Statement of Significance (as of designation - April 5, 2005):
The town of Mount Pleasant was established in 1803 by Robert Carothers, an Irishman from Virginia, and Jesse Thomas, a Quaker from North Carolina. It is important for the role it played in the antislavery movement and the Underground Railroad. Incorportated in 1814, the town mecame a center for pork packing and shipping, and was especially successful in the milling industry. The strong Quaker population in Mount Pleasant preached and practiced its abolitionist views and published antislavery literature, such as Benjamin Lundy's "Genius of Universal Emancipation." A station on the Underground Railroad, the town was a refuge for fugitive slaves and a welcome home for free blacks. Local residents built and administered a school for free black children, and in 1848 established a Free Labor Store which sold no products produced by slave labor.