William Donnegan, an 80-year-old black cobbler and entrepreneur who was lynched during the Springfield Race Riot of 1908, earlier wrote a memoir about his role in helping an enslaved black woman travel through Springfield on her way to Canada in 1858.
The memoir, first published in 1898, was reprinted in the summer 2006 edition of “For the People,” the newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association. The original is available at the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library.
“I lived, in those days, on the north side of Jefferson, between Eighth and Ninth streets, in a story and a half house. It is still standing, and I could show you the garret yet in which many a runaway has been hidden while the town was being searched. I have secreted scores of them, …” Donnegan wrote.
Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.