Underground Railroad

This is the place to discuss the city and the locality of the murders and the surrounding area --- both present and past.

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Tracie
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Underground Railroad

Postby Tracie » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:17 am

Hi folks,

Long time since I've posted anything so here goes. I have been reading about the underground railroad in Massachusetts and found this interesting. Another Borden and wife named Sarah. Any thoughts?



Valley Falls, R.I.

Photo didn't copy with story.
The Chace house. Photo courtesy New York Public Library.

Elizabeth Buffum Chace was a Quaker who belonged to old and distinguished Rhode Island families, but she was distrusted and shunned because of her ardent opposition to slavery.

The clash over slavery was especially intense in Rhode Island. Newport had been the largest slave market in New England, but the city was home to many Quakers who opposed slavery.

Elizabeth Buffum Chace at 23 married Samuel Chace, the son of Oliver Chace, who founded several textile mills that became the foundation for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

She gave birth to 10 children, though the first five died. Her family would shutter the windows at their home in Valley Falls during the day when they were sheltering fugitives. She recalled in her memoirs how the Underground Railroad worked:


Slaves in Virginia would secure passage, either secretly or with consent of the captains, in small trading vessels at Norfolk or Portsmouth, and thus be brought into some port in New England, where their fate depended on the circumstances into which they happened to fall. A few, landing at some towns on Cape Cod, would reach New Bedford, and thence be sent by an abolitionist there to Fall River, to be sheltered by Nathaniel B. Borden and his wife, who was my sister Sarah, and sent by them to my home at Valley Falls, in the darkness of night, and in a closed carriage.

It’s unclear whether her home in Valley Falls, a village in Cumberland, is still standing. The National Park Service, though, offers a walking tour of the area that features a historic park, train station, post office and mill buildings.

mbhenty
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Re: Underground Railroad

Postby mbhenty » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:21 pm

Yes, Tracie.

The Borden you speak of is Nathaniel Briggs Borden.

Now, old Nate had 3 or 4 wives and I think two of them may have been named Sarah. He was a Massachusetts representative, mill owner, abolitionist, and the third Mayor of Fall River. His house was on Second Street, just down the street from the Andrew Borden place, and was demolished in the 1930s. His home was a station on the underground railroad. (picture below)

There's this one story about this African American who was smuggled from Virginia and relocated to New Bedford, Massachusetts. His 'owner' tracked him down and came up North to take possession of what he perceived as his property. Nathaniel Borden once again smuggled the black fellow out of the city dressed like a Quaker woman, with cape and bonnet, and assisted in the escape, to the anger of the Virginian slave owner.

The Fall River Historical Society just republished a book on the Underground Railroad in Fall River. It was just published recently, late 2017.
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mbhenty
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Re: Underground Railroad

Postby mbhenty » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:51 am

Oh yes, one more thing. The designer of the book above and its cover was done by the administrator of this forum. :thumright:

Tracie
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:48 am
Gender: Female
Real Name: Tracie Fagan
Location: Taunton, MA

Re: Underground Railroad

Postby Tracie » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:32 pm

Well thank you mbhenty that was a lot of information about ole Nate. Bridgewater has the "Tory House" which was a part of the Underground RR and a passing conversation about the Tory House made me dig a little deeper into that part of history. Too funny that all trails seem to travel back to a Borden. Great work Stephanie as always. Thank you again mbhenty and please know that I enjoy all the tidbits and history of Fall River and the surrounding towns that you so freely offer to this forum.

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