Every year, thousands of students read the popular book, Freedom Crossing, by Margaret Goff Clark (1913-2003). The story involves the Underground Railroad which was a secret network of trails and homes that helped slaves from the Southern United States escape to Canada in the early to mid-1800s.
The story takes place in Lewiston, New York, which was the final stop for escaping slaves from the South. Once they reached Lewiston, they only had to take a boat ride across the Niagara River to Canada, and freedom! But it wasn’t easy. There were slave catchers and bounty hunters who were hired to capture the slaves and take them back to the South. It was very treacherous for the slaves and the volunteer citizens who helped them.
Lewiston’s citizens hated slavery and many of them volunteered to help smuggle thousands of slaves across the border. There was a code of silence and the people of Lewiston never trusted or spoke to outsiders about their secret activities. It is estimated that thousands of slaves were smuggled through Lewiston and made their way to the Canadian shore and freedom.
Lewiston is a real town and is located 7 miles north of Niagara Falls, New York. It is situated on the Niagara River, across the river from Canada. The river is about 1500 feet wide.
With the Freedom Seekers Tour of Niagara you’ll have the chance to relive the history and legacy of the portion of the Underground Railroad that ran through Niagara Falls, plus see the incredible Niagara Falls.