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Oberlin, Ohio

Oberlin, Ohio was a center of abolitionist and Underground Railroad activity. Reverend John Jay Shipherd founded Oberlin in 1833 at the height of the Second Great Awakening. Oberlin Collegiate Institute attracted intellectuals and theologians to the town, allowing Oberlin to be a haven for abolitionists and slaves seeking freedom. Several aspects of life in Oberlin were integrated: white and black children attended school together, African American residents could vote locally and attend Oberlin Collegiate. Estimates suggest that 3,000 formerly enslaved people found refuge in the small town.

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

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