As we’ve previously noted, Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, at Hicks and Orange Streets, was an important part of the “Underground Railroad”. This was the clandestine system established by abolitionists, of which Henry Ward Beecher, minister at Plymouth in the pre-Civil War Years, was an inspirational leader, to help fugitive slaves escape to freedom in Canada.
NY1: Seeking freedom from their chains, many slaves received a secret welcome from the congregation of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights. In the mid 1800s, the basement of the house of worship was just one of many stops on the stretch of the Underground Railroad that ran through Brooklyn.
“Because there were many members involved in working with the underground railroad, really took it unto themselves to disobey what was the federal law by hiding fugitive slaves here and seeing they were moved on up to Canada,” said Plymouth Church History Director Lois Rosebrooks.
Urban Park Rangers are now offering guided tours of Underground Railroad sites in Brooklyn, including Plymouth Church. Read more and see a video here.