Captain Abraham Johnson was a freed African American who, along with his wife and their five children, owned and operated sloops on the Hudson River dubbed, The Miriam and The Jane of Albany. Abraham appointed his son, John Johnson, as captain of the sloop Miriam, which traveled between Albany and New York City for trade.
A Chattel Mortgage in connection with the Johnson’s shipping business, found in the Albany County Hall of Records holdings. Two sloops/vessels are mentioned; the sloop Jane of Albany and the sloop or vessel the Martling.
Captain John Johnson built a house that would come to be known as the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence in Albany where his sister Harriet Myers née Johnson and his brother-in-law Stephen A. Myers lived. Myers was a former slave and an active abolitionist. The house that Johnson built became the headquarters for the abolitionist Vigilance Committee, an anti-slavery newspaper, and a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Stephen A. Meyers, local abolitionist, and
key organizer of The Hudson Valley Underground Railroad. (Photo credit: The Afro-American Press and Its Editors by Garland Penn.)
For additional information, please visit the following websites:
Thank you to our friends at the Underground Railroad Education Center in Albany. Please check them out if you’re in Albany!