Mission Statement:
The objective of this website is to inform and educate people of slavery past and present.  We intend to uncover and tell the stories of courageous people who rose up against the tyranny of slavery to find their freedom.  Our hope is to use history to create awareness of the ongoing problem of slavery today.  To achieve this goal we will unite scholars, teachers and students so we can tell the story of slavery.

History of the Forever Free Project:
The U.S. Honors History class at Arlington Public Schools will research and nominate sites to the Network to Freedom.  As a program of the National Park Service, the Network to Freedom coordinates preservation, commemorative, and educational efforts related to the history of the Underground Railroad.  The Network to Freedom does not limit itself to the preservation of stories of famous conductors or stations of the Underground Railroad.  This program strives to preserve the Underground Railroad in its entirety.  Sites that can be nominated range from sites of slave resistance, rebellions, and escape, as well as, court cases, maroons, monuments, cemeteries etc. Most importantly, the program preserves the stories of those who escaped from slavery to attain their freedom.  Our class has nominated a variety of these sites to the Network to Freedom.  In the past 5 years, students of the honors class have successfully added nineteen sites to the national listing of the Network to Freedom;  10 in Nebraska, 6 in Iowa, and 3 in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

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Connection to Modern Day Slavery:
We would like every visitor to compare the stories and history of the Underground Railroad to modern day slavery.  As you explore slavery, past and present, you will experience history repeating itself in front of your eyes.  African Americans were kidnapped and forced into slavery throughout the early history of our country and today millions of people of all races are being enslaved throughout the world.  Slavery has not been stopped, it has only evolved, and the resistance to slavery continues just as it did in the past.  

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This video is brought to you by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

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Student historians at work:

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Shattering Silence monument that commemorates the 1839 Iowa State Supreme Court case of a slave named Ralph, In Re Ralph.  The monument is located on the capital grounds in Des Moines, Iowa.  Photograph taken by Barry Jurgensen March 2013.  

Honors History student Baylie Hilgenkamp at the burial site of Milton Howard.  Howard was kidnapped, along with his family, from Muscatine County, Iowa, and sold into slavery.  He escaped, returned to Iowa, and fought in the Civil War.

Honors History students Sam Hoppe and Baylie Hildgenkamp with a life size cut out of Milton Howard. 

Honors History students Matt Jensen and Ross Miller (right) inside the Trowbrige House in Denmark, Iowa.  The bookshelf can be removed from the wall and a space, presumably for fugitive slaves, is located behind it.

Honors History class in 2010 a the historic John Todd House in Tabor, Iowa.  Todd was an abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad.

Ribbon cutting at the Old Freighters Museum in Nebraska City.  Two students nominated the residence of Alexander Majors to the Network to Freedom because he had six slaves escape from his residence in 1860.  With help from Bill Hayes of the Mayhew Cabin, an interpretive panel was erected to tell the story.  

Class at the interpretive panel that explains the story of the Celia and Eliza who were slaves of Stephen F. Nuckolls and escaped from Nebraska City with the help of John Williamson and several abolitionists in Civil Bend, Tabor, and Lewis Iowa.  Celia and Eliza were successful in their escape.  

Panel erected at a site two students nominated to the Network to Freedom, Camp Creek Cemetery and the burial site of Barbara Mayhew.  

Students at the temporary Network to Freedom exhibit at the Iowa State Historical Society.

Class of 2012-13 at the National Park Service in Omaha, Nebraska.

Students with historians Richard Cooper and Carl Westmoreland at the burial site of Salmon P. Chase - Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio.