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Underground Railroad Center, Historic Zercher's Hotel by CivilWarTrails

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
CivilWarTrails CivilWarTrails
Explore score
0.29 Gigapixels
Date added
Sep 19, 2007
Date taken
Sep 18, 2007

The Christiana Riot is one of the better-known stories from the days of the Underground Railroad and runaway slave resistance, in part because of the subsequent trial and in part because William Parker published his story in the ‘Atlantic Monthly’ in 1866.

The event took place in 1851 on a farm outside the town of Christiana, Pennsylvania, near the Lancaster-Chester county boundary and not far from the Mason-Dixon Line. There was a lawlessness in the region that predated slavery disputes: it was a haven for horse thieves and chicken thieves. The landscape of steep wooded hills and scrubby ravines made ideal hideouts and perfect terrain for stealthy movement. The intersection of three states and five counties within a few miles made this a legal shadowland, ideal for outlaws. The Christian Riot helped to polarize the national debate over the slavery issue.

Panorama by Alan Chaffee Photography

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