In 1799 David Hudson (1761-1836) set out from his home in Goshen, Connecticut, to survey land he had acquired in the Western Reserve. He returned in 1800 with his family and a group of settlers and founded a town, which was named Hudson in his honor. His home, built in 1806, is the oldest frame house in the Western Reserve and the earliest documented location of Underground Railroad activity in Hudson. On January 5, 1826, his son, David Hudson, Jr. (1805-1836) wrote in his diary: "Two men came this evening in a sleigh, bringing a Negro woman, a runaway slave, and her two children." Hudson's home is frequently documented as a regular stop on the Underground Railroad.
Hudson was an early anti-slavery advocate, but like many of his generation, he was a strong supporter of the colonization movement. He founded Western Reserve College in 1826 and served as a trustee. David Hudson, along with fellow trustees Harvey Coe and Caleb Pitkin, who also strongly supported colonization, became heavily embroiled in the abolition/colonization controversy and debates at the College in 1832/1833.
"The Colonization Society have no controversy with abolitionists about the moral right or the inhumanity of slavery. On these points the advocates for colonization will talk as long and plead as earnestly and with as much candor as the advocates for abolition...When we look at the difficulties attending this benevolent enterprise at every step, we see it both naturally and morally impossible, in a moment or a year to set all the blacks in our land free, and raise them to an equality of intelligence, power and privilege with the whites. And we very much doubt whether it ever can be done in this country."
From the Telegraph & Observer, February 7, 1833, signed by David Hudson, Caleb Pitkin, Harvey Coe, dated Feb. 4, 1833.