Rochester Freedom Trail

Welcome to the Freedom Trail

The African American struggle for freedom prior to the Civil War was significant in shaping the definition of American freedom. The Rochester-Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission seeks to document and interpret the lives and activities of those who sought freedom from enslavement and those who assisted them.

The freedom struggle of that era embraced states, regions, and nations. The principal focus of this commission is the escape routes running through and around Rochester, New York. The Rochester-Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission will attend to those individuals, and to sites already well connected to the Underground Railroad. The commission will also strive to illuminate less well-known participants, with the expectation that the designations “network” and “movement” will become self-evident.

To the extent possible, the commission will:

  1. Research and preserve sites that were significant in the operation of the Underground Railroad, and will work with others in the region to expose routes, illuminate personalities and events that used those routes;
  2. Assist schools and other educational institutions in developing curricula that illuminate the initiatives of those who sought to take their freedom, and those who aided them in their initiatives;
  3.  Make the Underground Railroad story, readily accessible to the public through signage, markers, publications, and programs.

The commission is establishing a process whereby citizens in possession of information on little known personalities, events and sites can have that information acknowledged and reviewed for possible inclusion as part of the New York Freedom Trail. Also, sample curriculums and a resource guidebook will be developed. Additional information will be solicited from others. Recreating the Freedom Trail