This photograph is of Polly Jackson, a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
Jackson was a key figure in the Underground Railroad movement, and her name is listed on a local monument dedicated to her and others who risked their lives to help free the enslaved. During the nineteenth century, the migration of fugitives from the Deep and Upper South to the North accelerated. Many, like Polly Jackson, traveled to Ohio. According to legend, she fought off slave catchers with a kettle full of hot water and a butcher knife. It was difficult for women to defend themselves against male pursuers, and this sometimes discouraged them from running away. However, women driven to the end of their limits would flee and defend themselves in any manner that they could.
According to legend, as a fugitive herself, Jackson fought off bounty hunters with a butcher knife and Kettle of boiling water. Jackson joined a community of free blacks in the settlement of Africa, Ohio, that was established near Ripley. Many of the local black residents served as conductors on the Railroad.