Conference focuses on slaves escaping SC south
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A conference in Florida this week focuses on the first underground railroad in which slaves from South Carolina headed south. The National Underground Railroad Conference opens in St. Augustine, Fla., on Wednesday and continues through the weekend.
Experts will discuss the network of sympathizers who gave refuge to slaves fleeing from plantations in the South Carolina Lowcountry to Spanish Florida. The effort lasted from about the time of the founding of the Carolina Colony in 1670 to after the American Revolution.
The story helps explain why the culture of slave descendants — known as Gullah in South Carolina and Geechee in Florida and Georgia — exists in northeast Florida. Slaves also escaped to Mexico, the Caribbean and the American West.
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