Charles Vanderhoop, Jr. Oral History

Capt. Charles Vanderhoop | The Gay Head Underground Railroad

In an excerpt from a 2000 interview, Wampanoag Captain Charles Vanderhoop, Jr. (1921 – 2001) recounts the stories he was told by his grandmother of his great-grandmother Beulah Vanderhoop’s activities aiding persons fleeing north to escape from slavery during the mid-1800s. An isolated outpost and a hub on maritime trade routes, Martha’s Vineyard was well-situated as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag and most likely others on the Island who were sympathetic to the causes of freedom and escape from persecution, provided assistance, as Beulah Vanderhoop did, hiding escaped slaves under a false floor in the family’s barn until transportation was arranged for the next steps in their flight to freedom. Charlie tells of how his great-grandmother’s assistance was repaid after Emancipation by persons grateful for her help.

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Title The Gay Head Underground Railroad
Date 2000
Type Oral History
Thematic Collection Oral History
Interviewer Linsey Lee
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