Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Home of Underground Railroad Conductor Investigated

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS—Jameson Jenkins was an African-American Underground Railroad conductor who lived five doors down from Abraham Lincoln. Built in the 1840s, historic maps show that his home was smaller than others in the neighborhood, and it had an irregular shape. Recent investigations at the site, conducted by researchers from the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Illinois State Museum, uncovered window glass, porcelain, buttons, cut nails, and animal bones. They also found a corner pier of the home. “It was about four feet down and tells us there is something left of Jenkins’ house,” said historian Tim Townsend. The house was demolished in the 1870s.