Below is an engraving of F. D. Parish from the July 1888 "Firelands Pioneer."
Francis Drake Parish was born in Ontario County, New York on December 20, 1796 to Elisha and Lois Wilder Parish. He moved to Ohio in 1820, and settled in Sandusky, Ohio in 1822. A publication from the Western Reserve Historical Society states that Parish was a "sound and able lawyer." Rush Sloane, another Sandusky abolitionist studied law under F. D. Parish.Mr. Parish took a deep interest in the history of the state of Ohio, and he helped to found the Firelands Historical Society. Mr. Parish had strong ties to Oberlin, Ohio. He served as acting president of Oberlin College when President James Fairchild was abroad. The Oberlin College Digital Collections features a portrait of F. D. Parish.
F. D. Parish was a well known abolitionist. The Ohio Historical Society's online exhibit "The African American Experience in Ohio" gives the following account of Parish's experience aiding fugitive slaves:
Two fugitive slaves from Kentucky were cared for at Parish's home and protected from arrest by their benefactor in February 1845. Parish subsequently helped the fugitives on their journey. In 1849, the Circuit Court of the U.S. for the District of Ohio fined Parish for the estimated value of the slaves at the time. This sum, together with court costs and legal expenses ($1,250) was paid by friends of Parish, who raised the necessary amount by subscriptions of one dollar each.
By the 1870's F.D. Parish had moved with his family to Oberlin. He died in 1886, and is buried with his wife and daughter in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. For more information about Underground Railroad activities in Sandusky, see the Sandusky History web site.