JERICHO - The story of African-American history on Long Island prior to the Civil War cannot be told without reference to the role a Jericho home played in helping slaves escape from the South.
The Jackson Malcolm House, located on Old Jericho Turnpike, served as a safe house for hundreds of runaway slaves. As a stop on the Underground Railroad, the home was owned by abolitionist Valentine Hicks, who taught slaves how to hide in plain sight.
"Being able to act like you were free meant a slave catcher wouldn't notice that you were out of place," says Underground Railroad historian Kathleen Velsor.
Velsor says about 450 slaves used the house for refuge.