William Parker: “Bold as a Lion”

This plaque commemorating William Parker, an escaped slave, stands next to the Christiana Underground Railroad Center at Historic Zercher’s Hotel in Christiana, PA. There we heard the story of Parker and the many with him who confronted Maryland slave owner Edward Gorsuch and his posse of slave catchers empowered by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. This armed confrontation would become known as the Christiana Riot of 1851, and was one of the many events that sparked a national debate about slavery leading up to the Civil War.