The goal of this study is to demonstrate that the Goshen-Jefferson-Bristol part of the Underground Railroad was the crucial, final link in the main Quaker (east) route that led runaways to the haven of the Young’s Prairie Quaker settlement west of Penn in Cass County, Michigan.

This is not a linear presentation, neither in chronology, geography, narration or logical argument.  Rather it is a report of what can be known from many different kinds of manuscript and print sources that yield facts about people and events in the history of the Underground Railroad in Elkhart County. It is a report of research, not a coherent discourse, although I hope that, in total, it represents the Elkhart County Underground Railroad in a rather full, complex way. 

Use the links on the left to explore the history of the Underground Railroad in Elkhart County.


Ervin Beck, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of English. He joined the Goshen College faculty in 1967 and retired in 2003.