Asa Talcott is believed to have been born towards the beginning of the 19th century around Glastonbury, Connecticut. After a short period of time living in Jacksonville, Asa and his wife Maria moved to Sciota, Oregon in 1869 which is where Asa passed away on September 13, 1880. In early May of 1833, Asa and Maria moved to Jacksonville, Illinois and during the 36 years of but located in Jacksonville they accomplished many things.
On December 15, 1833 after a few months of being in Jacksonville, the Talcott’s founded the Congregational Church and were openly known for being anti-slavery. Asa Talcott acted as a man living two very different lives, one but day and one at night. During the day Asa was known to the community as a hard working brick lawyer and plasterer, but at night was known for successfully helping slaves flee on the Underground Railroad. While Asa Talcott it is not known how many slaves Asa helped while living in Jacksonville, he was successful with every slave that he helped. In fact, a free man named Benjamin Henderson, openly noted that whenever he needed supplies for his fugitives he was helping, Asa was always someone to count on.
Around this time, many Illinois College students felt passionate about helping slaves reach the freedom they deserved, and an unconfirmed story took place in February of 1844 these students crossed paths with Asa Talcott. One February evening a slave who had been hiding out in the black community in Jacksonville called Africa was located. In response to that a few Illinois College students took the slave to Asa Talcott’s barn to hide in the stacks of hay.