Thomas Bulla

Bulla Mw2

Several abolitionists in St. Joseph County had ties to the Underground Railroad, including Notre Dame’s neighbor. Fr. Sorin had started buying up parcels of land adjacent to campus, but one parcel in particular wasn’t purchased: that of local farmer Thomas Bulla. His home was a stop for fugitive slaves on their way to Canada seeking freedom. Bulla’s family had previously been fined for assisting runaway slaves in southern Indiana. Fr. Sorin knew of the goings on at the residence bordering campus, and the risk involved. Today the land is occupied by Grace and Flanner Halls on the northeast side of campus.