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Melissa went on a weekend trip from Butler, Missouri and the Battle of Island Mound site north through Osawatomie and stopped at the Wakarusa Valley Heritage Museum. The museum has a new and updated display on the Underground Railroad in that area. I recommend you go to their Underground Railroad page and click on the links to learn more about those brave Kansas farmers. Men like Capt. John Stewart “the fighting preacher” and Joseph Gardner. From south of Lawrence west toward Topeka, this valley was populated by Abolitionists who helped Freedom Seekers on the path to freedom.
Melissa has located several spots to place caches along the path to freedom. I need to write an article about the significance of each location. When the geocacher finds the hidden cache, they will have a web page that tells the historical significance of the people and buildings in that area.
Alexander Majors (1814–1900) was an important figure ion the settlement and westward expansion of the United States. Before the Civil war, Majors along with William H. Russell and William B. Wadell formed a freight company (Russell, Majors and Wadell). They delivered mail along with other freight west from St. Joseph and Westport Missouri. They were most famous for founding the Pony Express in St. Joseph. Russell, Majors and Wadell went bankrupt after the Transcontinental Telegraph opened in 1861.
After that, Majors provided rail ties for the crews of the Union Pacific Railroad working on the first transcontinental railroad lines. After the railroad was completed, he continued to haul freight to towns not yet served by the railroad.
In 1858, Alexander Majors lived in Nebraska City, Nebraska and owned 6 slaves. All of these slaves escaped via the Underground Railroad though Iowa. This is known because an Iowan named Josiah Grinnell wrote a letter in 1860 telling about helping these slaves through Iowa.
I apologize, I left off at Hannibal on my path to Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, IL. I found the Lincoln Site wonderful. The National Parks Service has restored several period homes around the Lincoln home. they also added a Visitor’s Center. This link will take you to photos of the site.
The home is walking distance from downtown and the old state capitol. Well not an easy short walk, but I bet it was walked a lot. The new state capitol is beautiful. This is a shot of the dome from the inside. It was interesting to see a statute of Richard Daley across the rotunda from Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.
I found the Lincoln Tomb an interesting destination. I had forgotten this was in Springfield. There I am trying to do a selfie.
The tomb was once the site of a plot to steal Lincoln’s body.