Underground RailRoad of Henderson, N.Y.




North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association member, Gary Leland Rhodes, of the town of
Henderson, is seeking information on Underground Railroad activities in Jefferson County -- especially
Henderson and the area northward to Cape Vincent.  Gary is trying to locate documents to confirm a family
legend that the Oliver Bates Home at Alexander Corners was an UGR stop.  The house is presently the only
site in the town of Henderson that is on the state and national register of Historic Sites.  It has long been said
that freedom seekers were kept in a small cave in the rear of the property or down in the cellar.

About 2 miles from the Bates Home is the Aspinwall House which was named as an UGR stop in a 1944
Watertown Daily Times article.  The Aspinwall house received freedom seekers from Gerrit Smith and
New Hartford.  They were taken to John W. Little in Cape Vincent.  (He was the grandfather of Harriet
Montague of Henderson.)  Mr. Little then took the freedom seekers into Canada.

The Aspinwalls and Bates were linked in many ways.  Briggs Alden helped make the bricks used in building
the Aspinwall house.  Mr. Aspinwall's son, David, married Briggs Alden's daughter.  Briggs Alden married
Lydia Harrington Bates, widow of Cyrus Bates, the son of Oliver Bates.  A daughter of Cyrus Bates married
into the Aspinwall family.  When Cyrus Bates died in 1839, the Bates house and property were sold to Truman
O. Whitney of Henderson.  Whitney and the Aspinwalls were members of the Universalist Church of Henderson.

Anyone who has information on Jefferson County's UGR history is invited to contact Mr. Rhodes at
jnrhodes@bluefrognet.net or Box 220, Belleville, New York 13611.  Gary will pay for photocopies.












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