After six years in the making, a long-awaited self-guided Underground Railroad walking tour has been unveiled in Upstate New York.

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This mile-long tour in Utica showcases Upstate New York's significant role in the abolitionist movement and the city's efforts in aiding freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad.

Led by the Oneida County Freedom Trail Commission, the walking tour takes visitors through six stops, offering a comprehensive overview of the highlights and history of the Underground Railroad and abolitionist activities in Oneida County.

The tour kicks off at Bleeker Street where the Second Presbyterian Church sits. The Second Presbyterian Church served as a site for the call to convention to establish the New York State Anti-Slavery Society in 1835.

One significant stop on the tour is Devereux Street, where the Liberty Press, an abolitionist newspaper, was published. Utica sent more abolitionist petitions demanding an end to slavery than any other place in the country.

The tour culminates at The Utica Rescue on Genesee Street, where two freedom seekers were once held captive. This final stop, completed in late August, serves as a powerful reminder of the struggles faced by those seeking freedom.

The completion of the self-guided Underground Railroad walking tour was made possible through a collaboration between Oneida County Officials and the Oneida Indian Nation. Their successful grant application secured funding for the signs that guide visitors along this important historical route.

By immersing visitors in the stories of the brave individuals who fought for freedom, this tour allows for a deeper understanding of Upstate New York's significant contributions to the Underground Railroad movement.

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