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HISTORICAL
PLACES

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A sugar plantation; an abandoned investment property; a cattle ranch; a landscape of defiance in the face of the Army Corps of Engineers--Oak Alley has been many things in its over 200 years of history. Today it is a historic site, dedicated to preserving and interpreting each chapter of this plantation’s memory.

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A historic marker about Colonel Leopold Armant stands amid huge moss-draped oaks at the site of the Armant Plantation, where NORTH creator Ashli St. Armant's ancestors were enslaved. The land, once part of the second village of the Bayougoula Indians, was acquired by Joseph Blanpain in 1740 for a vacherie—cattle ranch. Jean Baptiste Armant purchased the property before 1800. In 1845 J. B. Armant introduced on his plantation the largest Rillieux sugar- processing equipment that had yet been made. Jean Baptiste  the son, died in 1854 and is buried in St. James Cemetery. John Burnside owned Armant before and after the Civil War and left it in 1881 to Oliver Beirne who in turn sold it to William Miles. The house was destroyed in 1969 after being vacant for more than ten years. The land currently is owned by Southdown Sugar.

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It was settled by abolitionists in late 1856, with construction starting in 1857. The boomtown population peaked at 600, rapidly settled by migrants. They were aided by the New England Emigrant Aid Company, who were trying to help secure Kansas as a free territory. One of several villages hugging the narrow bank of the Missouri River under the bluffs, the town was a free state port-of-entry for abolitionist forces of Kansas. It was established as part of the resistance to stop the westward spread of slavery. Quindaro's people also aided escaped enslaved people from Missouri and connected them with the Underground Railroad.

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Lawrence was founded by abolitionists in 1854 and in 1863 suffered one of the largest massacres in US history, when William Clarke Quantrill led 400 pro-slavery men on a killing rampage that left more than 180 men and boys dead and burned down most of the town. The tragedy made Lawrence the most famous anti-slavery towns in the country, if not the world, so it’s little wonder that enslaved persons escaping from Missouri made their way here on their journey to freedom. But it’s sometimes difficult to discern fiction from fact when it comes to history, especially a history so necessarily secretive as the Underground Railroad. There are only two confirmed Underground Railway stations in Lawrence, but there must have been many more.

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Info Near here the town of Plymouth and Lexington once stood as outposts on the Lane Trail, approximated today by US-75. Named for abolitionist James H. Lane, the trail was established in 1856 to bypass proslavery strongholds in Missouri and provide free-state settlers a safe route into Kansas. Rock piles known as "Lane's chimneys" marked the trail. Leaving Iowa City, settlers went west into Nebraska and south into Kansas, passing through Plymouth, Lexington, Powhattan, Netawaka, and Holton before arriving in Topeka. The trail also served as part of the underground railroad, used by John Brown and others to transport those enslaved north to freedom.

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North Buxton is a dispersed rural community located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. It was established in 1849 as a community for and by former African-American enslaved people who escaped to Canada to gain freedom. Rev. William King, a Scots-Irish/American Presbyterian minister and abolitionist, had organized the Elgin Association to buy 9,000 acres of land for resettlement of the refugees, to give them a start in Canada. Within a few years, numerous families were living here, having cleared land, built houses, and developed crops. They established schools and churches, and were thriving before the American Civil War.

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Africville was a primarily Black community located on the south shore of the Bedford Basin, on the outskirts of Halifax. The first records of a Black presence in Africville date back to 1848, and it continued to exist for 150 years after that. Over that time, hundreds of individuals and families lived there and built a thriving, close‐knit community. There were stores, a school, a post office and the Seaview United Baptist Church, which was Africville’s spiritual and social centre.