Edgartown Harbor Named Historical Site On Underground Railroad

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Martha Vineyard's Edgartown Harbor has been named a historical site on the Underground Railroad.

It's just one of twelve new listings this year by the National Park Service, and joins only a handful of sites in Massachusetts.

Elaine Cawley Weintraub is the co-founder of the African American Heritage Trail of Martha's Vineyard. That is the organization that nominated the site. She spoke to WBZ NewsRadio about an incident she researched, which took place in Edgartown Harbor during the summer of 1743.

"Esther was being returned to enslavement in the south, and had been left in a boat overnight in Edgartown Harbor. Thomas Taylor, the first mate, gave a deposition that they had tied her with rope and they had covered her feet with a crowbar. And yet, they said that she was there when she went to sleep and she wasn't there in the morning, she had disappeared," Weintraub said. "Clearly, either they weren't being honest about what had happened and had assisted her rescue, or they were being honest and somebody else had assisted her rescue. But, she clearly couldn't have rescued herself under those circumstances."

Weintraub said "that story has been accepted as evidence of an Underground Railroad activity in Edgartown."

Listen to the full interview with Elaine Cawley Weintraub:

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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