|Neil exploring tunnel|
|Tunnel in basement of the Congregational Church|
The Underground Railroad flourished between 1840-1860, and it did reach Franklin County and Malone--although not to the degree of some other routes. New York's primary routes were in the east, up to Rouses Point or across central New York to Syracuse. From there, slaves traveled to Oswego or Buffalo. Aside from New York City, many started their New York path to freedom via Elmira.
|The First Congregational Church|
home of tunnels used by runaway slaves
A less known route passed through Malone, NY. However, it is not known from where the escaping slaves came or to where they fled (644). Scholars have not defined Malone's route--we must therefore assume it was rarely used. We know, from Seaver's account and from the tunnels in Malone's First Congregational Church, it did exist in this village.
According to Seaver, "A former Malone resident whose memory extended back to 1845 state...many of the negroes (sic) to whom Gerrit Smith deeded homes in the town of Franklin reached their properties via Malone, having come here by way of Plattsburgh or Ogdensburg (644).
Two former slaves made their homes in Malone. Two of which were Henry Jones and his first wife, both members of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. She refused to live in the wilderness. She insisted her grant gave her the old Miller House, where the Flanagan now stands, and ordered him out of the house (644).
Seaver, Frederick: Historical Sketches of Franklin County. Albany: JP Lyons, 1918.