Wife looking sex Mercersburg

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By: Magdalena Radovic-Moreno. It is a border region of a border state—firmly part of the North, but with strong cultural, geographic, and economic ties to the South. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, Franklin County was home to several African American communities made up of freed former slaves and their offspring, as well as runaway slaves Wife looking sex Mercersburg chose to stay in Pennsylvania. By the census, Franklin County had nearly 1, black or mixed-race residents, the fifth-highest of any county in Pennsylvania.

Chambersburg, Greencastle, and Fayetteville all had sizeable free black populations, but the community in and around Mercersburg, located just miles from Maryland on the mountainous western edge of the county, is of particular historical ificance. Slavery existed in Pennsylvania from its earliest settlement in the s, even among Quakers who eventually became its strongest opponents.

William Penn himself owned slaves and is said to have preferred owning black slaves to employing white indentured servants. Within a few decades, however, strong religious and moral opposition to slavery grew, even as more slaves were brought to the area. Slavery was especially strong in southern Pennsylvania, including Franklin County, where the economy was centered on agriculture. Inthe Pennsylvania legislature passed An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slaverywhich sought to make the process of abolition less disruptive to the economy of the state than immediate emancipation, and to respect the property rights of slaveholders.

Wife looking sex Mercersburg the law was passed, further importation of slaves to the state was prohibited, and children born in Pennsylvania were free. Children were, however, legally bound as indentured servants until the age of 28, and adults remained enslaved for the rest of their lives.

After their manumission, most freed African Americans in Franklin County chose to stay in the area with their families, and settled into communities united by race, family, and religion.

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Sadly, the end of slavery did not mean the end of racism and discrimination, and these tight-knit communities provided them with some security. Security and shelter became even more crucial after the passing of the federal Fugitive Slave Act, which allowed slave owners to capture and claim their runaway slaves, even once they had entered free states.

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Pennsylvania passed its own personal liberty laws—both at the state and regional level—that conflicted with the new federal law, but the threat persisted. This all occurred during the decade prior to the Civil War, Wife looking sex Mercersburg compromising with the South was a very popular position, especially in border regions like ours. Franklin County was therefore a dangerous battleground area that pitted anti-slavery activists against slave catchers and their informants. When I was passing through Orangetown, in Pennsylvania, I went into a shop to get some cake.

Two men followed me with muskets. They had followed me from a village I had passed through a little before. They took me, and were going to carry me before a magistrate — they said to Chambersburg. I Wife looking sex Mercersburg just before.

By and by, watching my chance, I jumped fence and ran. They were on horseback. I got into a piece of woods — thence into a wheat field, where I lay all day; from 9 A. I could not sleep for fear. He gave me a good breakfast, for which I thanked him, and then directed me on the route. I succeeded, after a while, in finding the Underground Railroad. I stopped awhile at one place sick, and was taken good care of.

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The success of the Underground Railroad depended on secrecy. In Franklin County, secrecy came in the form of dense wooded areas, mountain caves, strong African American communities, and in many cases, help from the white community.

Some runaway slaves were able to make their way to freedom with minimal aid by following the natural topography of the Wife looking sex Mercersburg Mountains, which led them northward. Most, however, depended on the shelter, guidance, and provisions from the active network of free African Americans and sympathetic whites that formed the Underground Railroad in our area.

The Mason and Dixon line that separated freedom from slavery, sometimes even life from death, was artificial—not at all based on natural geographic features. It was surveyed between and to resolve a border dispute between Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and cuts across the Cumberland Valley at an arbitrary point. Franklin County, of course, is at the heart of the Cumberland Valley of the Appalachian Mountains, which stretches across the line from Pennsylvania into Maryland.

Following the spine of the Appalachians southwest takes you into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, which grew similar crops and used the same farming methods—a major reason why so many freed slaves chose to stay in Franklin County rather than continue northward to New York or Canada. In contrast to the southern border, the eastern and western borders of the county are defined by two mountain ranges: the Tuscarora to the west, also locally referred to as North Mountain, and South Mountain to the east.

The routes escaping slaves used in Wife looking sex Mercersburg area changed frequently, but they generally followed the trajectory of these mountains. These in turn coincided with intuitive, well-worn paths used historically by Native Americans.

These same routes are familiar to us today, as they formed the basis for Routes 75, 30, and The African American population in and around Mercersburg—just eight miles north of the Mason and Dixon Line—was by far the largest in Franklin County, ing about people by They worked primarily as farm laborers or house servants in the area, but there were also skilled laborers like carpenters and blacksmiths. The Wife looking sex Mercersburg. Census shows Wife looking sex Mercersburg least one African American teacher, and one engineer.

The same census lists a total of 26 African American households, six of whom owned their homes. The Mercersburg Tax Assessment found in the Franklin County archives confirms this information, listing seven African Americans as landowners. The tax records also show men with a variety of occupations, including a George Bizan or Bezan, a barber, who was actively involved in the Underground Railroad:.

Here, however, is an excerpt from excellent article by Joan C. One of the men who assisted many runaway slaves, it has been asserted, was Acheson Ritchey, who lived on a farm outside of Mercersburg and who gave the fugitives food if he deemed it wise to keep them or sent them to the next station, if he deemed they were in danger. The Ritchey family took into its home a local eleven year old African American girl who had the task of caring for the babies and young children of the people coming through on the underground railroad.

Ritchey discouraged the plan. Bezan was a small man in stature, but his son, George, was large. When fugitives were approaching, Jacob kept watch for them while George guarded the house. Upon one occasion, when the father and son exchanged responsibilities, the slaves seeking sanctuary were fearful because they had anticipated seeing a small man. Troops from Pennsylvania made up more than 20 percent of the acclaimed unit. Mercersburg was second only to Philadelphia in mustering volunteers from the Commonwealth.

The valor shown by the regiment improved regard for Black soldiers and helped spur recruiting. After the Emancipation Proclamation inAfrican Americans were allowed Wife looking sex Mercersburg the Union Army for the first time. Eighty-three men from the Mercersburg area enlisted and went to war, serving mostly in the 54 th and 55 th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantries. The 54 th Massachusetts, the first all-African American regiment, was made famous in the movie Glory starring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman.

The 55th was formed after the of volunteers for the 54th, including many from Mercersburg, exceeded the available positions. The 54th is most remembered for its brave but tragic attack on Fort Wagner, which guarded the city of Charleston, South Carolina. The 54th was badly outed, and of the soldiers were killed. In spite of their loss, the damage they did to the fort led to its eventual abandonment by the Confederacy. Afterwards, the 54th and 55th participated in successful campaigns and sieges throughout the South.

A bronze memorial sculpture dedicated to the Massachusetts 54th was unveiled on the Boston Common in Memorial Daywhere it still stands. After the war, the African American community needed a larger burial ground for their dead, and pooled resources to purchase about three acres south of the Mercersburg Borough in At least 38 Civil War veterans are buried there, including thirteen members of the 54 th Massachusetts.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission dedicated the marker pictured above in November Confederate troops unleashed a reign of violence and terror, capturing free African Americans and taking them back to the South to be put to work or sold for profit. Later during the Reconstruction era, white Pennsylvanians were eager to restore economic and social ties to Maryland and the rest of the South. With no common moral cause uniting them, relations between whites and African Americans became fractured.

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In the following decades, many African Americans from our region moved on seeking greater opportunities elsewhere and the African American population steadily declined. Nevertheless, the history of African American Mercersburg is alive and well.

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And descendants of the Wife looking sex Mercersburg African American community, including relatives of African American Union soldiers, still live in the community and pay homage to their unique heritage. It was an invaluable resource to me during my visit, and while researching and writing this article. If you find this information as fascinating as I do, I highly recommend taking the same guided tour.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Ayers, Edward L. New York: W. Barnes, Roscoe III. Colored Troops remembered by Mercersburg family. McCulloh, Joan C. Mercersburg Historical Society. Mercersburg Historical Architectural Review Board. Smith, David G. Switala, William J. Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania.

Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, Old Mercersburg. Williamsport, PA: Grit Publishing. Company, This site uses Adobe Reader. Franklin County is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides advancement opportunities to everyone.

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Our employment practices are not influenced or affected by race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran's status, or any other protected by law. Career Opportunities. Please contact the webmaster at webmaster franklincountypa. All content contained in this website is the property of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Toggle Translate. Get Involved Slavery in Pennsylvania and Franklin County Slavery existed in Pennsylvania from its earliest settlement in the s, even among Quakers who eventually became its strongest opponents.

Mercersburg's "Little Africa" The African American population in and around Mercersburg—just eight miles north of the Mason and Dixon Line—was by far the largest Wife looking sex Mercersburg Franklin County, ing about people by Notices Open Records Policy. Non-Discrimination Regulation.

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