History Student Researches Lockport-Based Abolitionist

Lewis University History Student Researches Lockport-Based Abolitionist

Published: June 3, 2024.

The life of prominent orator and abolitionist Ichabod Codding of Lockport, Ill., and the movement of freedom seekers in the region are the focus of the summer internship of Lewis University student Lindsey Minas. The New Lenox student aims to uncover materials that contribute to preserving the rich history of the abolitionist movement and its unsung heroes.

Dr. Larry McClellan, who spoke at Lewis University in the spring about his recent book, "Onward to Chicago: Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad in Northeast Illinois" (SIU Press), is guiding Minas in her research on Codding.

“Lindsey already met with local historians and wrote to Swarthmore College, which holds Codding’s material. She is engaged in primary source research, gaining hands-on experience in the field of history, and earning course credit through her internship,” said Dennis H. Cremin, Director of the Lewis University History Center.

Throughout her internship, Minas will delve into Codding’s sermons, explore local records such as the Lockport census and cemetery records, and analyze historical newspaper articles. The pivotal figure in the abolitionist movement has largely faded from public memory. Hence, one of Minas' key objectives is to draft a National Park Service application to designate Codding’s gravesite as a monument within the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. 

Minas, a history major with a minor in international relations, is dedicated to pursuing further academic excellence. She plans to attend graduate school after next year to obtain a master's degree in history.

Lewis University is an innovative Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, and globally-connected graduates who impact the world for the better. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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