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Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
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Levi Coffin

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NARRATOR: This Indiana Bicentennial minute is made possible by the Indiana Historical Society and law firm of Krieg DeVault.

A representation of the Coffin house and a map is shown.

PAULEY: They called it “The Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad and the home’s owner, Levi Coffin, the president of the Underground Railroad. A loose network of ordinary who illegally sheltered and guided future slaves to Canada.

Pictures are shown of slaves escaping the plantations in the south and traveling by the Underground Railroad. Photographs show the Coffin house and the hideaways used to store escaping slaves.

PAULEY: During 20 years that Levi and his wife Katherine lived here in Fountain City, Indiana, they helped an estimated 2,000 slaves escape. One, the Coffins called, Eliza Harris, crossed the Ohio River on ice floats clutching her baby.

A picture shows Eliza Harris in a red cape clutching her baby and running from the slave catchers. An image shows the book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

PAULEY: Her daring escape later retold in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Years later, Coffin and his wife, Katherine were visiting Canada when approached by a free black woman. “Katie,” she said, “God bless you.” It was Eliza Harris.

NARRATOR: This Indiana Bicentennial Minute is made possible by the Indiana Historical Society and law firm of Krieg DeVault.

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