Walk-in event – They left during the middle of the night—often carrying little more than the knowledge that moss grows on the north side of trees. An estimated 100,000 slaves between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865 chose to embark on this journey in search of freedom. Under the cover of darkness, “fugitives” traveled roughly twenty miles each night traversing rugged terrain while enduring all the hardships that Mother Nature could bring to bear. Occasionally, they were guided from one secret, safe location to the next by an ever-changing, clandestine group known as the Underground Railroad.
Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales documents roughly 2,000 miles of the Underground Railroad based off of actual sites, cities and places that freedom-seekers passed through during their journey. From the cotton plantations south of Natchitoches, Louisiana, all the way north to the Canadian border, this series of photographs helps us imagine what the long road to freedom may have looked like as seen through the eyes of one of those who made this epic journey.
We will open this free exhibit with a special event on Sat, Nov 16 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to showcase the outdoor skills needed to survive by both enslaved and free people of the time.
This exhibition was organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. Exhibit on view during normal operating hours, check website for holiday closures.