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Exploring Albany's History on the Underground Railroad

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 21, 2017) -- The Underground Railroad helped shape the history of the United States, as key figures like Sojourner Truth, John Brown and Harriet Tubman risked their lives to help ferry escaped slaves to freedom.

As students learned this summer, the railroad had an important stop right here in Albany, where Stephen and Harriett Myers and Thomas Elkins helped counteract slave catchers by providing legal assistance, food, clothing, money and temporary shelter to escaped slaves.

Through an archaeological field school, UAlbany students explored the homes of Elkins and the Myers, learning how to lay out units, excavate, screen, map, record, and photograph archaeological features at the sites.

Through their work, students have helped supplement the written record on an important way station along the railroad, when 150 years ago some brave citizens helped hundreds of slaves make their way through Albany on the road to Canada, and freedom.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.