Monday, July 6, 2015

Father's Day Weekend, Day 1, Part 2 = The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, OH

After driving through the thick north-south section of Kentucky, we crossed the Ohio River and entered... Ohio.  I had never been to Cincinnati, and one of the main things I had hoped to see there was the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which unfortunately has limited hours.  We had to get to the box office before 4pm, because even though they closed at 5pm, they didn't accept any other visitors during that final hour.  We didn't arrive in Cincinnati until 3:30pm, so we had to hustle to park at our hotel and walk the half mile or thereabouts.  And we were glad we got in, because it's a fascinating (if depressing) museum.

Exterior of the NURFC, looking south toward the Ohio River.  As the sign suggests, there was a special exhibition featuring a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation (no pictures).  An extra bonus for our first time in Cincinnati.

Lobby of the museum

Note the woman and guard for scale.

The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge leading across to Covington, Kentucky, seen from inside the museum.  The Ohio River used to mark the boundary between free states and slave states, hence the location of the NURFC just opposite where slave markets once existed.

A huge part of the NURFC's exhibits deal with modern day slavery.  This photo was taken as we waited to see the Emancipation Proclamation (which I couldn't photograph, sadly).

The NURFC makes things personal, as it should.

It is also specific on what can be done, rather than merely exposing and lamenting a problem.

At the risk of sounding insensitive, I really liked this boy's name.

The economics of sexual slavery are staggering.

I forget if this was a container that shipped a slave to / from a port, or if it was where someone lived during their slavery... or perhaps neither?

Not merely an "exit."

If only the "note" really existed.

At least Tatyana got away, but how horrific of a time before she did.

Slavemasters typically have no mercy.

Why, it's a log cabin!


Interior of the slave pen.

Entrance to the slave pen.

Interior of the slave pen.

The slave pen juxtaposed with the modern design of the NURFC.

Cincinnati buildings seen from inside the NURFC.

A focus on abolitionists.

Timeline of slavery in the US.

Map of escape routes from slavery.  Canada was by far the most popular destination outside of northern states in general.

Speaking in code about escaped slaves.

For Cincinnati, this history is personal.

An hour isn't enough time to fully experience the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, but it's far better than not getting to see it at all.

Coming up = a walk across the Ohio River.

No comments: