Remarkable Ohio

Serpent Mound Marker
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66-31 The Eliza House

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Side A: The Eliza House. Three hundred yards east of this location on Oak Road, overlooking the Miami & Erie Canal, was the house of abolitionist John Van Zandt (1791-1847). For years this house was known as one of the most active "stations" on the Underground Railroad. In 1842, two bounty hunters from Sharonville caught Van Zandt helping eight runaway slaves who had escaped from owner Wharton Jones of Kentucky. Defended in court by Salmon P. Chase, who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1864-1873, Van Zandt was convicted and fined. Chase appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he tested the constitutionality of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Law. When writing her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe used Van Zandt as the abolitionist character John Van Trompe. Van Zandt's house became associated with the book and was known as "The Eliza House," named for one of the novel's main characters. Side B: Same. Same