Tabor, Iowa and the UGRR

No real update for this post, except be sure to read the comments. Some readers have added some interesting information since it was originally published. It’s one of the most commented on posts. Another one of my top ten most viewed posts.

Sarah's Notebook

John Patrick Morgans literally wrote the book on the Underground Railroad in southern Iowa and especially Tabor, Iowa. The book is calledJohn Todd and the Underground Railroad: A Biography of an Iowa Abolitionist. Morgans says that the Underground Railroad (UGRR) is one of the least understood stories in Iowa history. Although in Iowa we tend to think of ourselves as a northern state, the South was always very close. Cotton didn’t do well in Missouri or Kansas, but hemp did. Hemp was an incredibly important crop for making ropes, among other necessary products, and there were many slaves tasked to its production as a cash crop. Slavery could easily have spread in the Midwest.

Most of the slaves that came through Iowa were escaping from Missouri or Arkansas. Iowa was the state with the longest border with a slave state without a geographic obstacle for crossing, no rivers…

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Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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