The Saltwater Railroad (1821-1861)

The “Saltwater Railroad” refers to the coastal waterway followed by many enslaved people escaping from the Southern slave states into the British-controlled Bahamas. The saltwater railroad served a similar function as the Underground Railroad, a land pathway, that allowed enslaved people to flee to northern … Read MoreThe Saltwater Railroad (1821-1861)

The West End of Louisville (ca. 1835- )

The West End of Louisville, Kentucky emerged as a predominantly black neighborhood in the city during the 1830s when free blacks began buying property west of 9th Street. The area, however, was not entirely black as African Americans lived alongside Jewish, German, and Irish immigrants, … Read MoreThe West End of Louisville (ca. 1835- )

Empire, Wyoming (1908-1930)

Empire, Wyoming was an African American community founded in 1908 by Charles and Rosetta Speese along with three of Charles’ brothers—John, Joseph and Radford—and their families. John’s brother-in-law, Baseman Taylor, and relative, Otis Taylor, also joined the settlement. The families migrated from Nebraska. With the … Read MoreEmpire, Wyoming (1908-1930)

DeWitty/Audacious, Nebraska (1908- )

Located in the Sandhills of Cherry County, Nebraska, the settlement of DeWitty was established in 1908 by black homesteaders who constructed housing made of stacked sod.  These settlers farmed some of the least hospitable land in the state.  The families were spurred to the area by the 1904 … Read MoreDeWitty/Audacious, Nebraska (1908- )