7 Steps to Freedom

A Complicated History

Salem County, New Jersey, is in an area where free blacks lived alongside enslaved African Americans in the early 19th century, and it was close to the slave states during the Civil War. It was also home to one of the first Quaker settlements in America, a group that was known to assist freedom seekers. All this made Salem County an important station along the Underground Railroad.

7 Steps to Freedom tells stories about the struggle against slavery from different points of view, including a Quaker abolitionist, Civil War soldiers, a young African American girl who became a poet and a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Seven locations around Salem County are associated with these narratives and can be visited by following the maps found at this website. Journey in the footsteps of these people and listen to their stories by cell phone in the places they knew.

The 7 Freedom Stories

Hear actors Lamont Dixon and Alexandra Ford bring to life the stories of a young poet, a slave catcher’s trial, an Underground Railroad conductor, a woman who set herself free, a great orator, and a Quaker abolitionist.

Abigail Goodwin house
Abigail Goodwin, Quaker abolitionist

Col. Robert Johnson House Where Amy Hester Reckless Lived as a Slave
How one woman set herself free

House of Dr. John Stewart Rock
The Great Orator, Dr. John Stewart Rock

Sherron’s Hotel where slave catcher was tried
A Slave Catcher on Trial in Salem

Hetty Saunders Delaware River Landing
Poet Hetty Saunders Describes Her Escape

Mt. Pisgah Cemetery
Thomas Clement Oliver, Underground Railroad conductor

Spencer UAME Cemetery
Black Civil War veterans remembered