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Fugitive Slaves in Northwest Indiana

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Cedar Lake Historical Association Museum

7408 Constitution Avenue

Cedar Lake, IN 46303

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"Fugitive Slaves in Northwest Indiana" presented by Dr. Larry A. McClellan: In the decades before the Civil War, persons enslaved in the south traveled through northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana on their way to freedom and safety in Canada. Hear stories of their journeys and the Underground Railroad that developed to provide assistance.

After graduate work at the University of Chicago, in 1970 Larry helped create Governors State University and served with the University for 30 years. For many years, he was University Professor of Sociology and Community Studies, and six years Executive Director of the South Metropolitan Regional Leadership Center. In the mid-70s, he was mayor of University Park (then Park Forest South). After retiring from GSU, he spent four years as a senior consultant with the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission. Throughout his career, he also served as pastor with diverse congregations. His consulting, research and writing focus on historic highways, the Underground Railroad in Illinois, and on African American and regional history south of Chicago. Major publications include 25 articles in the Encyclopedia of Chicago [2005]; The Pontiac Trail, Route 66 and the Early Chicago to St. Louis Roads [2013]; co-author of a chapter on freedom seeker, Caroline Quarlls, in A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Freedom and the Underground Railroad on the Detroit River Borderland [2016]. Since 2006, he has presented 3 research papers on the Underground Railroad at annual meetings of the Illinois State Historical Society, and 3 for national conferences of the National Park Service Network to Freedom program. He was the principal researcher for successful applications for listings on the Network to Freedom national register of Underground Railroad sites for Crete and Lockport. Some of his work will be found at illinoisundergroundrailroad.info. He is currently completing book manuscripts on “To the River, the Remarkable Journey of Caroline Quarlls” [freedom seeker from St. Louis], “Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Illinois,” and on regional history south of Chicago. For ten years, he wrote a monthly regional history column for The Southtown/Star newspapers. Larry graduatedfrom Occidental College in Los Angeles, with a year at the University of Ghana in West Africa. He has done continuing education and research in Great Britain and Jerusalem. He serves on the boards of the Illinois State Historical Society, and the Will County Historical Society.

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Cedar Lake Historical Association Museum

7408 Constitution Avenue

Cedar Lake, IN 46303

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