Ostrander and Scioto Township History

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The early pioneers to Scioto Township were a diverse group of people and one thing that made these families different were their thoughts and experiences surrounding slavery.  Some of the early pioneers  came from slave-holding families while others participated in the cause of freedom for all men as conductors on the Underground Railroad.

Prior histories have identified locations in Delaware County involved in the Underground Railroad, but failed to identify the homes of the Cratty, Flannigan, and Dodds families.  Additionally, many have assumed the paths through Delaware County would find there way to the Scioto River where slaves would be led North to safety.  Yet, research reveals many times slaves brought into Scioto Township were passed to the Benedict family near Alum Creek; the Benedicts being in-laws to the Scioto Township sympathizers.

William Siebert's book, The Underground Railroad, published in 1898 identifies over 3,000 UGRR conductors and agents which includes the following names identified as having operated in Delaware County, Ohio:

Aaron Benedict, Aaron L. Benedict, Cyrus Benedict, Daniel Benedict, G.G. Benedict, M.J. Benedict, John Cratty, Robert Cratty, William Cratty, Micajah Dillingham, William Dodds, Dea. Flannigan, Giffith Levering, John Lewis, Joseph Mosher, Aaron L. Osborn, Daniel Osborn, William Osborn, Samuel Ream, and Daniel Wood.

Delaware County participants are not limited to this list.  The list was comprised from the memories of those living in the 1890's as well as newspaper accounts, court cases, and other facts.  Many participants were reluctant to identify themselves being concerned for their safety and the safety of the slaves who relied on their help.  Additionally, the list is diminished by the fact many people were illiterate and didn't answer the call to record their involvement.  Siebert's book is criticized even today for not having recorded a great number of blacks that were involved, yet many of these people were illiterate or were unavailable to interview having fled to localities that welcomed them. 

Jones Tavern
McClure/Warren Tavern

The 1820 Federal Census lends us a glimpse into early black history in Scioto Township.  No Census was conducted in 1790 because the lands were considered to be too hostile.  And, the 1800 and 1810 Federal Census records have been lost.  The records for Scioto Township identify two "free color persons"; one female, age 0-14, and one female, age 26-45.  There are both living in the household of Jesse Said.  No other information can be found concerning the relationship between these two black females and the Said family.  It should be noted the Said family came from Kentucky where slavery was legal.  

File0001.jpg (1968975 bytes) File0014.jpg (346445 bytes) CrattyWilliamBorn1805.jpeg (59556 bytes)   Underground Railroad Trails
Underground Railroad in Delaware County McClure/Warren Tavern - Known Stop on U.G.R.R. William B. Cratty
U.G.R.R. Conductor
Underground Railroad Routes through Central Ohio based on Siebert's Research
Siebert Collection John Reese Letter Pg 1 Siebert Collection John Rees Letter Pg 2    
Siebert Collection
Ohio Historical Society
Letter from John Rees identifying Flanigan and Little Mill Creek Church participation in Underground Railroad
Page 1
Siebert Collection
Ohio Historical Society
Letter from John Rees identifying Flanigan and Little Mill Creek Church participation in Underground Railroad
Page 2
Unknown Freed-Slaves in Crawford Cemetery
Thomas and Fanny Crawford
Crawford Civil RIghts League Del Gaz 02131884.jpg (389427 bytes)      
Delaware Gazette
Feb. 13, 1884
Crawford and Civil Rights League