Where Can You Find the Largest Monument to the Underground Railroad?

04 June 2010 7:00 AM Posted by Brenda L.

The nation's largest monument to the Underground Railroad can be found in Battle Creek, Michigan.  The 28 foot long and 14 foot high bronze statue was made possible by the generosity of the WK Kellogg Foundation and Glenn A. Cross Estate.  Sculptor Ed Dwight's monument can be found near WK Kellogg's House, entrance off of W. Van Buren Street.  The lovely park like setting with flower-lined pathways showcases the beauty of the statue.  A information kiosk is on site to provide further information.


This statue honors the men and women who operated the Underground Railroad.  Specifically,  Harriet Tubman and Erastus and Sarah Hussey.  Harriet Tubman, best known conductor of the Underground Railroad, travelled the country helping slaves, but never came to Battle Creek.

Erastus and Sarah Hussey were local conductors of the Underground Railroad.  Erastus Hussey claimed to have helped 1000 slaves as they passed through Battle Creek.  Battle Creek, Michigan was one of the underground railroad stops that fugitive slaves used on their way to Canada. 

The statue depicts scenes of families escaping by horse drawn wagon, moving through a forest and seeking refuge in a cellar.
During the 1840's and 1850's historians estimate that 1500 fugitive slaves passed through Battle Creek.

If you are ever in Battle Creek, add the Underground Railroad Monument to you list to see.  And if the jeopardy answer is 'you will find the largest monument to the underground railroad here'  You can say, "What is Battle Creek, Michigan?"

7 Response to "Where Can You Find the Largest Monument to the Underground Railroad?"

  1. Betty DeRamus Says:

    One 19th century history of Calhoun County called Battle Creek a place where fugitive slaves "could have been escorted through the town to the accompaniment of a brass band and a hallelujah chorus without fear of arrest." It was definitely a town whose people believed in freedom by any means.

  2. Barbara Says:

    Brenda, I am now proud that my ancestors settled in that area. What nice history, and I do watch Jeopardy.

  3. Brenda Says:

    Betty, Thanks for the info-I learned something new.

    Barbara, There is a lot to be proud of in Battle Creek's history.

  4. Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist Says:

    Thanks for this info. I know where the Kansas passage was, but lived in Michigan and never new about this one. Of course that was in the 80's, and I was much more into boys than history. (Heck I often didn't even know their history)LOL

  5. Brenda Says:

    I, too, have learned more about this recently.

  6. Mavis Says:

    Thanks, interesting information that I didn't know about Battle Creek, MI's role.

  7. Brenda Leyndyke Says:

    I think a few people are surprised by Battle Creek's role. I know I was when I first moved here.

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