Underground Railroad Historic Site

“The first time I ever heard of John Brown raising his voice against slavery was in the church prayer meeting one Thursday afternoon. We got the news that morning that the pro-slavery men had shot Lovejoy . . . John arose and in his calm, emphatic way says: ‘I pledge myself with God’s help that I will devote my life to increasing hostility towards slavery’.” – Lora Case, “Hudson of Long Ago, Reminiscences,” The Hudson Independent, 1897 (reprint, Hudson, OH: The Hudson Library and Historical Society, 1963)


Hudson Underground Railroad Walking Tour Map

Letters between Lora Case & John Brown Before the His Death

This was the boyhood home of Lora Case, a well-known Underground Railroad activist and childhood friend of John Brown. Family tradition says that Lora’s parents, Chauncey and Cleopatra Case, hid fugitives in the wood lot at the edge of the farm. 

These letters are copied exactly from “Hudson of Long Ago, Reminiscences” by Lora Case. John Brown moved to Hudson with his parents, 3 brothers & 1 sister in 1805 from Connecticut. He was hung on Dec. 2, 1859. CBF was built by Chauncey & Cleopatra Case. Their son, Lora Case, became an important Underground Railroad conductor in this area. The abolitionist John Brown was a frequent guest at the farm. Family legend tells the slaves were hidden in the tree lot at the back of the property


Hudson, Ohio, Nov. 28, 1859

Dear Sir:

My long acquaintance with you and with your life has made such an impression on my mind that I feel that there is an attachment formed which Death alone can separate; and now, as it seems the end draws near that you must die, I would say that my prayer is, that you may come off conqueror through Him that hath loved us, and find a resting-place in heaven, where I hope to meet with all the friends of humanity. I want something from your hand to look upon and show to the friends of humanity. Your name on a card directed to me, with a date at the place where you are, I would like with some short sentiment of your choosing. L.C.

P.S. I hear you have several daughters, which may be dependent on the charity of friends to get along in the world. I would like to take the youngest, and educate her in my family as one of them, if you and your friends are willing. I have a daughter sixteen years old, and it would be her delight to help educate one of Capt. John Brown’s daughters…. Farewell! May God Al-mighty strengthen you as you are about to be offered up.

Charlestown, Jefferson Co Va, 2d, Dec. 1859

Lora Case Esqr



 Charlestown, Jefferson Co Va, 2d, Dec. 1859

 Lora Case Esqr

My dear Sir

Your most kind & cheering letter of the 28th Nov is received. Such an outburst of warm hearted sympathy not only for myself; but also for those who “have no helper” compells me to steal a moment from those allowe me: in which to prepare for my last great change to send you a few words. Such a feeling as you manifest makes you to “shine (in my estimation) in the midst of this wicked; & perverse generation as a light in the world”. May you ever prove yourself equal to the high estimate I have placed on you. Pure & undefiled religion befor God & the Father is” as I understand it: an active (not a dormant)principle. I do not undertake to direct any more about my children. I leave that now entirely to their excellent mother from whom I have just parted. I send you my “salutation with my own hand.” Remember me to all yours, & my dear friends. Your Friend

John Brown 


Hudson, Ohio and the Underground Railroad
By James Caccomo

Pelster quotes Lora Cases as saying “it was rare for fugitives to come through his own station near the town of Streetsboro, though his childhood home at Case Barlow Farm frequently sheltered fugitives in the woods behind the house: According to James Caccomo’s book Hudson, Ohio and the Underground Railroad, “4 routes entered Hudson from the south and from the east (Randolph, Ravenna and Cuyahoga Falls) with only 2 exiting to the north and the northwest (Bedford and Cleveland)”. As a junction, Hudson was the second busiest station in Summit County. Pester writes that Hudson’s central location had made it highly suitable as a terminal on the underground facility and the foundation population of the town, fostered in the culture of the Western Reserve College produced with hands and homes for working in support of the freedom of the Negro.

Other References

Hudson Library and Historical Society - Underground Railroad Sites in Hudson, Ohio

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