Many people visit the Newton History Museum because they know the 1809 Jackson Homestead is a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. But the story of the abolitionist Jackson family is only one of many compelling accounts of freedom-seeking in nineteenth-century America.

This exhibition, an online version of the Seeking Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America exhibit presented at the Newton History Museum in 2004-2005, explores American slavery and anti-slavery activity through four stories of individuals who sought their own freedom or assisted other in gaining freedom. The exhibition also reveals how subsequent generations defined and preserved evidence of freedom.

The issue of slavery divided the American people in many ways, not only pro and con, but within the two camps of those that supported the practice, and the Abolitionists opposed to it . . . More

On August 30, 1849, Louisa Magruder Addison obtained a certificate of freedom, a document that attested she was "a free woman of color." She kept it carefully folded within a silk purse . . . More

A piece of West African cloth and a gold ring: were they sent by an African father to an abolitionist in Salem, Massachusetts in thanks for returning his son, kidnapped into slavery, home? . . . More

Charles Redding was one of more than 18,000 African-Americans who joined the Union Navy during the Civil War. He served on the USS Kearsarge, which sank the Confederate steamship Alabama in 1864 . . . More

Newton's Jackson family was strongly Abolitionist — William Jackson gave "his time, money and much of his thoughts to the abolition of slavery," wrote his daughter Ellen. But even behind the doors of the Jackson Homestead there wasn't unanimous agreement on how to end slavery . . . More

The exhibit "Seeking Freedom in 19th-Century America" was developed from the resources and collections of The Newton History Museum . . . More