On March 18, 1886, Rev. John Rankin, a leading abolitionist, died at the home of his granddaughter, Elizabeth Gray, in Ironton.
A Presbyterian minister and native of east Tennessee, Rankin came to Ohio from Kentucky in 1822 to serve a congregation in Ripley.
An ardent abolitionist, Rankin wrote a series of letters trying to persuade his brother, a slave-holder, to see the error of his ways. The letters were published in a book in 1826 and saw nine additional printings.
Frustrated that the Presbyterian Church refused to take a stand on abolition, Rankin founded the Free Presbyterian Church of America, which excluded slaveholders from membership, in 1847.
In 1851, Rankin helped found the American Reform Tract and Book Society, which published more than 200 books and tracts - many written by Rankin - during the Civil War.
The Free Presbyterian Church also printed its own newspaper, The Free Presbyterian, and founded Iberia (Ohio) College to educate fugitive slaves.
Rankin is perhaps best known for helping thousands of slaves escape to Canada. His experiences on the Underground Railroad served as inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin.
- Rebecca Goodman
E-mail email@example.com or 768-8361.
'GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS' SECTION
A guide to Colerain Township
Colerain town meeting tonight
TOP LOCAL STORIES
Accord to clear 132 liens on Erpenbeck homes
Church worker indicted in theft of $210,000
Booth to resign council
Military families wait, worry
Stadium mistakes not repeated
LAURA PULFER COLUMN
How much detail about Elizabeth do we need?
NAACP aims to get blacks to polls
Foster dad jailed, baby critical
UC Varsity Village gets $10M from Fifth Third
Cookie girl helps starving Africans
Women's City Club aims to raise questions
Students greet Chabot with war questions
Councilmen want panel to monitor city audit
AROUND THE TRISTATE
Airport extends flight-pattern test
Tristate A.M. Report
Good News: Cincinnatian helps in African vaccinations
Horses found ill or dead
Butler County increases tax
Church vandalism suspect in custody
Ohio Moments: Abolitionist founded free church
Public systems turn to online charter schools
N.Ky health workers get smallpox shot
Councilman charged in Internet sex sting
Boone to move 200 students
Peace Rules among early Derby favorites
Around the Commonwealth
Public agency data vulnerable
Kentucky burgoo: Don't ask, just eat
Fletcher first on TV in Republican race
Woman pulls man from car