Robert and Albert Vosburgh

Robert Vosburgh and Abigail (Tisdale) Vosburgh arrived in Erie in 1818.  They lived at 314 French Street and for many years Robert owned and operated a successful barber shop on North Park Row.  Founder of the Erie County Anti-Slavery Society and a freedman of means, Vosburgh worked closely with Hamilton Waters on the Underground Railroad. Vosburgh gave haircuts and shaves to runaways, and sometimes dyed their hair.  Together with Waters, he re-outfitted and then directed runaway slaves to freedom in Canada — often with the clandestine assistance of Vosburgh’s customers and knowledge of the community.  After Albert’s passing in 1846, his barber son Robert Vosburgh carried on the Underground Railroad work with Waters.

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