The Black Ice Project: The Underground Railroad
For the past year, the Dan San Organization, working in conjunction with the historians of the Stryker-Indigo Publishing Company, Inc. ("Stryker-Indigo") , has been busy researching the history of the Underground Railroad on Long Island and its historic links to Nova Scotia, Canada. The project's goal is to identify the original Quaker (Hicksite) and Black families who served as conductors and station managers along this stretch of the railroad and to contact descendants of these groups in order to re-establish links and organizational ties between these individual families and descendant families of runaway slaves who settled in Canada. Drakeford Levi, the president and founder of Dan San is a direct descendant of Eliakim Levi, a leader of the Black community of Guinea Town, New York - the oldest freed Black and runaway slave community in existence on Long Island during the 1790s-1800s. Eliakim Levi was a Conductor on the Underground Railroad. He worked closely with the local Hicksite leadership of nearby Hempstead, New York to transport runaway slaves from Long Island north to Nova Scotia. Guinea Town and Hempstead where the main terminals and gathering points on Long Island for runaway slaves and their families moving north to Nova Scotia from the Louisiana - Pennsylvania regions. Once at Guinea Town or Hempstead, the runaways were smuggled northwards towards the Quaker community of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Dartmouth - and the nearby Black Community of Preston, were the last station stops on the Underground Railroad. As part of this ongoing project, we are attempting to identify Quaker families who resided in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia during the early to mid-1800s. We are also interested in obtaining the names of any Black families currently living in Nova Scotia who credit their family origins in Nova Scotia to the Underground Railroad. It is the project's goal to reunite some of these Quaker and Black families during the 2006 Black Hockey And Sports Hall of Fame Conference in Dartmouth.
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