The Underground Railroad in West Virginia
As many historians have observed, determining the location of Underground Railroad sites or participation of specific individuals in that endeavor can be a difficult task. Much of the supposed evidence is the result of rumor, innuendo, and supposition. This is especially true because of the covert nature of the Railroad's activities. The sites on this tour represent locations associated with confirmed agents of the Railroad, rumored agents of the Railroad, and opponents of the Railroad. Contrary to popular opinion, the residents of what became West Virginia were not uniformly anti-slavery and some went so far as to directly interfere with the operations of the Underground Railroad. This made the participation of the individuals mentioned in the entries on this tour all the more dangerous. Often, these individuals were free African Americans aiding refugees from slavery as members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church or as single operators. Sometimes the individuals were white, often abolitionists that deliberately located themselves in Virginia in order to disrupt the operation of slavery as an institution.