An Act to gradually abolish slavery was enacted in Pennsylvania on March 1, 1780. It was one of the first states to abolish slavery, yet slavery continued in Cumberland County until 1847, an additional 67 years. Slaves in the County worked in a variety of jobs, including as field hands and domestic workers. Other African American slaves were employed at iron plantations, tanneries, distilleries, and various mills.
The Undergound Railroad extended through Cumberland County, utilizing two main routes for fugitive slaves. One route passed through Pine Grove, Mt. Holly Springs, Boiling Springs, Mechanicsburg, and Harrisburg, before heading north. The second followed Walnut Bottom and Old York Roads, before entering Boiling Springs and continuing on to Harrisburg.Courtesy of Cumberland County Historical Society, Cumberland County, PA