Aunty Polly Jackson was a bold and fearless black woman who took up arms to protect and safeguard runaway slaves from anti-abolitionists and white slavers. Dressed like an old woman, Aunty Polly was able to perfectly disguise herself while she would carry a butcher’s knife and a pot of boiling water to fight off anti-abolitionists who attempted to recapture black people who escaped slavery. She was a conductor at the famous Underground Railroad.
To understand Aunty Polly Jackson’s contribution to the fight against slavery, we must first draw into context the source of her heroics.
As slavery faced opposition in America from the 18th to the early 19th century, the protests and outbursts of slave rebellions were not helping enslaved Africans in America gain their freedom. Therefore, this led them to devise other cunning ways to grasp freedom. It didn’t take much time until the Underground Railroad System was created in the 1800s. Some estimates say the Underground Railroad helped to guide one hundred thousand enslaved people to freedom. The Underground Railroad was a covert escape route meant to assist slaves to escape harsh conditions in the South and attain freedom in the North or in Canada where they would be given lands and jobs to kickstart a fresh life. These routes were what was known as the Underground Railway.
The establishment of the Underground Railroad seemingly caused the loss of slaves owned by white enslavers which caused a massive setback in their income and production. Thus, the anti-abolitionists came up with the Reverse Underground Railroad system where slaves were recaptured and brought back to their plantations or sold to new owners.
Aunty Polly Jackson was one of the fiercest and most courageous conductors of the Underground Railroad alongside Harriet Tubman. She gained a reputation for combatting anti-abolitionist and helping the black runaway slaves escape to their freedom.
Polly Jackson similarly escaped enslavement and faced hardships typical of the plight of black people like her. Aunt Polly had escaped north along the Ohio River and clenched freedom in a Negro settlement called Africa in the state of Ohio. Africa was a settlement created by blacks who escaped slavery. The settlement created an avenue where fugitives were given an opportunity to own lands and create life afresh for their families. Aunt Polly was able to buy land and settle on a farm in Africa.
Africa was located along the Northern route of the Underground Railroad. As a result, in a show of unity, residents of Africa often helped victims of raids by anti-abolitionists. Well, it came with a price as the Underground Railroad was often raided by anti-abolitionists. These sad events led Aunt Polly to make the bold decision to help her people.
Polly Jackson was so successful at fighting off anti-abolitionist that she gained a laudable reputation in Africa. This also came with threats as she was now placed under the radar of the anti-abolitionists. Polly reinvented her techniques by attacking her foes at night. She used her butcher’s knife to stab and cut the anti-abolitionists, also throwing the pot of boiling water at the men.
Her method of pouring boiling hot water on a number of anti-abolitionists caused her to be popularly known. Aunt Polly became famous for her bravery and strength. She, along with others fighting for the freedom of enslaved blacks, helped to deter and eventually eliminate the anti-abolitionist system.
Although little was known about Aunty Polly Jackson’s birth and death, it cannot stop us from recognizing her contribution to making sure that her people were free and led decent lives.