William Goodridge, circa 1855.
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William Goodridge utilized his railroad business to transport fugitive slaves.

Credit: York County Heritage Trust

From the 1830s until he went bankrupt in 1858, William C. Goodridge was one of Pennsylvania’s most successful African-American businessmen. Born in Maryland to a mother who was a slave and a father who was probably white, Goodridge used his railroad freight line to help blacks flee to safety along the Underground Railroad.

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