UGRR - Interview Descendant


Discover the Underground Railroad through the first hand accounts of descendants who share the stories of their ancestor. Learn how Reverend Anthony Binga, Sr., William Lambert, and Jefferson Lightfoot really lived.

1 - Christina Streety-Napier talks about her great-great-great grandfather, William Lambert. She talks about Lambert’s amazing accomplishments during his life and the legacy that he leaves behind. William Lambert was an abolitionist, activist, businessman, and one of the most active African American abolitionists in Detroit, Michigan. Active in the Anti-Slavery Movement, he served as secretary of the Detroit Vigilance Committee, coordinated its efforts of providing aid and protection to fugitive slaves, maintained records of the hundreds of slaves it assisted, and personally participated in the rescue of several slaves.

2 - Claudia Rae White, Family Researcher, talks about Anthony Binga, Sr., also known as the walking preacher. Binga was a prominent Baptists minister in Amherstburg, Ontario, in the late 1800s. In 1836, he and his family escaped from slavery by travelling on the Underground Railroad, from Kentucky to Canada. In this oral history Claudia Rae White talks about their escape, the relationship between her 3rd great grandfather, William W. Binga and his cousin Anthony Binga, Sr., and the legacy of the Binga family.

3 - Irene Moore Davis, President of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, talks about her ancestors James Llewellyn Dunn and Robert Dunn. The Dunn family lived in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in the 1880s. James and Robert Dunn were very successful, accomplished citizens of Windsor, who overcame barriers of racism and discrimination. Irene Moore Davis also describes the life of Elijah McCoy, a free black that apprenticed in Germany as an engineer. During his lifetime, Elijah McCoy received patents for 57 inventions and innovations. Most were related to lubricating machines.

4 - Kenn Stanton, Curator and Administrator of North American Black Historical Museum & Cultural Centre, Inc. in Amherstburg, Canada talks about his great-great grandfather, Jefferson Lightfoot. Stanton describes Lightfoot’s wonderful escape story and talks about the amazing life he led in Canada. In the mid-1800s, Jefferson Lightfoot, with his two brothers and the help of Josiah Henson, escaped on the Underground Railroad from Kentucky to Canada, in the middle of November. The journey was long and hard, but the group made it to freedom and eventually settled in Dundas, Ontario. The Lightfoot family was welcomed into the Irish Canadian community of Dundas. They married Irish women, formed families, and became prominent members of the community.

5 - Leslie Williams, President of the Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society, talks about her ancestor William Webb. William Webb was an abolitionist that worked closely with George DeBaptiste and Williams Lambert on the Underground Railroad in Detroit.

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Browse Resources

Christina Streety Napier_Activist Work

Christina Streety-Napier describes William Lambert’s activist work on the Underground Railroad.

Christina Streety Napier_Ancestor

Christina Streety-Napier talks about how she is related to William Lambert.

Christina Streety Napier_Artifacts

Christina Streety-Napier shows and describes an artifact from the William Lambert estate.

Christina Streety Napier_Childhood Stories

Christina Streety-Napier describes how she learned about William Lambert as a child.

Christina Streety Napier_Early Life

Christina Streety-Napier describes the early life of William Lambert.

Christina Streety Napier_Important Role

Christina Streety-Napier describes William Lambert’s important role in Detroit.

Christina Streety Napier_Legacy

Christina Streety-Napier talks about William Lamberts legacy.

Christina Streety Napier_Meeting Today

Christina Streety-Napier describes what she would do if she met William Lambert today.

Christina Streety Napier_Sharing the Legacy

Christina Streety-Napier talks about sharing William Lamberts legacy with her grandchildren.

Claudia Rae White_Activists Work

Claudia Rae White describes Rev. Anthony Binga’s life after he reached freedom in Canada.


© 2012 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. All rights reserved. 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201 | (313) 494-5800 |

This program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program.