By Sasha Huber & Petri Saarikko

Remedy For Freedom - The Underground Railroad on Staten Island
is about the history of the Underground Railroad in particular on Staten Island. The Underground Railroad was a network of clandestine routes and safe houses used by enslaved people in the United States to escape bondage during the early to mid-1800s. Abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, used the furtive network to aid freedom seeking, self-emancipators in finding safe refuge in northern states and Canada; often at a great threat of peril to themselves and their families.

Located at the opening of New York Harbor, Staten Island’s unique position at the confluence of the state’s most important waterways provided an unintentional path to freedom for determined self-emancipators. The Quarantine Station established at Tompkinsville by the State Legislature, was the examination point for all vessels foreign and domestic, seeking access to the ports in Manhattan. Additionally, Staten Island had two free communities of color on the North and South shores, and a small but strong enclave of abolitionists who called Staten Island home. This made the island an ideal gateway to liberty for many seeking freedom from slavery. 

Made in collaboration with historian Debbie-Ann Paige.

Remedies Universe: Sasha Huber & Petri Saarikko, Remedy For Freedom - The Underground Railroad on Staten Island, oil pastel and pigment of cotton, 230" x 62", 2019