Countless stories about the Liberty Lines (the Underground Railroad) have been written. Still, few ever mention the African abolitionists who established the Liberty Lines and managed the passage of thousands of self-emancipating Africans safely to freedom in the early 1800s.
Thornton J. Alexander was an African abolitionist who used the power of his freedom to liberate the physical and intellectual constraints placed on African people in colonial America. His inspirational story transcends the sufferings of bondage. His lifetime of risks guaranteed the promises of liberty for anyone who reached his land. He knew “Eliza Harris” (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) because she made her escape to freedom from his property in Indiana. He allowed Bishop Paul Quinn to establish an AME church behind his family cemetery. In 1845, he donated land to construct the first private black college in the U.S. called Union Literary Institute (ULI). The first African American U.S. Senator, Hiram Revels, and his brother Willis were both educated at ULI, as was Rev. John G. Mitchell, a co-founder of Wilberforce University.
No longer hidden in the oppressive shadows of American abolitionists, Thornton Alexander’s story of resistance, rebellion and success has finally been reclaimed from the clutches of invisibility.
Paula D. Royster, PhD, is an award-winning interdisciplinary scholar practitioner in the field of Africana studies and methodologies. She is a two-time Fulbright Scholar grantee who earned her interdisciplinary PhD in humanities and culture and holds a secondary major in public policy and social justice.Gregory M. George II is a licensed educator who holds degrees in educational counseling and psychology. His research interests are childhood education and public history.
Chapter 1- Formative Years in the Carceral Systems
Chapter 2- From Anomabo to Fredericksburg
Chapter 3-The War on Africa and Her Diaspora
Chapter 4-The Abolitionists
Chapter 5-Liberation, Emancipation and Freedom
Chapter 6-The Liberty Line in Darke County, Ohio
Chapter 7-The Liberty Line in Edgewood, Indiana
Chapter 8-Union Literary Institute
Chapter 9-White Grievance Codes
Chapter 10-Fight or Flight
Chapter 11-Ties that Bind