Wilbur Siebert Underground Railroad Index

Wilbur SeibertProfessor Wilbur H. Siebert. Siebert (1866-1961) was a Professor of History at the Ohio State University, 1891-1935, and Professor Emeritus, 1935-1961. One of Siebert's major research specializations was the Underground Railroad. His research contains one of the most extensive collections of letters and interviews of participants. Siebert gathered documents and reminiscences from aged abolitionists or their descendants in the 1890s. While his work The Underground Railway from Slavery to Freedom (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1898), focused primarily on Ohio, he did gather much information on Indiana. The Indiana State Library has one roll of microfilm from the Siebert collection. The information on this one roll is cross-indexed by subject at the index link below. The entire Wilbur H. Siebert Collection is owned and maintained by the Ohio Historical Society and copies of the microfilm are available through their institution.

This index was put together as a way of assisting researchers, who without this index would have to read all 1000 pages in order to glean information from the material. The 1000 pages are divided into three indexes, each about 300 pages.

The index is divided by volume. Within the volume, the names, places, and events are individually indexed.

At times, when the individuals were typing their letters to Siebert they spelled an individual’s name multiple ways. We tried to ascertain of whom they were speaking, but if there was an uncertainty, we indexed the various spellings individually. Researchers should take the time to look over all the pages with similar names.

In addition, when speaking of places, we listed the city or county with the state if that information was offered. Otherwise, only the place is listed.

Siebert’s work is a great place for researchers to begin as they try to identify people, places, or events in their county or area of interest.

The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology published this index with help from a grant from the National Park Services’ Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.

Underground Railroad Resources