Austin F. Williams (1805-1885), a leading abolitionist in town, had the carriage house on this property constructed as the primary home for the Mende Africans of La Amistad during their stay in Farmington. Shortly after, he built his own home and converted the first structure to a carriage house. The carriage house is also associated with the Underground Railroad. In the rear of the carriage house, a trap door leads to a windowless basement where freedom seekers could easily hide. One freedom seeker who came to the Williams family was Henry Davis. After escaping from slavery in Virginia, he is believed to have gone home again to help other freedom seekers – at the risk of losing his own freedom. He survived and returned to Farmington to live on the Williams property as a farmer and farm manager for 70 years. After the Civil War, Austin Williams headed a local branch of the Freedmen’s Bureau, which sought jobs for emancipated formerly enslaved. The property is designated a National Historic Landmark. This home is privately owned and not open to the public.
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