Iowa and the UGRR

Do you know the connections between Iowa and the Underground Railroad?

Sarah's Notebook

Possible Secret Room Possible Secret Room

There is a lot of ongoing interest in the Underground Railroad (UGRR). While Iowa might not be the first state you associate with the UGRR, Iowa is one of the few places along the Mason-Dixon line where a free state borders a slave state without a river in between. It was also used as a staging area for Bloody Kansas and raids into Missouri by Abolitionist forces.

The story is enticing. It involves a secret system that most people don’t have a clear idea about but it involves codes, disguises, and secret rooms. Plus, it allows us, from the safety and security of our 21st century homes, to feel that we ourselves would have participated and taken such risks for freedom. Wanting to be associated or connected with the UGRR lets us see traces and connections where they don’t exist, we can turn something into a code…

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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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