Delia Ann Webster

Delia Ann Webster

Birth
Vergennes, Addison County, Vermont, USA
Death 18 Jan 1904 (aged 86)
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, USA
Burial Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, USA
Plot Block: 19 Section: Lot: 00010
Memorial ID 123607370 · View Source
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Delia Ann Webster was the daughter of Benajah Webster III (1779-1851) and Esther Ann Bostwick (1784-1870).

Delia was a forceful and vocal abolitionist who participated in the Underground Railroad. She attended Oberlin College, but left after she met Rev. Calvin Fairbanks, a well known abolitionist. She was sentenced to the Kentucky Penitentiary for 2 years in 1855 for "slave stealing" after her arrest in 1854 for transporting the Lewis Hayden family, from Kentucky to freedom in Ohio. She was pardoned by the Governor after about 2 months. She wrote a book about the trial called, "Kentucky Jurisprudence" to raise funds to pay her legal expenses, when she returned to her family in Vermont. She sought funding from Northern Abolitionists to purchase a 600 acre farm which would have paid employees instead of slaves. The location was across the Ohio River from Indiana. There would also be a school on the property. Her neighbors continually demanded she surrender her property and leave the state, but she refused. The farm and all the buildings and goods were apparently destroyed by her enemies. She had been jailed several other times in Indiana and Kentucky.

She was a teacher, an artist, a writer and a determined woman, unusual for her time.

An account of her experiences can be found in the book, "Delia Webster and the Underground Railroad. by Randolph Paul Runyon, The University Press of Kentucky. Copyright 1996.


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  • Maintained by: Family
  • Originally Created by: Melinda Shibles
  • Added: 17 Jan 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 123607370
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Delia Ann Webster (17 Dec 1817–18 Jan 1904), Find A Grave Memorial no. 123607370, citing Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Family (contributor 48859726) .