Catherine Harris, a free black woman, helped many Freedom Seekers as they passed through the Little Africa section of Jamestown at the southern end of Chautauqua Lake.
100 Blacks were living in the area Africa. Some were running from
slave hunters, some even spied for the slave hunters. People were captured
and some free people were kidnapped south. However, the underground railroad
was also quite active:
Catherine Harris says (in 1902), "Yes, I remember the underground railroad, it was here [in Africa] and I worked on it; this place of mine was a depot where slaves came and were brought; Silas Shearman, Dr. Hedges, Phineas Crossman, and others would bring here runaway slaves. At one time they brought nine, another 17. I cooked and fed with them with eatables brought by friends; others would help me."
(Africa was a black neighborhood in Jamestown, NY)