Aunt Sarah Johnson was a runaway slave from Baltimore, Maryland who settled in Olean, New York at the age of 13 years old. She rose to be a very well known person in the Olean area, even though she was a runaway slave and it was during a time after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Acts. She even owned her own home in 1840. A Black woman property owner who also happened to be a runaway slave who owned her own home.
That is a simply amazing fact.
The following articles from the Sandpumpings (1980) article tells Aunt Sarah’s journey to freedom and the Olean Times Herald Article (2010) tells more of Aunt Sarah’s story.
Aunt Sarah is like every one of the little known heroes of the Underground Railroad that resides in every town and hamlet scattered allo over Northern USA. I encourage everyone to visit their local historical society this month to find out if there was any connection in your town to the Underground Railroad.