Press Releases

WASHNINGTON, DC - Thanks to a quarter of a million dollars in new federal funding, Delawareans will soon get a glimpse of our state's critical, yet clandestine role in our nation's struggle for freedom and equality. Senators Biden and Carper announced today that the 2002 Interior Appropriations bill passed by the Senate today included their request for $250,000 to help establish an Underground Railroad Network throughout the State. The National Park Service has identified 380 Underground Railroad sites nationwide, 19 of which are in Delaware. This funding will a help local historians develop a plan to preserve these sites, document the heritage of the Underground Railroad participants, and highlight Delaware's role in this secret resistance movement. The timing of the grant is critical because many of the sites are in danger of being lost or destroyed. "The Underground Railroad played such an important role in our nation's history and the history of this State," said Biden. "It not only symbolizes the beginning of the civil rights movement in this country, but represents the incredible courage and determination of the men and women who risked their lives to help hundreds of thousands of slaves escape to freedom . If we as a nation are to continue to move forward, we cannot afford to ever lose sight of where we've been." "We must protect our history if we are to learn its lessons. The self-sacrifice of the men and women who manned our state's Underground Railroad still inspires Delawareans today," Carper said. "This funding comes at a crucial time in our efforts to protect their legacy of courage." The Underground Railroad sites in Delaware are: Thomas Garrett House, Wilmington The Governor's Mansion -- Woodburn, Dover Choptank River, Maryland and Delaware Lockerman House, Dover Longwood near Willow Grove, Camden Wildcat Manor, Lebanon Appoquinimink Friends Meeting House, Odessa Link of Triangle Trade House, Smyrna The Brick Store Landing, Duck Creek John Hunn House, Middletown Star Hill AME Church, Star Hill Old Town Hall, Wilmington Peter Spencer Plaza, Wilmington Wilmington Friends Meeting House/Cemetery, Wilmington Camden Friends Meeting House, Camden Daniel Corbit's Clearfield Farm, Smyrna Slave Dwelling, Seaford