As we explored into the David Ruggles Center, we get to know the history about Florence, Massachusetts. Because Florence is the key center of abolitionist sentiment in Massachusetts, we are thinking if it has any connection with our current research on the other Underground Railroad back in Suffield, Connecticut. As we dig into the history of Florence from different sites, I found a book named “Places of the Underground Railroad: A Geographical Guide” by Tom Calarco, which illustrates some of the fugitive runaway routines and also provides some freedom trails. From this section about “Route to and from Farmington”, we are informed that most of the fugitive slave were trafficked in Connecticut moved through the western part of the state. Many administer and pastors took part in the abolitionism activities. For example, the pastor of the North Church in New Heaven, took fugitive slaves to Farmington. Also, there are many stations all the way through Connecticut to Massachusetts, in which fugitive slaves are believe to have found shelter at the Chaffee House in Windsor and Suffield. Rev. Osgood also worked in the area of Springfield as the coordinator, in which he sent the fugitives to J.P. Williston in Northampton or to some agents in Florence. Finally, those abolitionists settled in Northampton and started the Northampton Association of Education and Industry (NAEI) in 1842, where Frederick Douglass, David Ruggle and Rev. Osgood all have participated in. Because there’s a connection between Connecticut and Massachusetts, I believe that as we continue to research the process of sending fugitives to the safe places and the helping station where they were stopped, there will be something interesting to discover.
- Calarco, Tom. “Places of the Underground Railroad.” Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.https://books.google.com/books?id=muBtFTkFH_EC&q=suffield#v=snippet&q=florence%20suffield&f=false