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Follow the North Star
The North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association (NCUGRHA) researches, preserves and interprets the history of the Underground Railroad, slavery and abolition along the Upper Hudson River-Champlain and Canal-Lake Champlain corridor of northeast New York. Visit the North Star Underground Railroad Museum where exhibits and videos reveal hidden success stories and our bus tours revisit underground escape routes. Our museum is a reflection of the importance of human freedom and its relevance for the present and future generations.
The following story is from the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association (NCUGRHA) Moses used the canal to gain his freedom and passed through Lock 10.
Moses Roper was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, about 1815 on a day and in a month he never knew. He was the son of an enslaved woman named Nancy, who was part African and Indian, but mostly white, and plantation owner Henry Roper. A few months before Moses' birth, his father married his mother's young mistress. She was so angry that Moses looked like her husband, she tried to murder him with a knife. Just as she was about to stab Moses, his grandmother grabbed the weapon and saved his life.

When he was about six or seven years old, Moses and his mother were sold to different masters. He was subsequently resold several times. He ran away repeatedly, but he was always captured and punished. Finally, in 1834, he escaped from Savannah, Georgia, on a ship which was headed for New York.

Roper wrote,
...
When I arrived in the city of New York, I thought I was free; but learned I was not, and could be taken there. I went out into the country several miles, and tried to get employment, but failed, as I had no recommendation. I then returned to New York, but finding the same difficulty there to get work as in the country, I went back to the vessel, which was to sail eighty miles up the Hudson River, to Poughkeepsie. When I arrived, I obtained employment at an inn, and after I had been there about two days, was seized with the cholera, which was at that place...

As soon as he regained his health, Roper took a steamboat to Albany where he hired out as a steward on an Erie canal boat. After going west 350 miles, he felt increasingly unsafe, so he returned to Albany, boarded a Champlain Canal packet boat and headed for Vermont. In the Green Mountain State, Roper worked as a field hand until he saw a newspaper advertisement for his capture. He went east to New Hampshire, where he stayed briefly before moving on. In Boston, he affiliated with abolitionists and signed the constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society. By late 1835, however, his fear of being captured grew so intense he decided to leave the United States. Retracing his steps back through Vermont, he hid for a short time, and then went to New York City, where he boarded the Napoleon for Great Britain. In Liverpool, Roper presented a letter of introduction to British abolitionists, who warmly welcomed him. He then went to London, where he began to obtain a formal education. Roper published his narrative in the summer of 1837, and he gave hundreds of lectures in English and Scottish churches. In 1839, he married an Englishwoman from Bristol, Ann Stephens Price. In 1844, they sailed for Canada.

Moses and Ann Roper have many descendants living in Australia.

Two Area Stops along the Undergrund Railroad
Wilbur House, Easton
Holmes House, Greenwich
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