Amos Woodruff was a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Hinckley, Ohio.
Woodruff was born circa 1795 in Vermont. He eventually moved to Hinckley, which is located in Medina County, Ohio. Here, he worked as a shoemaker. Woodruff was also a devout abolitionist. He subscribed to William Lloyd Garrison's newspaper, The Liberator, and shared it with his friends and customers. He also assisted fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad, usually ferrying them to Cleveland, Ohio. Despite being faced with threats of physical violence from his pro-slavery neighbors, Woodruff remained an abolitionist through the American Civil War and welcomed slavery's demise with the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Woodruff represents the growing tensions over slavery between Northerners and Southerners during the early nineteenth century. While many Northern states had provisions outlawing slavery, runaway slaves did not necessarily gain their freedom upon arriving in a free state. Federal law permitted slaveowners to reclaim their runaway slaves. Some slaves managed to escape their owners on their own, while others sometimes received assistance from sympathetic Northerners, such as Woodruff.
- Webber, A.R. Letter. 10 June 1939. The Wilbur H. Siebert Underground Railroad Collection. The Ohio Historical Society. Columbus, OH.