We’ve all heard about the Underground Railroad that was used to help slaves in their quest for freedom. Did you know that the Capital Region played a major role in the Underground Railroad?

African-American history tells us that slaves who escaped from slavery in the south were ushered through the Underground Railroad up north into freedom. When I think of people born into slavery, it never really crossed my mind that slaves were actually born in New York. The story of one New Yorker born into slavery is very impressive.

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Stephen Myers was born as a slave around 1800 in Hoosick, New York. When he was about 18 years old his slavemaster released him from slavery. After he was released from slavery he went on to accomplish some great things and to help a lot of people along the way.

Myers is mostly known for his achievements as an abolitionist who helped send runaway slaves to Canada from Albany. Stephen Myers was instrumental in raising funds and providing safe houses for runaway slaves. He worked along with the Vigilance Committee, although their relationship was sometimes described as “strained“.

The Myers’ home was well known in the Capital Region. Although the Underground Railroad was supposed to be composed of secret locations, everyone in the region knew that Stevens Myers and his family were a part of the Underground Railroad and that their home was a safe haven for slaves.

Stephen Myers died in 1870 and he was buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery. Visitors still visit his home, The Stephen and Harriet Myers House, to learn about the significance of the Underground Railroad in the Capital Region.

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