JB Grinnell & the Iowa Underground Railroad


Sunday, February 17
2:30pm
West Des Moines Public Library
4000 Mills Civic Parkway

“Preacher,” “congressman,” “negro-stealer”: Josiah Bushnell Grinnell was called all of those things during his life. He was called a negro-stealer because he participated in the Iowa Underground Railroad. J.B. Grinnell and other Grinnell residents helped at least 37 fugitive slaves who passed through their town before the Civil War. But some residents opposed this work.

David Connon will tell a story of racism, noble actions and conflict. He will highlight abolitionist John Brown’s visit to Grinnell, and Grinnell’s first riot over the presence of fugitive slaves in the public school.

This program is made possible by Humanities Iowa.