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Dinah Mendenhall (Smedley, 1883)

Scholarship

Robert Clemens Smedley, History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania (Lancaster, PA: Office of the Journal, 1883), 249-250.

The home of Isaac and Dinah Mendenhall, in Kennett township, near Longwood, ten miles from Wilmington, was always open to receive the liberty-seeking slave. Their station being nearest the Delaware line was eagerly sought by fugitives as soon as they entered the Free State. They were generally sent by Thomas Garrett, of Wilmington, who, starting them on the road, directed them to "go on and on until they came to a stone-gate post, and then turn in." Sometimes he sent a note by them saying, "I send you three," (or four or five, as the case might be) "bales of black wool," which was to assure them that these colored persons were not impostors. No record was kept of the number they aided, but during a period of thirty-four years it amounted to several hundred. Many were well dressed and intelligent. At one time fourteen came on a Seventh-day (Saturday) night and remained over next day. The women and children were secreted in a room in the spring-house, and the men in the barn. As they usually entertained a great many visitors on First-days (Sundays), and some of these were pro-slavery Friends, the fugitives had to be kept very quiet. On Third-day (Tuesday) night Isaac and Josiah Wilson, who lived near by, took them to John Jackson's, Darby. Josiah and his wife, Mary, were ever ready to give their personal aid and counsel.
How to Cite This Page: "Dinah Mendenhall (Smedley, 1883)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/21907.