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Arnold Gragston

For four years, Arnold Gragston took nearly three hundred slaves across the Ohio River to Ripley, Ohio. Himself enslaved in Kentucky, Gragston decided to remain in bondage so he could help others reach freedom. Those seeking freedom would meet Gragston on the banks of the river and he would take them to Reverend John Rankin’s home just across the river. Rankin would clothe and feed them and help continue their journey north. After four years helping as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, Gragston and his wife Sallie took their freedom and relocated to Detroit.

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