In the years leading up to the Civil war, Ohio had more African American settlements than any other state. Owing to a common border with several slave states, it became a destination for people of color seeking to separate themselves from slavery. Despite these communities having populations that sometimes numbered in the hundreds, little is known, about most of them, and by the beginning of the twentieth century, nearly all had lost their ethnic identities as the original settlers died off and their descendants moved away. Save for scattered cemeteries and an occasional house or church, they have all but been erased from Ohio’s landscape.
David Meyers is co-author of the book Historic Black Settlements of Ohio and will discuss how a number of these settlements came into being, and the factors that led to their disappearance.Login to register