Ann M. Hunt
Ann Mary Jane (Dunlap) Hunt was a former slave in Kentucky, who settled, first, in Ohio and, then, in Canada.
Hunt was born on July 26, 1814, in Woodford County, Kentucky, near Lexington. Hunt was born a slave, and Alex Dunlap was at least one of her owners. Dunlap eventually freed several, if not all, of his slaves, including Hunt, her mother, her father, her uncle, and her two aunts. Dunlap provided each of his former slaves with ten acres of land in Brown County, Ohio. He also gave the former bondsmen and bondswomen twenty dollars in money, a horse, a cow, and a sheep. Dunlap also settled in Brown County near these former slaves. Hunt spent several years caring for her former master, before finding employment with Dunlap's daughter, Sarah Dickens. Dickens purportedly treated Hunt poorly, prompting the former slave to quit her position and return to her mother's home.
While still fifteen years of age, Hunt married. She and her husband resided at first in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1850, the Hunts purchased a farm in Highland County. Their neighbors were principally Quakers. The Hunts routinely hid fugitive slaves in their barn and helped connect the runaways with sympathetic Quakers for transportation on the Underground Railroad. The Hunts eventually left Ohio, settling in Windsor, Canada.
Hunt 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. Southerners could even accuse free blacks in Northern states of being fugitives and have government officials sentence the African Americans to a life in bondage in the South. To truly attain freedom, Northern African Americans, including those in Ohio, needed to travel to Canada or some other foreign country.
- "Ann Mary Jane Hunt Interview with Wilbur Siebert, July 30, 1895." The Wilbur H. Siebert Underground Railroad Collection. The Ohio History Connection. Columbus, OH. (http://cdm267401.cdmhost.com/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/siebert&CISOPTR=641&REC=20)