Last week, the Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would appear on the new $20 bill. Tubman helped bring dozens of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
One group in Kansas City, Kansas, hopes this change will bring more attention to the local “gateway to freedom” that was once part of the Underground Railroad.
Tucked away in Wyandotte County, the remains of the town of Quindaro were almost forgotten. Anthony Hope runs the Old Quindaro Museum located just off the Missouri River in KCK.
Hope explained, “They tracked from the South, this was an important stop on the underground railroad because Kansas was a free state, there were many people who harbored, who were abolitionists.”
The museum holds relics from the town which helped slaves in the 1850s. Hope said, “They were seekers of freedom, we called them. They had to travel out of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.”
The Civil War led to the abandonment of the town by 1862 and a proposed landfill almost destroyed the ruins that remained.
Hope said after a court battle, an archeological study found Quindaro dated back to 1850.
Now Hope runs daily tours of the museum, cemetery and ruins but that the home is in desperate need of repairs since it hasn’t been renovated since it was built around 1900.
So, Hope said, donations are needed to help preserve the area’s history connected to the Underground Railroad, abolitionists and the Wyandotte people to share with future generations.
Shannon Halligan can be reached at email@example.com.