HALIFAX, N.C. – The town of Halifax and its connection to the maritime Underground Railroad will be highlighted Saturday, Feb. 19, with a program at 2 p.m. in the Historic Halifax visitor center.
Michelle Lanier, Curator of Multicultural Initiatives with the N.C. Division of State Historic Sites, will give a presentation on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, a program directed by the National Park Service to identify significant sites where enslaved African Americans made attempts to gain their freedom by escaping bondage. The Roanoke River in North Carolina has been designated as a route to freedom along the network (http://www.nps.gov/history/ugrr/).
The town of Halifax, a port town on the Roanoke River, was the site of many escape attempts as documented in numerous “runaway advertisements” found in 18th- and 19th-century newspapers.
In the coming months, wayside exhibits will be installed at Historic Halifax to interpret the history of the maritime Underground Railroad in the Halifax area. The Feb. 19 program will offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about the various escape attempts and the planned exhibits that will be unveiled in June.
The first 85 years of history of the town of Halifax are recalled in the historic site’s preservation, whose buildings date from about 1760 to the 1830s. The site preserves and interprets the history of Halifax, where North Carolina first gained independence from Britain.
Historic Halifax State Historic Site is at 25 St. David St., Halifax, NC, 27839. Follow the brown historic site signs to the Historic Halifax Visitor Center. For more information call (252) 583-7191 or visit www.halifax.nchistoricsites.org.
Historic Halifax, within the Division of State Historic Sites, is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
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