John P. Parker
John P. Parker (1827 – February 4, 1900) was an African-American abolitionist, inventor, iron moulder and industrialist who helped hundreds of slaves to freedom in the Underground Railroad resistance movement based in Ripley, Ohio. He rescued fugitive slaves for nearly fifteen years. He was one of the few blacks to patent his inventions before 1900. His house in Ripley has been designated a National Historic Landmark and restored.
Parker was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of a slave mother and white father. Born into slavery, at the age of eight John was forced to walk to Richmond, where he was sold to a doctor from Mobile, Alabama. While working in the doctor's house as a domestic servant, John was taught to read and write by the doctor's family, although the law forbade slaves' being educated. During his apprenticeship in a foundry, John attempted escape and had conflicts with officials. He asked one of the doctor's patients, a widow, to purchase him. She enabled him to hire out to earn money, and he purchased his freedom from her for $1,800 in 1845. He earned the money through his work in two of Mobile's iron foundries and occasional odd jobs.
Parker left the South, first settling in Jeffersonville, Indiana, then Cincinnati, Ohio, where there were a larger free black community and jobs in the bustling port. There in 1848 he married Miranda Boulden, free born in the city. They moved to Ripley, a growing center of abolitionist activity, and had six children together.
In Ripley, Parker joined the resistance movement to aid slaves escaping across the river from Kentucky to get North to freedom via the Underground Railroad. He guided hundreds of slaves, continuing despite a $1,000 bounty placed on his head by slaveholders. The federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 increased the penalties for his activism and meant that he risked his own freedom every time he went to Kentucky to help slaves to escape. During the Civil War, he recruited a few hundred slaves for the Union Army.
Launch Party Event: (Click Here)
AFK Geocaching is proud to present, the first phase of the Freedom GeoTrail with the partnership of National Park Service's Network to Freedom Program, Ohio History Connection (Ohio Historical Society), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and nearly a dozen more historical organizations!
The Freedom GeoTrail will share a small portion of Greater Cincinnati's history involving the Underground Railroad and American Civil War! During the drive along the trail you will experience over 97 miles of history with much of the suggested route along the scenic Ohio River.
Come, learn and explore one of the main hubs of the Underground Railroad and a region that had a huge significance to the American Civil War.
- Did You Know: The launch of this trail marks the 150 years since the end of the American Civil War..
How this GeoTrail works:
- Obtain your Freedom GeoTrail Passport brochure by printing it out (click here). At each of the geocaches you will find a tag with a unique word. Collect these words on your passport! Do not forget to enjoy each location and and don't forget to log your find during all of the excitement!
- What if you can not print it or stumbled upon this trail by accident? No problem! Collect the code words at each location, sign the logs (we will randomly but frequently check) and then when you can print a Trail Passport, do so. If you need us to mail you a Trail Passport, let us know your mailing address!
- Remember, in the future, the Freedom GeoTrail will grow and have more locations added! However, to complete this portion of the trail the objective will not change.
Freedom GeoTrail Locations
FGT National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (GC5T08R)
FGT Spring Grove Cemetery (GC5T08W)
FGT Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Cincinnati (GC5T090)
FGT Camp Dennison Civil War Museum (GC5T095)
FGT Historic New Richmond Ohio (GC5T09A)
FGT Ulysses S. Grant Birthplace (GC5T09D)
FGT John P. Parker House (GC5T09G)
FGT Rankin House (GC5T09M)
FGT Ulysses S. Grant Schoolhouse (GC5T09Q)
FGT Ulysses S. Grant Boyhood Home (GC5T09T)
We are pleased to offer a 3D sculpted, 2.5" massive work of art Geocoin by the renowned Christian Mackey.. The trail's GeoCoin is available after completion of the GeoTrail. Full details available at the website, link available from the Launch Party Event: (Click Here).
- Trail GeoCoin: A classic antique gold finish with beautiful red and blue highlights.
- Gift-shop Edition GeoCoin: Post event rendition of the limited event coin to help complete any cacher's collection for a Gold/Silver mix! The classic antique silver finish but without any color highlights. This coin will only be available thought participating locations.
- Event GeoCoin / Advance Sale GeoCoin / Volunteer Edition GeoCoin: Only available for a limited time, exact quantities minted, no extras.
*The trail's GeoCoin is available for purchase after completion of the GeoTrail. Initial order of coins will be mailed out after the event the launch event. For people completing the trail after the launch, there will be coins available at the Clermont County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
**If coin supply runs out for the Trail coin, we will take back orders then coins will be mailed once they arrive.
***ALL GeoCoins will come with an official Adventure Cards, Copy Card! This is an all weather trading card designed for Geocachers with an illustration of the coin and your GC Tracking code. Hold onto your coin and send your Copy Card out to be discovered!
You might need to contact us if there is a situation that you run into on the trail. Remember we stay busy but will always try to take any calls or text messages. To call or text us: 513-235-2436. (You can also message us though the Geocaching website.)
You may also need to mail us your trail completion slips. (Warning: We will randomly check signatures on log papers.) You may mail us at:
AFK Geocaching. PO Box 43272. Cincinnati, OH. 45243
Lodging and accommodation information is available on the website, link available from the Launch Party Event: (Click Here)
A special thanks goes out to the Clermont County Convention and Visitor's Bureau whom without their main sponsorship this trail may not have happened!