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Freedom Crossing by artwhiz47

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Detail of a larger-than-life bronze sculpture memorializing the enormous contributions of Underground Railroad ‘conductors’ & the courageous African-Americans they led to freedom in Canada. The Underground Railroad, or Railway, was not literally underground, nor was it a railroad. It was a series of safehouses & other secure locations, often the homes of the so-called ‘conductors’, where fugitive slaves making their way north were sheltered from bounty hunters. This monument, designed by Susan Geissler, was dedicated & unveiled in Lewiston, NY, on the banks of the Niagara River, on 14 October 2009. The inspiration for the sculpture is the 1969 novel for young people, FREEDOM CROSSING by Margaret Goff Clark. This photo shows the depiction of the best-known of Lewiston’s ‘conductors’, ‘station master’ Josiah Tryon, & is based on long-time Tryon interpreter, Lewistonian Tim Henderson. Here Tryon is handing a toddler to her mother who is already in the boat, ready to make the crossing to Queenston, Ontario. Behind is a young white woman who is gesturing toward the Canadian shore opposite, helping the father of the family.

A short bio, eh? I am Sheila, & I am short.

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Comments

  • joak
    joakabout 5 years ago

    yer lightin is spot oan..really gives the impression o bein underground ..guid stuff pal

  • An interesting take on this, Joak – I hadn’t really thought about it in that Light (no pun intended, exactly). The ‘Underground Railroad’ or ‘Railway’ wasn’t underground, & it wasn’t a railroad…. The term is so well known in the U. S. that no explanation is necessary. It was the term used for a network of safehouses & safe locations where runaway slaves could stay on their way north, out of bondage. On the other hand, much of the movement was at night, as was the dedication of this monument. I tried a few times before I got this shot!

    – artwhiz47

  • WatscapePhoto
    WatscapePhotoabout 5 years ago

    Super composition, Denis. Interesting and excellent shot.

  • Thanks, Frank….. Not sure how I became Denis, but I’ll answer to most anything LOL, my friend. Anyway, as I realized when I replied to Joak above, the Underground Railroad isn’t necessarily known in other parts of the world, so I changed my text accordingly. The dedication of the monument last night was an emotional & very satisfying event, though we all nearly froze to death. My great grandfather McConnell was another ‘conductor’ in Lewiston, an associate of Josiah Tryon’s. Tim Henderson is a lifelong friend of mine, & seeing all his years of work with the Lewiston Historical Society rewarded in this way was very satisfying!

    – artwhiz47

  • Rob Parsons
    Rob Parsonsabout 5 years ago

    Nice one – try it in the statues and such group.

  • Thanks for the pointer & for the comment; I did indeed put this into Statues & Such, & as soon as I get a really good day weatherwise, I intend to run up to Lewiston to take some daytime shots of this beautiful monument. The backdrop is the river; it’s in a fine spot.

    – artwhiz47

  • WatscapePhoto
    WatscapePhotoabout 5 years ago

    Sorry, Sheila. An abberation. Put it down to age.

  • Hey! We are all in that state from time to time – a senior moment, EVERYBODY calls it here. No apology needed.

    – artwhiz47

  • watercolors1
    watercolors1about 5 years ago

    This is a great photo and close to home. Thanks Sheila.

  • Thanks for the thanks! Close to home indeed, & such a wonderful tribute. I look forward to seeing it in daylight – had intended to go up for the actual installation a couple of weeks ago, but it was a nasty, blustery, rainy day, so I skipped it.

    – artwhiz47

  • ctheworld
    ctheworldover 1 year ago


    Congratulations – wonderful work!

  • Many thanks!!

    – artwhiz47

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