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Underground Railroad

In 1852, Frederick Douglass spoke at the Putnam Presbyterian church.

A former slave, he and Nelson met to discuss their common interests.

Very much the quiet man, oral history has him hiding freedom seekers in his vegetable wagon

to transport them from one safe house to another.

Life was good for a man and woman who were born slaves and overcame adversity.

They became members of St. Paul A.M.E. church and were married for 34 years.

They donated $5,000 to build the new church on South Street across from the police station.


Each of their four children were talented musicians.

Nelson Jr. played the banjo to his father’s delight. Sadie and Nelson Jr. graduated from Oberlin College.

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