Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society and the Underground Railroad in Indiana

The Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society was created around 1835 after the more "radical" anti-slavery advocates left the anti-slavery Decatur County Colonization Society. The DCSS being a part of The American Colonization Society.

The leadership of Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society were:

Samuel Donnell, Sr.
John C. McCoy
Thomas Hamilton
Alexander McCoy
Campbell McCoy
Samuel A. Donnell
Luther A. Donnell
Andrew Robison, Jr.
Angus C. McCoy
Cyrus Hamilton
Members of the Rankin, Anderson, and Logan families.

What was "radical" about them was that they believed slavery was a sin that the whole nation was responsible for committing and to rid the nation of that sin would be complete and immediate emancipation of the slaves. Their views led to many disagreements with their neighbors, fellow churchgoers and other lukewarm, 'relocate free-born blacks to Liberia' (the stance of the DCCS). Many times, the members of the Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society were ostracized.

The members of the Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society were heavily involved with the underground railroad. Their influence spread wide, as a main line of the underground railroad went through the eastern areas of Decatur County. Many railroad workers, from the conductors to the officers, were involved in the operation of the underground railroad in this area and the movement of escaped slaves to freedom. They kept their word, and their aiding of escaped slaves, secret and some only revealed their involvement to trusted family and friends years after the end of the Civil War. In 1850, with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, it only enraged and emboldened those who aided escaped slaves. So much so, it became dangerous for slave catchers to even show their face throughout free states.

Read about the "Donnell Rescue Case":


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