Southern California’s Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens has acquired rare documents shedding light on anti-slavery efforts taking place before and during the Civil War.
The institution announced Wednesday it has acquired the ledgers of Quaker abolitionist Zachariah Taylor Shugart, who turned his Michigan farm into an underground railroad stop for people fleeing slavery.
Shugart, who kept meticulous records on everything, documented the names of 137 people, including families, he helped escape.
This just in: The Huntington has acquired two major collections of slavery and abolition materials, including a rare journal from the #UndergroundRailroad detailing the names of men and women seeking passage to freedom. More: https://t.co/boXiYQ6JGf pic.twitter.com/NIpVLBAUtO
— The Huntington (@TheHuntington) November 13, 2019
Officials say such records are rare because people who helped the enslaved knew they were breaking the law and rarely kept records.
The Huntington also acquired documents from West Virginia’s Dickinson & Shrewsbury saltworks, including bills of sale and other papers detailing the lives of slaves.
The papers were purchased at separate auctions.
Prices were not disclosed.