Nurturing Pathways to Freedom

in Trumbull County

This exhibit is located outside of the Sutliff Museum. It gives a glimpse into the historical realities

concerning local anti-slavery sentiments from the 1820s to the 1850s.

The display has four sections:

  • Early anti-slavery sentiments
  • Organized efforts and leadership support of the area's abolition movement
  • Travel along the Underground Railroad
  • Artifacts depicting the evils of slavery

Local historian, Wendell Lauth, researched and selected the informational content of the exhibit. On display are photographs, maps, and reproductions of newspapers, articles, and original historic documents including correspondence from the Sutliff Family Letter Collection and a slave auction broadside.

Permanent Collection

The Sutliff Museum is a memorial to Levi Sutliff and his wife, Phebe Marvin Sutliff. They were station masters on the Underground Railroad. Levi was also one of the founding members of the National Anti-Slavery Society in Trumbull County. Their daughter, Phebe Temperance Sutliff, left an endowment to the Warren Library Association to create this museum in their honor. Her hope for the museum was that it would not only honor her parents, but that it would also serve as a means to educate the public on Victorian living and the Underground Railroad. Many of the artifacts in the Museum came from the Sutliff home. Other items are of the Victorian period, but were donated by other people.

The room where the Museum is located is designed to show the furnishings, traditions, and atmosphere of the time, the Victorian Era. All furniture pieces, except for the display cabinets, are representative of pieces that would be found in a home at the turn of the century. The wallpaper was selected from a Victorian pattern book and the carpet was woven in Spain by a British company. Both reproduce a Victorian design but the colors were chosen to appeal to 1970s taste. Items from the Sutliff home include the Vernon desk, "flow blue" dishes made in Staffordshire, England, coin silver spoons, and various books and clothing articles. One of the most interesting pieces in the permanent collection an iron hobble, which was removed from a fugitive slave by Levi Sutliff. The objects from the Sutliff home show that they were not only an influential family in Trumbull County, but a well-off family as well.