Died: January 30, 1900
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia
John P. Parker was born in Norfolk, Virginia , the
son of a white father and a slave mother. He was
sold to a slave agent from Richmond, Virginia at
Parker worker for two years at a foundry and the
New Orleans docks as a stevedore and purchased his
freedom from his earnings. The price of freedom
for John P.Parker in 1845 was $1800.
In 1845, Parker obtained a pass to travel north to
Indiana, where he was lured by the work offered in
foundries near New Albany or Jefferson, Indiana.
Near Cincinnati, Parker began his career as a
"conductor" on the Underground Railroad. Helping
a local Negro barber, Parker was able to remove
two young girls from Kentucky to freedom in
Indiana and Ohio.
"He devoted his life to forays in Kentucky, to
scouting on both sides of the Ohio River, to
taking care of the helpless slaves who had found
their way to Ohio and could not get across, to
actual fighting for them and against their
Parker before the Emanicipation Proclamation, took
an active role in removing an estimated 1000
slaves from bondage. Unlike other abolitionists
Parker remained separate from organized church
groups, which he viewed as an 'enemy of the people.'