From Ohio History Central
Affadilla Deaver was a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Morgan County, Ohio.
Deaver, whose maiden name was Moody, was born in Lisbon, Maine on February 24, 1808 (also reported as February 22, 1808). In 1817, Deaver's parents, Nathan and Lyda Moody, relocated their family to Morgan County. In August 1828, Affadilla Moody married Reuben Deaver.
The Deavers became active in the Underground Railroad during the late 1820s and the early 1830s. The young couple settled in Deavertown in Morgan County. They opened their home to fugitive slaves, who sought their freedom in either the North or in Canada. On one occasion, as Affadilla Deaver was transporting several slaves from Deavertown to a safe house in Roseville, Ohio, the wagon that Deaver was using became stuck in the mud. Deaver had concealed the runaway slaves under hay and produce in the back of the wagon. Deaver enlisted the aid of four men. The men were known for their pro-slavery sentiments. The men assisted Deaver in freeing the wagon, never realizing that she had the fugitives concealed in the back of the vehicle.
Deaver died on March 11, 1876 in York Township, Ohio.
Deaver 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 Deaver. Northern abolitionists were risking their very lives to assist slaves in attaining freedom.
- "Affadilla Deaver Photograph." The Wilbur H. Siebert Underground Railroad Collection. The Ohio Historical Society. Columbus. (http://cdm267401.cdmhost.com/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/siebert&CISOPTR=6062&REC=6)