(l-r) Jessica Wallace, Jammie Waterson, Kendall Rucker and
Ruth Andrews (lead artist) on a recent workday at the future mural site.
One section of the mural will depict Joseph Sanford of Boone County, Kentucky. Dr. Veta Tucker, Professor of English and Africian American Studies and Chair of the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission , writes of Joseph Sanford's experience:
"On Easter Sunday in 1847 when everything on the farm was quiet, Joseph Sanford and some of his friends left John Graves' farm in Boone County, Kentucky hoping never to come back. Joseph's wife and son and some of the others who left with Joseph that night lived on John Graves' brother's farm in nearby Kenton County. To avoid walking down the open roads, the freedom-seekers walked through the dark woods. It took them longer than usual to walk the twelve miles to Covington, Kentucky, but they made it before daylight. When they went down to the riverbank, there was no one there to row them across the Ohio River. They spotted a skiff, and all thirteen of them climbed in. The skiff was so overloaded that the water almost poured in the sides, but by sitting very still, they rowed across the river to the Ohio shore just as the sun came up. Joseph was very afraid that he would cross the path of someone who had seen him in Cincinnati before because he had driven his 'master's' wagon many times to Cincinnati to sell farm produce. Instead of familiar faces, however, the freedom-seekers met strangers they had never seen before. The strangers were slave-catchers who pretended to help Joseph Sanford and the others find a safe place to hide."