Cumberland County ...NJ

Discovering the Underground Railroad in Cumberland County 

What is the Underground Railroad?

It was the original "Great Conspiracy" to help slaves escape to Freedom

New Jersey Underground Rail Road Heritage - Steal Away, Steal Away

presented by the New Jersey Historical Commission.


History Happened here!!

Four Routes of the Underground Railroad Through New Jersey


A Journey to Springtown an excellent newspaper report from 1999 (The City Paper), about Laura Aldrich and the group who worked so hard to save the heritage of "The Bethel (formerly Othello) African Methodist Episcopal Church in Springtown, NJ. It discusses, not only the church, but the Underground Railroad in Southern New Jersey.

     In the Autobiography of Jarena Lee, she talks about preaching in Greenwich. The Bethel A.M.E. Church was started in 1810 and I think it is an easy leap to make that Jarena Lee was talking about preaching to that congregation. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone from the church or local community that has any knowledge of Jarena Lee speaking there.

Small Towns, Black Lives  [Springtown/Greenwich]
great pictures of the church, Laura Aldrich and the cemetary.

New Jersey Sites from the National Park Service Site:
 Aboard the Underground Railroad.

New Jersey Map

1. Grimes Homestead - Mountain Lakes

2. Peter Mott House - Lawnside Borough

3. Bethel A.M.E. Church - Greenwich (Springtown)

4. Mount Zion A.M.E. Church and Cemetery - Woolwich Township

for a more extensive list of the NJ sites, be sure to check out the NJ Historic Commission Site, listed above.

The Underground Railroad - Ties That Bound, Unveiled
by Emma Marie Trusty

This story is about black operators of the Underground Railroad's famous Greenwich Line in
Cumberland County, New Jersey from 1770 - 1861. The role played by their Indian friends is also considered. It's about their personal religious convictions in the context of social consciousness.
It's about black Underground Railroad (URR) operators identified as white. Knowing the correct
identity of these persons is key to understanding the URR system. It becomes less mysterious...

Read the Bookk!!

A great Interactive site,

National Geographic Online
The Underground Rail Road

Please let me know if you have trouble accessing it from your computer

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center



The Freedom Center is in a beautiful new building on the Riverfront in Cincinnati. I have not been there and would be interested in hearing from anyone who has been there. I grew up in Cincinnati area and there was a lot of activity and knowledge of the URR in the area.

    Susan Ditmire   

Wilbur Seibert lists the following people in Cumberland County. I am trying to locate information on these people and their families.

  Town Notes

Bond, Leven.


Cooper, Ezekial.


Murry, Nathaniel.


Sheppard, J.R.

  see bottom of page

Sheppard, Thomas R.

  see bottom of page

Stanford, Alges.


Stanford, Julia.


About the List

In 1898 historian Wilbur Siebert published a book entitled "The Underground Railroad" in which he included a list of over 3,000 names of UGRR conductors and agents compiled over many years of UGRR research. 

Does anyone have access to this book and time to see if it tells us anything about there participation in the Underground RR?

My information comes from the book:
  James, John and Thomas Sheppard by Robert Dallas Dare
 published by the Gloucester Co. Historical Society in 1997.

Thomas R. b. 29 Apr 1789 married Letitia Miller.  He had siblings Mark Miller, Charles R., Benjamin, Charles, Priscilla Wood, John E., Mary Ann and Clarkson.

Thomas R. lineage) John, Jr., John, Moses, Thomas, David, Thomas.

His father was John Jr. (could he be the J.R. since Thomas had middle initial R maybe his father did, too?)  John, Jr. b. 29 Jan 1767 and married Mary Miller d/o Mark Miller on 28 May 1788 in the Friends Meeting House, Salem, Salem County, NJ.  (this is the answer to your question about were they Quakers).   John Jr. died 1 Jun 1855.

Thanks to Carol from Indianapolis

This message is in reply to the question posted on your website. I have
the book "James, John, and Thomas Sheppard." The family of Thomas R.
Sheppard is listed on page 66 as follow:

"Thomas R. Sheppard (John, John, Moses, Thomas, Davis, Thomas) was born
on 29 Apr 1789. He married Letitia Miller, daughter of Richard Miller
and Elizabeth W. Wistar, on 4 Nov 1812 in Salem County, NJ. Letitia
Miller was born in 1789. She died in 1823. The children of Thomas R.
Sheppard and Letitia Miller Sheppard:

i. Elizabeth Sheppard was born circa 1814
ii. Sarah Sheppard was born circa 1815. She married Samuel Preston
Carpenter, son of William Carpenter and Mary Redman, on 13 Dec 1854."

Thanks for the additional information:                                 Lorraine Sheppard

The Harriet Tubman and
William Still Underground
Railroad Walk Across New Jersey

Slavery Slumbers In Cumberland's History
by Eileen Bennett
Staff Writer for The Press of Atlantic City


A town that went from one of the first places slavery was introduced in 1640 to the one of the last stops on the Underground RR.


Follow the link attached to this picture to read about Anthony Cohen's walks to Canada, following a UGRR route.

The Menare Foundation's
North Star
That Anthony founded after his walks to Canada has some terrific information.

For more information:

"Dear Friend" - Thomas Garrett & William Still: Collaboration on the Underground Railroad  - by Judith Bentley - Written for young adults, but a good story told for all ages.

The Underground Rail Road, by William Still. This is a compilation of Stillís interviews with hundreds of runaway slaves during his fourteen years of service for the underground railroad. Still was a native of New Jersey and a prominent figure in the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. Some of his moving accounts of the challenges runaways faced in their quest for freedom include stories of Delaware Bay crossings. His narratives were originally printed in 1872. Since then Chicago, Johnson Pub. Co. Press, Inc. has reprinted the book, copyright 1970.


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