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This wooden chair belonged to Charles Smith. In 1856 Smith settled on a farm in Brown County, Kansas with his wife and three children. Located on the Lane Trail, their home was a safe haven on the Underground Railroad. In January of 1859, according to an account written by one of Smith's sons, John Brown stopped at the Smiths' home for food and shelter. Accompanying Brown were nearly 30 people--among them ten slaves liberated on a raid into Missouri just a few weeks earlier. Since there were few places to sleep in Smith's one-room cabin, Brown, a famous abolitionist, was offered this chair for the night. Smith later recollected, "The captain dozed in one of our two chairs by the stove in which he kept a slow fire going." The following morning, the party continued on its way north, probably passing into Nebraska and then Iowa. This chair is the only artifact in the Kansas Museum of History's collections associated with the Underground Railroad.

Date: Unknown date

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Underground Railroad chair - 1

Item Number: 350657
KSHS Identifier: 1953.22.0

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