About a half hour’s drive southeast of Cincinnati, this historic town on the Ohio River is a charming small village that was once a powerful port town. It was also an early center for anti-slavery supporters. New Richmond is part of The Freedom Trail. This means that it is home to important Underground Railroad and Abolitionist sites. Two of these sides, the New Richmond Waterfront, and the Philanthropist Newspaper, are part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
The park on the riverfront was once
the site of an active port, mostly transporting agricultural products. The
village was full of abolitionist activity in the early stages of the movement.
The publisher of the Philanthropist Newspaper, an anti-slavery publication, was
a former slave owner who became part of the American Anti-Slavery Society. It
is a testament to the town’s unified dedication to abolishing slavery that when
outlaws from Kentucky threatened to destroy the Philanthropist Newspaper
office, citizens of New Richmond defended him and said that they would risk
their lives to protect Birney and his newspaper.
important Freedom Trail sites include the Rev. George C. Light Home Site, the
Dr. John Rogers Home Site, and the Cranston Memorial Presbyterian Church. Rev.
George C. Light was part of the American Colonization Society, which focused on
sending free blacks to Africa on a voluntary basis. This resulted in the
creation of Liberia. Dr. John Rogers was the Clermont County Anti-Slavery
Society’s first president in 1836 and was a financial supporter James G.
Birney, publisher of the Philanthropist Newspaper. The Cranston Memorial
Presbyterian Church took an anti-slavery stance early and hosted a meeting of
the New Richmond Anti-Slavery Society in 1836.
New Richmond is no longer the powerful port town that it was, people still
enjoy activities on the lovely Ohio River. During the summer, the town holds
the Cardboard Boat Regatta. The boats are entirely made of cardboard and race
along a 200-yard course on the Ohio River shoreline. There is even a “Titanic
Award” that goes to the boat that sunk in the most dramatic way.