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Submitted by:  Jean Mackay

WATERFORD- Federal and state partners have recently released a new online map and mobile app to help people explore New York State’s connection to abolitionism and the Underground Railroad. The map includes sites, programs and tours that have been approved by the National Park Service Network to Freedom Program or the New York State Underground Railroad Heritage Trail.

The New York State Underground Railroad Network to Freedom map is a collaborative project initiated by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, in partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).

“We are thrilled to provide a tool that will help people discover the sites and stories that led to freedom and fueled the abolition of slavery,” said Erie Canalway Executive Director Beth Sciumeca. “The map brings together the work and scholarship of many organizations that are preserving this important part of New York’s history.”

New York State was a gateway for many African Americans seeking to escape slavery in the 1800s. Its prime location, with access to Canada and major water routes, made it the destination of choice for many Africans fleeing slavery along the eastern seaboard.

The interactive map was created to tie New York State’s individual sites together, but also connect them to the longer string of sites that comprise the entire Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Ruth Pierpont, Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation at OPRHP said: “We are happy to partner with the Erie Canalway Heritage Corridor and I Love New York in making this user-friendly map available to promote an understanding of this important, and still under-recognized, aspect of the history of our state.”

Sheri Jackson of the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program said: "This map will help interpret New York's role in eradicating slavery in the U.S., as well as New York's cooperation with Underground Railroad activity from other nearby states and Canada."
Access the map at: http://www.jimapco.com/eriecanalway/ugrr/
Get the smart phone appwww.jimapco.com/eriecanalway/ugrr/mobile/
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridorhttp://www.eriecanalway.org
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservationhttp://nysparks.com/
National Park Service Network to Freedomhttp://www.nps.gov/subjects/ugrr/index.htm


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