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Historic Eleutherian College, Madison

#8 of 8 in Historic Sites in Madison
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Historic Eleutherian College is a historical site, dedicated to teaching the truth on the underground railroad. The system that operated in southeastern Indiana. System is used because it was indeed a system. A well organized system, that helped those kept in bondage, to obtain freedom.

It was not only freedom from chains of body, but also chains of the mind. Bodily freedom was a foundation. The mind needed education to complete the process of total freedom.
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Historic Eleutherian College reviews

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8 reviews
  • I wish I'd been able to visit on a day of the once a month tours of this college. It was both a college and a stop on the Underground Railroad.  more »
  • A clear jewel from our past! What a great place to visit! I recommend stopping by when you're in the area. They are working magic on new restorations and are always pleased to show folks around.  more »
  • This building is a testimony of a time come and gone, along with people who were "ahead of their time," but still resonates with things that remain important to our society, even today: things like...  more »
  • This beautiful historic building is slowly and carefully being restored to it's original glory. The history behind this site is important. It was one of the first colleges to accept students regardless of race or gender. It is moving to learn this history and unsettling. Definitely take a tour if it is available.
  • Very nice,well kept, lots of history
  • An absolute delight. A treasure in southern Indiana! Everyone should visit!
  • History Reverend Thomas Craven, a visiting Baptist minister who studied at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is credited with proposing the idea for the school. He was also an abolitionist and an early advocate of an integrated educational system. Following his advice, several members of Neil's Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church established the Eleutherian Institute, its initial name, at Lancaster, Indiana, in 1848. Much of the iniitial organizing done by the extended Hoyt-Whipple family. From the 1830s to the 1860s the unincorporated community of Lancaster, about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Madison in Jefferson County, Indiana, was known for its anti-slavery sentiment. Some members of the local community established the Neil's Creek Anti-Slavery Society in 1839 and the Neil's Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church in 1846. Neil's Creek was located about 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Lancaster, a major stop for fugitive slaves along the Underground Railroad route as they traveled north from Madison on the Ohio River to Indianapolis, Indiana. Several abolitionist families in the area, including some members of the school's board of trustees, were active participants in the Underground Railroad. The community's abolitionist church and anti-slavery sentiments also made Lancaster a good place to establish an integrated school. Eleutherian Institute admitted students without regard to ethnicity or gender, including freed and fugitive slaves. The institute's name comes from the Greek word eleutheros, meaning "freedom and equality".[8] Its first classes began offering secondary school instruction on November 27, 1848, with fifteen students gathering in an old meetinghouse near Lancaster. Reverend John G. Craven, the son of Reverend Thomas Craven, served as the school's first teacher. John C. Thompson, Thomas Craven's son-in-law, served as a teacher for the first year, but he returned to Ohio when the school was unable to financially support two teachers. Reverend John Craven was principal of the school until 1861, then moved to Minnesota. James and Lucy Nelson maintained the school's dormitory in the days before the American Civil War.
  • Old college alot of nastalgia

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