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Welcome to Clean Slate Goods! This is stop number 3 on your walking tour.  

Many ask how the Underground Railroad got its name.  In today’s context, we do have underground railroads, they are called subways and sometimes we mistakenly think that was the way the freedom seekers traveled to Canada.  It is hard to imagine a time when trains did not exist or when they were brand new, but this is the time we are discussing.  There is evidence that the UGRR may have been referred to as the Underground Road.  A story exists of a Kentucky slave owner who was chasing a freedom seeker named Tice Davids.  He was following very closely, so close in fact, that Davids had no choice but to jump into the Ohio River and swim for safety.  The slave owner took the time to get a skiff and he and his aid followed Davids until he landed on shore in Ohio.  The slave owner tried to follow Davids again, but could not find him anywhere.  He went into Ripley, Ohio to look for him and was heard to say that Davids must have gone off on an underground road.  The phrase underground road stuck and sometime around the 1830s it became the Underground Railroad.   It wasn’t until that time that trains began to be built. This is but one answer to the question of how the Underground Railroad got its name.  There are others and none are reliable or exact.

The word Underground has been frequently used to describe something that is secret.  The French Underground from World War II would be an example of this.

Time to move on!  Your next stop awaits you at the Friends’ Home at 147 West State Street

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