Ohio was an abolitionist state, and Cincinnati, home to Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a point of entry to freedom for enslaved fugitives. In the summer of 2004, the NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER, the largest such museum, will open to commemorate the history of this 19th-century escape route utilized by more than 100,000 slaves. Its three pavilions will sit on the north bank of the Ohio as a mark of the river's prominent role in freedom. (Historians believe 40 percent of the country's slaves escaped by crossing the Ohio River.) Among the center's highlights will be hundreds of artifacts, a story theater where you can hear tales of abolitionists, and accounts of contemporary struggles for freedom. Says Edwin Rigaud, the center's president: "The Freedom Center is being built to inspire everyone in the nation to become modern-day freedom conductors."
ALL THE CINCINNATI FACTS
The Cincinnati Wing of the Cincinnati Art Museum