Historical Markers
Daniel Kaufman Historical Marker
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Daniel Kaufman

Hershey/Gettysburg/Dutch Country Region


Marker Location:
Front & 3rd Streets, Boiling Springs

Dedication Date:
May 25, 2002

Behind the Marker

Daniel Kaufman was born in 1818 on a farm in Cumberland County. He married Catherine Fortenbaugh and established a home in present-day Boiling Springs.
Kaufman planned the village of Boiling Springs, shown here in this 1879 engraving.
 Boiling Springs, PA, 1879.

The case that vaulted Kaufman to national attention involved 13 Maryland slaves, including several young children, who he had assisted in their journey to freedom. Kaufman was brought to trial on charges of violating fugitive slave laws. The facts of the affair were in great dispute with some witnesses claiming that the plaintiff's agents offered them bribes to identify Kaufman as the guilty party. During the trial a black man named Cole (or Coal), serving as a witness for the plaintiff, described what happened:

"he found these persons in Chambersburg, and took them away as a friend; to help them along, and prevent them from being taken. They told him, as he testified, that they had been slaves in Maryland; that they were to be sold, and that to prevent their sale, they made their escape. He took them in the night to Shippensburg, from that to Miller's furnace, and finally to Kaufman, and put them in his barn in the morning, and shut the door, and called Kaufman, who inquired what was the matter. When Coal showed him the negroes in the barn, Kaufman told him to take them away, more than once, but finally agreed to let them stay till night, and agreed to give them something to eat."

Kaufman lost his case in local Cumberland County courts but found his guilty verdict - and $2,000 fine - reversed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the grounds that the case should have been tried in federal court. After two federal trials, Kaufman was finally convicted and sentenced to pay $4,000 in costs and damages. Abolitionist groups, and a wealthy brother-in-law, contributed to help pay the fine.
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