While I was in Dresden
paying my car insurance I though I'd take a trip to Uncle Tom's Cabin as I
passed the sign to it on my way in. So... here are some photos of
the place for you to enjoy. I was actually lucky with my visit as
they don't open until later this month but they were open for a school
party so got a chance to look around.
This is North Kent Mutual where I paid my car
They have an excellent display and I took some
higher resolution photos later on to give you a chance to read some of the
And here I switched to a higher resolution so
you'd get a chance to read this and other signs in the exhibit
and so that completes the tour and below I
show you a few pictures of my ride back to Chatham
The Underground Railway
and finally here are some pictures of the wee
brochures I picked up
I hope you enjoyed the tour
:-) You can learn more by visiting their web site at
Got in some information from Doug Ross about
Dr. Alexander Milton Ross who had a connection with Uncle Tom's Cabin and
the Dawn settlement...
Dr. Alexander Milton Ross
had a broad connection with the anti-slavery movement and the
Underground Railroad. He publicized the route to the Black Settlements
in Canada and the location of safe houses along the way. He supplied the
slaves with provisions and often accompanied groups to their
destinations between Niagara Falls and Windsor. Reverend Josiah
Henson's Dawn Settlement at Dresden was one destination on the
Underground Railway. Another one was Harriet (Ross) Tubman's
family refuge in St. Catharines.
Dr. Alexander Milton Ross was a little known anti-slavery activist and
'conductor' on the Underground Railway until Steven Duff (a former
Toronto-area High School music teacher) now living near Parry Sound,
Ontario, wrote the historical novel, Hunter of Dreams
(published in 2001). Dr. Ross was born in Hastings County, Belleville,
Upper Canada, on December 13, 1832, and he died on October 27, 1897,
in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was the son of William Ross (1792-1844)
and Fredericka Grant (1796-1855, and married Hester Harrington in
As a youngster, his parents had discussed the evils of slavery with
him. When Ross met refugees and anti-slavery activists in Toronto, he
translated their hopes into action. Thereafter, he led a multiple life
as an abolitionist, a medical doctor, a naturalist, and writer. When
he was 23 years old (1855) he went on extensive tours that took him as
far south as New Orleans, Louisiana, using his background in
ornithology as a pretense at doing research in order to spread news
about Canada and how fugitives could get there by travelling at night
while staying at safe refuges during the day. He was known to give the
freedom pursuers money, a compass, knives, pistols and food.
He became a personal friend of abolitionist John Brown, and his work
brought him to the attention of Abraham Lincoln, who commissioned him
as a special agent to monitor the Confederate activities in Canada
during the Civil War. Ross's work,declared Lincoln, shortened the
Civil War by the better part of a year.
Between the years 1876 and 1881, Dr Ross was knighted by the emperor
of Russia, and honoured by the leaders of Italy, Greece, Saxony and
Portugal; he was a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Quebec and Ontario; he was a founder of the Society of the Diffusion
of Physiological Knowledge; he was appointed Canadian Consul in
Belgium and Denmark, and he received the decoration of the "Academie
Francaise" from the government of France.
The official opening of the “People and Places: London’s Black
Community” exhibit at Museum London at London, Ontario, took place on
January 31, 2004, just prior to Black History Month (February).
Featured was an historical portrayal of Dr. Alexander Milton Ross,
considered a great shepherd on the Underground Railway.
Among the most daring
of the UGR workers was a Canadian doctor from Belleville.
Alexander.Ross was an ornithologist as well as a doctor, and he often
used his interest in birds as a cover for his UGR activities. Ross'
parents had discussed the evils of slavery with him when he was a lad,
and when he read Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, he made a
lifetime commitment to the abolitionist cause. In later years Ross
said of Stowe's novel:
It excited the
sympathies of every humane person who read it in behalf of the
oppressed. To me it was a command; and a settled conviction took
possession of my mind that it was my duty to help the oppressed to
I also stopped off at the
local police station in Chatham to pick up my security report for my
I note also that we are about to enter a long
weekend holiday here in Canada celebrating Victoria Day which I understand
is in honour of Queen Victoria.
And just as a final note I got my chair and
wee hi-fi unit delivered on the Friday and I purchased the chair they lent
me for $30.00 so I now have 2 chairs a 100% improvement <grin>. I think
that chair will likely go into the library as it could also be used as a
spare bed in a pinch as well.
The new chair is a recliner, slider (kind of
like a rocker) and it swivels as well :-)
The Hi-Fi unit has a record deck, twin cassettes, three CD unit and a
and so this is how the room looks now!
got an email in from Jeanie
& Manny Francis...
I discovered another
interesting site called Pathways to Freedom: MD & the Underground
Railroad. Included is a site about the language of quilts that helped
travelers find the stations and safety.
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