Author set to talk on Underground Railroad at Briggs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 6, 2010

IRONTON — Captain Rick Rhodes will be returning to the Ironton Branch of Briggs Lawrence County Public Library on Wednesday, June 16 at 10 a.m. to talk about a new topic, the Underground Railroad.

In 2008, Rhodes appeared at the library to discuss his book, “The Ohio River: In American History and Voyaging on Today’s River.” The book covered over 300 years of history along the river as well as mentioning many well-known Ohio River cities.

Rhodes has been invited back this year to discuss the Underground Railroad. During the 1800s, experts estimate more than 100,000 slaves fled their owners and slavery on the Underground Railroad. Their destination was either Canada or Mexico.

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Bordered by slave states, Ohio was an ideal pathway for many fugitives to escape to Canada. Four escape routes took slaves through Lawrence County.

Rhodes will be talking about the courageous slaves who risked everything to obtain their freedom, and those who risked much to help the slaves find their way to freedom. Together, these people created a secret, but highly organized, resistance movement.

Rick grew up in the Midwest and Washington, D.C. and has a degree from West Virginia University and a graduate degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

An accomplished sailor, researcher, author, and program presenter he served in the military, has worked for the federal government, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador.

Rhodes has developed in-depth historical and geographical perspectives, enhanced by study and travel within the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America.

Rick has also researched and written eight guidebooks on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Ohio River, the Potomac River, the Illinois River System, and the Bay Islands of Honduras.

He is a professional presenter offering 19th Century American History programs as well as regional travel programs.

For more information on this or other library programs, please contact Lori Shafer at 740-532-1124 or at