Pocopson Township, the site of what may have been the last UGRR operation in
1861 by his son, Eusebius R.
His brother William and nephew Vincent Barnard (below left) were, like Eusebius,
stationmasters at their homes in East Marlborough. All were early members of
Marlborough Friends Meeting, and they were protesters in the so-called Marlborough "Riot," in which
conservative members attempted to prevent abolitionist Oliver Johnson from speaking out against slavery on June
6, 1852; the conflict led to the founding of the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting for Progressive Friends.
Cousin Simon Barnard of Newlin Township, north of Kennett, harbored fugitives for many years in his home.
He often used a large covered wagon to transport ten to twelve fugitives at a time. On one
occasion he offered refuge and hospitality to an abolitionist speaker and the constable who had
arrested him, when captive and captor were "nearly frozen" by icy weather.
William Barnard, the first Quaker disowned by Marlborough as they purged their radical
anti-slavery element, was one of six Chester County Quakersfrom Longwood Progressive
Meeting of Friends, who had an audience with President Abraham Lincoln in early June, 1862 to
petition that the President emancipate all slaves. Lincoln explained to the group that he had some
Quaker relatives, little thinking at the time that, in fact, William himself was a distant cousin.
From various homes within the county, over many decades, the Barnard family upheld
their beliefs in justice and equality among humankind and helped perhaps thousands to

freedom.

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