In fact, communities of free blacks across the United States were the most powerful force in aiding those escaping from slavery. According to Rush Sloane, who recorded more than thirty Underground Railroad stories after the Civil War, “before the year 1837, the fugitives who escaped through Sandusky were conducted and aided almost wholly by black men,” including at least 22 free men in Sandusky’s Black community.
The impressive white house on the corner belonged to Rush Sloane, a Sandusky attorney, abolitionist, and later on, Mayor of Sandusky.
In 1852, Black families escaping slavery stood on a Sandusky dock attempting to board the steamship Arrow. Kentucky slave owners dragged the families back to shore claiming them as runaway slaves.