1847-10-24 Daniel Kaufman and Thirteen Escaping Slaves

Boiling Springs, PA, circa 1872

Daniel Kaufman (also spelled Kauffman) was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1818.  He became a founder of the small town of Boiling Springs and also helped organize the Underground Railroad in the area.  He was involved in a dramatic fugitive slave escape on October 24, 1847.

According to evidence later presented in court, thirteen slaves belonging to the Oliver family escaped from Maryland, crossed the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania, and were soon hiding in Kaufman’s barn in Boiling Springs. Kaufman agreed to provide them with shelter and food, and then offered his wagon to help transport the slaves eastward across the Susquehanna River. News of the escape spread quickly, and within a few months the master’s family filed suit against Kaufman.

The case Oliver et al. v. Kaufman began in the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County in early 1848 and included defendants Stephen … Read the rest