As a Seventh Day Baptist minister, Darwin Maxson embraced his integrity and unflinching convictions wholeheartedly. In an era dominated by slave laws, Darwin had a definitive rebelliousness and disregard for the law, especially as it threatened the lives of runaway slaves. Throughout the late 1850's and early 1860's, his house on Main Street in Alfred served as a “station” for the Underground Railroad. Despite the illegality of his actions, Darwin remained a steadfast, fearless, and vocal abolitionist.
In November of 1861, Darwin sacrificed his natural history professorship at A.U. to fight for the Union Army. Forced to resign in 1862 due to malarial fever, Darwin furthered his abolitionist interests and other causes through his ministry.