Catherine Coffin (White) (1803 - 1881) MP

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Birthplace: Guilford, North Carolina
Death: Died in Cincinnati, Ohio
Managed by: David White
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Catherine Coffin (White)

From Documenting the American South - Levi Coffin

On 28 Oct. 1824, Coffin married Catherine White at Hopewell Church, Guilford County. In 1826 they moved to Newport (now Fountain City), Wayne County, Ind., where they opened a store. Finding themselves on a route along which escaped slaves passed to free territory, they joined the movement known as the Underground Railroad, helping to shelter such people and arrange transportation to Canada and elsewhere. Maintaining two teams, Coffin journeyed at night over secret roads, carrying fugitives to hiding places from which others carried them on to safety. Among those so rescued from slavery was a nameless woman who carried her infant across the broken ice of the Ohio River while pursued by bloodhounds, eventually reaching the Coffin home. She was described as Eliza Harris in the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the phrase "Eliza crossing the ice" became a synonym for a narrow escape.

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Catherine Coffin's Timeline

Guilford, North Carolina
October 24, 1824
Age 21
Friends Meeting House, Guilford, North Carolina
August 1, 1825
Age 22
New Garden, Guilford, North Carolina
July 9, 1828
Age 25
Wayne, Indiana
September 15, 1831
Age 28
Wayne, Indiana
October 22, 1836
Age 33
Wayne, Indiana
August 14, 1839
Age 36
Wayne, Indiana
October 2, 1843
Age 40
Wayne, Indiana
May 22, 1881
Age 78
Cincinnati, Ohio