Springfield, Massachusetts, by Clarence E. Blake, Ph.D., continued.
Left: The Court House and the Old Elm
return. This, with the subsequent arrest of some of the leaders, ended the movement. The whole affair showed that the people had not learned to adjust themselves to the new self-government. Had not the cause of insurrection been stopped as it was at Armory Hill, or had the leaders been abler men, the trouble might have spread to the distressed classes in other states, and anarchy resulted.
We skip a long period of history and come to the time of the antislavery conflict. Springfield was one of the most important stations on the "underground railway." In the back room of a certain second-story office on Main Street was a fireplace, up whose chimney many an escaped slave has been secreted till a favorable time came for sending him north under the cloak of night. A few years ago this building gave place to a new block, but the wall and fireplace were left standing behind one of the walls of the block. As one passes No. 441 Main Street, one may know that hidden in the wall of the second story is this relic of the strife that separated families, alienated friends, and divided the mighty nation, bringing more trouble and tragedy to the American people than all else in their history. The doctor's back office was not the only place, nor perhaps the most common place for secreting fugitive slaves. Bands of these negroes coming up the valley travelled by night, and were distributed among various families of the "initiated." This was not a safe course, and an old house in the "North End" woods was finally secured for the purpose. The facts relating to this secret service, could they be collected, would form a history of adventure, self-sacrifice, and devotion that would make the heart thrill. In a few cases the negroes remained in Springfield in perfect safety, never found by
their masters. Mr. J. N. Howard for
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