Old Railroad Station - Tyler & Benham - Elkhart, IN
Near this location, the Sanders manumitted slaves ended their railroad trip from Cincinnati, OH and Cabell County, (West) Virginia in 1849. From Elkhart, the group took wagons north into Michigan. They arrived in early winter with no place to stay and found more snow and cold weather than they had ever seen.
Backstory and Context
The Sanders group left Cabell County aboard flats boats and floated down the Ohio River to Cincinnati. There, they and their lawyer helpers, engage train fare for at least fifty-one (51) people who had never seen a train. They had with them all their possessions, livestock and house hold goods. Did everyone catch the train? Was everything loaded? How many children could not be found quickly? Was everyone terrified? The manumitted slaves were headed to a new life. When they reached Michigan, they had to buy land, build homes, secure food and survive much harsher weather than they had ever known. The first few years were very difficult and not everyone survived.