Resistance

Christiana Resistance

Resistance

In late August 1851, Edward Gorsuch, a Maryland slaveholder, his son, Dickerson Gorsuch and a Federal Marshal, Henry H. Kline, entered Pennsylvania in order to recover four runaways. By September 10, the group were headed to Christiana, PA to the home of a known Underground Railroad agent, William Parker. Many abolitionists were aware of their mission and when spotted on a train, Samuel Williams, a local conductor, spread the alarm. At dawn the next day, Edward Gorsuch arrived at the Parker home. By the time the riot ended, Edward Gorsuch had been shot to death and his son had been badly wounded. All freedom seekers were taken to Canada and those who went on trial for treason were exonerated. As no one was ever prosecuted for the murder of Edward Gorsuch, the Christiana Riot became a flash point leading to the Civil War.