Iowa, Slavery, & The Underground Railroad.
1856 – Concerning George D. Woodin, from Iowa City, and The Lane Trail, one historian wrote…
Named for abolitionist James H. Lane, The Lane Trail was established in 1856 to bypass pro-slavery strongholds in Missouri and provide free-state settlers a safe route into Kansas. The trail also served as part of The Underground Railroad, used by John Brown and others to transport slaves north to freedom.
Mr. Woodin in particular was active and diligent in transacting the business delegated to him. He made a complete tour of the counties lying in the proposed (Lane Trail) route of the “emigrants” and established committees. He succeeded in enlisting in this enterprise the most active and reliable men in the various towns which he visited who were in sympathy with the movement…It was necessary to observe great caution and secrecy, as the (state) administration was at that time in sympathy with the pro-slavery party and United States Marshals were on the lookout for armed bands on their way to Kansas from the north. The underground railroad having been put into good running order, Superintendent Woodin and his station agents did quite a business in forwarding “emigrants” during the fall, winter and following spring and summer.
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