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

Kenn Stanton_Escape Story

Kenn Stanton describes the escape of the Lightfoot family on the Underground Railroad, aided by Josiah Henson.

Kenn Stanton_Learning History

Kenn Stanton talks his aunt Alice and how he learned about his ancestor Jefferson Lightfoot.

Kenn Stanton_Meeting Today

Kenn Stanton considers what he would ask Jefferson Lightfoot if he was alive today.

Kenn Stanton_Researching Family

Kenn Stanton explains that learning about his ancestor, Jefferson Lightfoot, encouraged him to research his ancestry even further.

Kenn Stanton_Social Connections

Kenn Stanton describes the prominent social connections of the Lightfoot family.

Kenn Stanton_Survivors

Kenn Stanton talks about why we should be proud of our ancestors.

Leslie Williams_Activism

Leslie Williams talks the important abolitionist work and activism of William Webb, including the important meeting with John Brown and Frederick Douglass in 1859.

Leslie Williams_Artifact

Leslie Williams talks about the portrait of William Webb as his most important artifact.

Leslie Williams_Childhood Memories

Leslie Williams talks about her earliest childhood memories in regards to William Webb.

Leslie Williams_Contributions

Leslie Williams talks about William Webb's contributions to the Anti-Slavery Movement.


© 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.