An Ante-bellum Development Project for Walnut Hills

We have covered construction projects launched after the Civil War; we’ll take one post to explore a Walnut Hills project that (like the Suspension Bridge project downtown) got off to a good start before the War. Completed or not, a 2-mile long Deer Creek Railroad Tunnel under Walnut Hills appeared on many maps from the[…]

Harriet Beecher Stowe

The most famous of the large and illustrious Beecher clan to arrive in Walnut Hills in 1832, Harriet was just 21 years old and at first lived in the shadow of her older sister Catherine. The sisters worked together in Catherine’s Western Female Institute, and joined a literary circle known as the Semi-Colon Club. Both[…]

Harriet Martineau

The British author Harriet Martineau made a two-year tour of the United States, visiting Cincinnati for a few weeks beginning June 16, 1834. She published her Retrospect of Western Travel in 1838, including a full chapter about the city. Among the contacts during her first day she met “Miss [Catherine] Beecher, daughter of the Rev.[…]

Catherine Beecher

Catherine Beecher moved to Cincinnati with her father and her adult siblings in 1832; the family settled in Walnut Hills. Catherine, 32, had already made a name for herself with her opposition to President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal policy. Catherine recognized that women, denied the right to vote, had no direct influence on legislative behavior.[…]

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati properly recognizes the key role of the city in helping to conduct enslaved persons to freedom. Ohio law from the 1830’s held that enslaved people brought by their owners to Ohio, a free state, became free. As long as their entry into Ohio occurred with the consent of the[…]

Riots of 1841

Walnut Hills served as a place of refuge from the dust and stench of the city The suburb overlooked Deer Creek (now just a series of sewers), the Miami Canal, and the Northeastern part of the city of Cincinnati. The “Buck town” community, a cluster of African American residents near the pork processing district of[…]

Lane Seminary Debates

Walnut Hills played a central role in the beginning of the Abolitionist movement that demanded an end to slavery in the United States. Lane Theological Seminary opened to students in 1833, and in February, 1834, the students organized a series of debates about slavery. The students voted overwhelmingly that slavery should end immediately. The formerly[…]

James Bradley

James Bradley arrived in Walnut Hills in 1834 as a former slave who bought his own freedom. In the peculiar institution of slavery, African Americans found ways to shape their own destinies. Bradley seized upon many of the opportunities available to enslaved people in a story of entrepreneurial genius. On a plantation in Arkansas he[…]