Sutliff Museum Recognized for Anti-Slavery History

WARREN, Ohio — After a year of researching the Sutliff family’s work and influence in the anti-slavery movement and the Underground Railroad, the Sutliff Museum has earned the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom designation by the National Park Service.

Museum staff and partners uncovered stories of people like Mary Plumb Sutliff, Levi Sutliff’s first wife, who transported freedom-seekers on to the next station, according to a release Wednesday. While living in Johnston Township, Mary Plumb Sutliff would take a slave to a safe place, either her home or the nearby home of her father-in-law, Samuel Sutliff.

She would bargain with a boat captain to take the slave to Canada. In one instance, she and Mary Bushnell transported a slave in a wagon covered with a little hay for several miles until meeting with her father-in-law and her father. While freedom-seekers hid in Samuel Sutliff’s home, the women made the trips because it was less likely they would be punished for violating the Fugitive Slave Law.

Established in 1998, the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom is a response to a congressional directive to document and share the stories of resistance against slavery through escape and flight. By preserving and exhibiting the work of the Sutliff family during the anti-slavery movement of the early 1800s, the museum has demonstrated its support for the mission of the network.

The Sutliff Museum is located on the second floor of the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library at 444 Mahoning Ave., and is open from 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. For more information visit or call 330 395 6575.

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