Safe House

Letter To The Owner Of The Safe House

Dear Land Owner,

I am Calvin L. Vinson, a native of Lawrence County Ohio and a graduate of South Point High School. A group of Lawrence County natives and Maurice Cooley, a Marshall VP, Robert Pleasant, Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio University Southern Campus, and Darlene Greene Director of Senior Citizens at Chesapeake, Ohio, are participating on a committee for the purpose of raising the funds and collecting historical data for the museum planned for the site of the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church founded in 1810. We hope to acquaint all parties who have some interest in the scourge of slavery with heroic organizations and citizens that broke its back. The Museum will pertain to the Underground Railroad founded in Ceredo-Kenova and Burlington Ohio around 1800.

Nearly everyone in our area is aware of Burlington, Ohio being the first county seat of Lawrence County, and Chillicothe, Ohio being the first capital of the state of Ohio. But do they know about the house at 19 Township Road 1022 in Burlington, Ohio? The house where John Campbell lived and used his political clout, financial resources, and his devout belief in the dignity of mankind to break the back of slavery in southern Ohio?

William Davidson and William McKee both white ministers were critical to the success of the Underground Railroad. Have the populous heard of Union Baptist Church at Blackfork, Ohio? Does the name Union say something? What about Big Rock in Jackson? We need to tell the country about the Providence Anti-Slavery Missionary Baptist Association founded 1821. The citizens of Lawrence, Gallia, and Jackson Counties regularly assisted runaway slaves. Another church was founded at Paint Creek, and it goes on and on until shortly after the Civil War.

As far as I can tell, you have the lock and key to the most important piece of real estate connected to the Underground Railroad. We are meeting June 4rh at the Chesapeake Library at 2 PM. At present we have a small committee that meets bi-monthly. We want to extend an invitation to you. You will be remembered from until eternity if you would be so kind as to allow us to photograph this property inside and out. You and or a family member may have valuable information to share with the museum committee.

I can be reached via e-mail or cell 304-410-1300. My return address is on the correspondence. Please let me hear from you on this very important matter.

Yours Sincerely;
Calvin L. Vinson, Chairperson
c/c Sue Howard

safe house, Burlington Ohio
This is the safe house.

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