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Finding Freedom in North Georgia:

Enslavement and Escape on the Underground Railroad

Fort Oglethorpe, GA: On Saturday, September 11, at 2 pm, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will host a special 45-minute ranger-led program exploring the “fugitive” status of enslaved African Americans from North Georgia families which lived in and around present-day Chickamauga Battlefield. This program begins at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, then participants will caravan to the Alexander House site, off Alexander’s Bridge Road. Water is recommended and chairs are welcome for this program as well.

Although Walker and Catoosa counties did not have the enslaved population density of many central or coastal Georgia counties, the human depravity associated with the institution of slavery nevertheless oozed into the North Georgia countryside. In fact, the largest enslaver in Catoosa County, Georgia, according to the 1860 Slave Schedule, lived within the current boundary of Chickamauga Battlefield. However, upon closer examination, 5 of the 35 enslaved people owned by John P. Alexander were listed as “fugitives from the state.” What does this phrase mean? Where did these “fugitives” go, and how did they get there? These questions and others will be examined as part of the park’s participation in International Underground Railroad Month.

For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786, or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/chch. www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help

preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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