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 • Mechanicsburg (Champaign County)
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Addison White
Birth: 1822
Death: 1885

Runaway Slave. In 1850 the United States Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which allowed US Marshals to recapture slaves who had fled to free states and return them to their owners. White was the slave of a powerful Kentucky farmer. In 1856 he ran away, seeking temporary shelter at an Underground Railroad stop in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. He stayed longer than planned at the home of abolitionist Udney Hyde in order to help his protector recover from a leg injury. In April of 1857, his owner along with US Marshals arrived in Mechanicsburg to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law by capturing and returning the slave back to Kentucky. Residents of Mechanicsburg rallied to protect White by using pitchforks and shovels to drive the Marshals and the slave owner from their town. This incident set off a nationwide legal and political battle that led to the arrest, on charges of violating the Fugitive Slave Law, of those citizens who led the revolt against the Marshals and the arrest of the US Marshals on charges of assault with the intent to kill when a local sheriff was shot while trying to retrieve those earlier arrested by the Marshals. The ensuing trial set up what was regarded as a test case on the legality of the Fugitive Slave Law. The legal proceedings lasted for about a year with the jury failing to reach a verdict. With the trial's outcome uncertain the slave owner offered to drop all charges if someone would purchase White's freedom. Citizens of Mechanicsburg raised the $1,000 needed to provide the runaway slave with his long sought after freedom. During the Civil War, he served with the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, before returning to Mechanicsburg where he worked at the city's street department. Although the settlement prevented any legal precedent to be set, the nationwide publicity given to the courageous efforts of White and the citizens of Ohio helped strengthen public sentiment against the expansion of slavery. Considered by many historians as the most important incident in the history of the Underground Railroad, the courageous story of this man and those who helped him gain freedom is presented in the play "Freedom Bound".  (bio by: Bigwoo) 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Ethena L White (1882 - 1884)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Maple Grove Cemetery
Mechanicsburg (Champaign County)
Champaign County
Ohio, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bigwoo
Record added: Nov 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16680863
Addison White
Added by: Bigwoo
 
Addison White
Added by: Dave
 
Addison White
Added by: Dave
 
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- DENA ANN
 Added: Jun. 22, 2014

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