Genealogy Plus

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Topic — Underground Railroad in Iowa

Speaker — Allie Shambaugh-Miller

Iowa and the Midwest are often left out of narratives about the Underground Railroad, yet the state played a central role in the fight against slavery.

In this presentation, you will learn about the flight of enslaved African Americans from Missouri and other slave states into abolitionist towns in southern Iowa. From here, many freedom seekers traveled north to free states and Canada, although some settled in Iowa cities such as Des Moines for their entire lives.

The stories of freedom seekers and conductors buried in Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines will further exemplify the role of central Iowa in the Underground Railroad.



If you would like to receive the Zoom link by email please register on this page or call (515) 239-5646 ext. 4 to learn more.


Presented in partnership with Ames Public Library and the Story County Genealogical Society.

Ames Public Library connects you to the world of ideas through diverse and inclusive resources and programs. We welcome proposals via our website for programs at and exhibits at