70 Pack Cooperstown Village Hall
For Underground Railroad Lecture
COOPERSTOWN – Hartwick Seminary Academy, forerunner of Hartwick College, and Isaac Newton Arnold in particular loomed large this afternoon as Harry Bradshaw Matthews, director of Hartwick’s U.S. Colored Troops Institute, detailed the county’s role in the Underground Railroad that ferried a half-million slaves to freedom in the decades before the Civil War.
Arnold, born in Hartwick in 1815, attended the academy, was tutored in the law by Cooperstown attorneys, then moved to Illinois, where he met a young fellow lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, and fell under his thrall. He participated in Free Soil activities and the founding of the Republican Party there and back in Otsego County, and was elected to Congress in 1860, when Lincoln won the presidency.