Jamestown history center opens new exhibit highlighting the Underground Railroad

Black History Month

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB)– A new exhibit at the Fenton History Center in Jamestown is highlighting Chautauqua County’s role in the Underground Railroad.

It tells the story of what’s described as a “snatch and grab” of an escaped slave, Harrison Williams back in the 1850s.

Harrison had been working as a farmhand for nine-months when one day three men came out of nowhere and captured him.

Harrison was returned to Virginia.

But 12-years later he was reportedly spotted serving at a Union Army Camp.

“He found his way into the Union Army, he fought for his freedom,” said Goodling. “We are not sure what happened to him after the war, but he found his way to freedom again and fought for his right to exist as a free man.”

Noah Goodling, Executive Director, Fenton History Center

Executive Director Noah Goodling says he hopes visitors walk away from the exhibit with a sense of hope and activism.

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