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Site of the International Suspension Bridge

UGRR Sites » Site of the International Suspension Bridge


img suspension bridgeThe Suspension Bridge across the Niagara Gorge served as a point of crossing for many fugitives into Canada. Built in 1848 as a carriage and footbridge, the Suspension Bridge was rebuilt in two levels to incorporate rail traffic in 1855. This bridge became a magnet for freedom seekers, a crossing point that funneled hundreds and perhaps thousands of people from slavery to freedom. After 1855, people took the railroad—principally the New York Central Railroad from New York City, Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester or the Canandaigua Railroad from Elmira--directly across the Suspension Bridge. Harriet Tubman was the most famous person to travel from slavery to freedom at the Suspension Bridge. Her crossings included one with Joe Bailey, who escaped from slavery with Tubman and three others in November 1856.

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