February 14, 2024
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John Parker had it made. After two attempts to escape being a slave to a Southern slave owner, he had finally gotten his freedom. He chose to live in Ripley, Ohio, right on the freedom side of the Ohio River. He got a house and he got a good job as a factory worker. In fact, ultimately, he owned a foundry and he invented many processes that were used widely in that industry. He was safe, secure and successful. But night after night, John Parker risked it all. Under cover of darkness, he rowed across the river to the Kentucky side - slave territory. If he was caught, he could lose his freedom. He could lose his life. But in spite of the risks, John Parker went looking for runaway slaves. And he found them and rowed them across the river to the freedom side. It's actually believed that John Parker was responsible for at least 900 slaves going free.