A National Historic Landmark, this was the home of Presbyterian minister John Rankin who is reputed to have been one of Ohio's first and most active "conductors" on the Underground Railroad. In addition, he wrote Letters on American Slavery, first published in book form in 1826, and among the first clearly articulated antislavery views printed west of the Appalachians.
From 1822 to 1865, Rankin,
along with his wife and children, assisted hundreds of escaped slaves in their trek to
freedom. Located on the Ohio River, John Rankin's home (and Ripley, Ohio in general) were
considered one of the first stations on this route of the Underground Railroad. It was
here that Harriet Beecher Stowe heard the escaping slave's story which became the basis
for part of her famous work, Uncle Tom's Cabin. John Parker, a Ripley abolitionist and
former slave who was active in the Underground Railroad, wrote of Rankin, "At times
attacked on all sides by masters seeking their slaves, [John Rankin and his sons] beat
back their assailant, and held its threshold unsullied. A lighted candle stood as a beacon
which could be seen from across the river, and like the north star was the guide to the
The John Rankin House is located in Ripley, Ohio at 6152 Rankin Road. It is open to the public.
This page was made using information from http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/states.htm