How Did Babies Escape On The Underground Railroad? (TOP 5 Tips)

How did the Underground Railroad help slaves escape?

  • Yet those willing to brave the risks did have one main ally: the Underground Railroad, a vast, loosely organized network of constantly-changing routes that guided Black people to freedom. All told, in the decades preceding the Civil War, up to 100,000 Black people escaped slavery.

How did slaves escape for kids?

The Underground Railroad was a term used for a network of people, homes, and hideouts that slaves in the southern United States used to escape to freedom in the Northern United States and Canada.

How the Underground Railroad worked for kids?

People who worked with the Underground Railroad cared about justice and wanted to end slavery. They risked their lives to help enslaved people escape from bondage, so they could remain safe on the route. Some people say that the Underground Railroad helped to guide 100.000 enslaved people to freedom.

What drug does Harriet Tubman use to keep babies quiet on the Underground Railroad?

OMGFacts on Twitter: “Harriet Tubman used Opium to keep small children quiet while smuggling them on the Underground Railroad.

How did slaves escape to the Underground Railroad?

Conductors helped runaway slaves by providing them with safe passage to and from stations. They did this under the cover of darkness with slave catchers hot on their heels. Many times these stations would be located within their own homes and businesses.

How did Harriet Tubman find out about the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad and Siblings Tubman first encountered the Underground Railroad when she used it to escape slavery herself in 1849. Following a bout of illness and the death of her owner, Tubman decided to escape slavery in Maryland for Philadelphia.

How did Harriet Tubman escape?

Tubman herself used the Underground Railroad to escape slavery. In September 1849, fearful that her owner was trying to sell her, Tubman and two of her brothers briefly escaped, though they didn’t make it far. For reasons still unknown, her brothers decided to turn back, forcing Tubman to return with them.

How many slaves did Levi Coffin help escape?

In 1826, he moved to Indiana and over the next 20 years he assisted more than 2,000 enslaved persons escape bondage, so many that his home was known as the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.”

Who built the Underground Railroad?

In the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia that helped enslaved people on the run.

How many slaves did Harriet Tubman free?

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”

How did Harriet Tubman quiet babies?

Since slavers were out and about, seeking fugitive slaves between Wilmington and Philadelphia, Harriet knew she had to keep her runaways hidden from sight and sound. She carried opium with her to give to babies to keep them quiet.

Why did Harriet Tubman wear a bandana?

As was the custom on all plantations, when she turned eleven, she started wearing a bright cotton bandana around her head indicating she was no longer a child. She was also no longer known by her “basket name”, Araminta. Now she would be called Harriet, after her mother.

How were runaway slaves caught?

Other slaves seeking freedom relied upon canoes. Some runaways pretended to be free blacks, Native Americans, or whites. Runaway slaves who were caught typically were whipped and sometimes shackled. Some masters sold recovered runaway slaves who repeatedly defied their efforts at control.

Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?

Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.

Kids History: Underground Railroad

Civil War is a historical event that occurred in the United States. During the American Civil War, the phrase “Underground Railroad” was used to describe a network of persons, residences, and hiding places that slaves in the southern United States used to flee to freedom in the northern United States and Canada. Is it possible that there was a railroad? The Underground Railroad wasn’t truly a railroad in the traditional sense. It was the moniker given to the method by which individuals managed to flee.

Conductors and stations are two types of conductors.

Conductors were those who were in charge of escorting slaves along the path.

Even those who volunteered their time and resources by donating money and food were referred to as shareholders.

  • Who was employed by the railroad?
  • Some of the Underground Railroad’s conductors were former slaves, such as Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery by way of the Underground Railroad and subsequently returned to assist other slaves in their escape.
  • They frequently offered safe havens in their houses, as well as food and other supplies to those in need.
  • B.
  • What mode of transportation did the people use if there was no railroad?
  • Slaves would frequently go on foot during the night.
  • The distance between stations was generally between 10 and 20 miles.

Was it a potentially hazardous situation?

There were those trying to help slaves escape, as well as those who were attempting to aid them.

In what time period did the Underground Railroad operate?

It reached its zenith in the 1850s, just before the American Civil War.

How many people were able to flee?

Over 100,000 slaves are said to have fled over the railroad’s history, with 30,000 escaping during the peak years before the Civil War, according to some estimates.

This resulted in a rule requiring that fugitive slaves who were discovered in free states be returned to their masters in the south.

Slaves were now had to be carried all the way to Canada in order to avoid being kidnapped once more by the British.

The abolitionist movement began with the Quakers in the 17th century, who believed that slavery was incompatible with Christian principles.

Ducksters’ Lewis Hayden House is located in the town of Lewis Hayden. The Lewis Hayden House functioned as a station on the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War. Information on the Underground Railroad that is both interesting and educational

  • Slave proprietors wished to be free. Harriet Tubman, a well-known train conductor, was apprehended and imprisoned. They offered a $40,000 reward for information leading to her capture. That was a significant amount of money at the time
  • Levi Coffin, a Quaker who is claimed to have assisted around 3,000 slaves in gaining their freedom, was a hero of the Underground Railroad. The most usual path for individuals to escape was up north into the northern United States or Canada, although some slaves in the deep south made their way to Mexico or Florida
  • Canada was known to slaves as the “Promised Land” because of its promise of freedom. The Mississippi River was originally known as the “River Jordan” in the Bible
  • Fleeing slaves were sometimes referred to as passengers or freight on railroads, in accordance with railroad nomenclature


  • This page is the subject of a ten-question quiz
  • Listen to an audio recording of this page being read: You are unable to listen to the audio element because your browser does not support it
  • Learn about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad by reading this article.

HistoryCivil WarHistoryCivil War Works Cited

Underground Railroad

The Civil War is one of the works cited.

The Underground Railroad Facts for Kids

  • The Underground Railroad was a network of people (both black and white) that assisted enslaved persons in their attempts to flee the southern United States. They did so by providing them with refuge and assistance. Although the specific date on which they began is unknown, it is most likely that they did so around the late 1800s. They persisted in their endeavors until the Civil War was concluded and slavery was abolished.

During the era of slavery in America, enslaved individuals were forced to flee to the northern United States. There were a variety of routes, locations, and persons that assisted them in doing this. Continue reading to find out more about the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was the name given to this network. Although it was not a railroad in the traditional sense, it had the same purpose: it assisted enslaved individuals in escaping large distances from their owners.


The Quakers were the first religious group to assist fugitive slaves. Quakers were a religious sect in the United States that adhered to the principles of nonviolence. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington claimed that Quakers attempted to free one of his enslaved employees. Isaac T. Hopper, a Quaker abolitionist, established a network in Philadelphia in 1800 to assist slaves who were on the run from their masters. At the same time, Quaker abolitionists founded societies in North Carolina that set the groundwork for routes and safe havens for runaway slaves.

They also assisted fleeing enslaved individuals.

How did the Underground Railroad work

It was in 1831 when a slave called Tice Davids managed to escape his master and make his way into Ohio, thus beginning the history of the Underground Railroad. According to the proprietor, Davids was aided in his escape by a “underground railroad.” Someone called Jim who was enslaved disclosed to people who tortured him that he intended to travel north along the “underground railroad” all the way to Boston in 1839, according to a Washington-based newspaper. It is not known whether or whether the Underground Railroad traveled via tunnels.

People who participated with the Underground Railroad were concerned about justice and wanted to see slavery put an end to its practice.

According to certain estimates, the Underground Railroad assisted in the emancipation of 100.000 enslaved individuals.

They started referring to it as the “Underground Railroad” after that.

The parts of the Underground Railroad

There was a hidden code that had something to do with the metaphor of the train:

  • A group of people known as “conductors” assisted fugitive slaves by leading them to safety. Stations were the locations where fugitive slaves were housed until they could be reunited with their families.
  • Individuals involved in the hiding of slaves were referred to as “station masters.”
  • ‘Passengers’ refer to people who are going along the routes and are also referred to as ‘travelers.’
  • Cargo: Those who had made it to the safe homes were referred to as the “cargo.”

Vigilance committees were organisations that were formed to defend fugitive slaves from bounty hunters who were pursuing them. They quickly began assisting other enslaved individuals in their attempts to elude capture by leading them down the Underground Railroad. People who worked on the Underground Railroad almost always did it on their own. They did not appear to be a part of any group. There were many people from many occupations and walks of life there, including those who had formerly been enslaved.

They were in danger of being apprehended since they were carrying out this operation at night and because there was a significant distance between safe places where the runaways might seek refuge from slave hunters and flee.

Fugitive Slave Acts

There were a set of federal statutes known as the Fugitive Slave Acts that allowed you to apprehend and return runaway enslaved persons. They were enacted in the year 1793. The first Fugitive Slave Act made it possible to return fugitive slaves to their masters while also imposing penalties on those who assisted them in their escape. Also noteworthy is that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 strengthened regulations about runaways and increased the severity of penalties for interfering with the capture of fugitives.

See also:  What Was The Weather Like When Harriet Tubman Was Traveling In The Underground Railroad? (Correct answer)

Solomon Northup, a free black musician who was kidnapped in Washington, DC, was one of the most well-known cases.

Following the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, all people were required to assist in the apprehension of slaves.

The Underground Railroad provided assistance to the vast majority of enslaved individuals, but mainly those in border states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland.

Helping the Underground Railroad

Across the country, bake sales were held to generate funds for the Underground Railroad in villages and cities. They raised money by selling meals, handcrafted trinkets, and items given by the public. A large number of individuals desire to purchase gifts for their family and friends during the Christmas season. It is possible that this tradition would not have begun without the assistance of abolitionists. They were able to assist by establishing exchange points where individuals could exchange gifts.

Some others, like as William Seward, encouraged others to flee, and he aided them in their efforts.

Having to juggle a variety of other responsibilities such as cooking, buying, and sewing was a positive thing for the women who had to do them because it made them feel like they were making a significant impact in the world by performing these modest actions.

Graceanna Lewis

Graceanna Lewis was one of the first three women to be accepted to the Academy of Natural Sciences, and she was the first female president of the Academy. Graceanna was not only one of the first professionally recognized female naturalists, but she was also a campaigner for abolition and social reform throughout her lifetime. In an early article, Graceanna Lewis invited other Quakers to join her and assist her in her endeavors.

The Lewis farm in Pennsylvania became a well-known station on the Underground Railroad, which assisted individuals in their quest for freedom. Aside from that, they offered clothing and provisions for persons fleeing slavery.

Harriet Tubman

She was an abolitionist who escaped from slavery and assisted other enslaved persons in their efforts to do the same. She also worked as a nurse and as a spy for the Union, and she was an advocate for women’s suffrage. Harriet Tubman is a well-known figure in American history because she accomplished so many remarkable things. Maryland was the place of Harriet Tubman’s birth. When she was a child, her given name was Araminta Ross. However, once her mother passed away, she changed her name to Harriet.

  • When Harriet was five years old, she was forced to work as a nursemaid for a group of white people, who would occasionally beat her if they were upset about anything that happened at the facility or if she didn’t perform what they demanded of her.
  • She took a step between the two and was struck instead.
  • They had to carry me to the home because I was bleeding and fainting.
  • However, the marriage was not going well, and Harriet’s brothers Ben and Henry were on the verge of being auctioned off.
  • Harriet Tubman traveled to Philadelphia in 1849 and then returned to Maryland, where she was able to save her family’s lives.
  • In the end, she was able to assist dozens of other individuals in their escape from slavery by going at night and in complete secrecy.
  • After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Harriet Tubman assisted in guiding fugitives farther north into British North America, where she died (Canada).
  • Harriet made a total of 19 journeys back to Maryland in order to obtain 300 slaves.
  • She was successful in rescuing her parents in 1857.
  • The American Civil War began.
  • She began her career as a chef and nurse, and then advanced to the position of armed scout and spy.

Ellen Craft

Some slaves used disguises to avoid detection. William Craft and his wife, Ellen, were able to elude enslavement. They were born in Macon, Georgia, but they fled to Philadelphia on Christmas Day, when the city was closed. They claimed to be a white guy and his servant in order to keep their true identities hidden from the public. Because they were enslaved, neither William nor Ellen had the ability to read or write. When they wanted to sign something, Ellen would put her arm in a sling to protect her arm from injury.

There were also other disguises used, such as slaves costumed as funeral procession groups. To avoid being immediately identified as slaves, some feigned to have vision or hearing difficulties in order to avoid being easily identified as such.

Special codes in the Underground Railroad

The slaves communicated with one another using codes to let them know when they were safe. When someone was coming to the station, the folks in charge would send someone down to a separate residence so that they would be aware of the situation. When the slaves came, several of them tossed pebbles at the person’s window to let him or her know they were there.


It was up to the slaves to communicate with one another in code to know when they were in danger. When someone was coming to the station, the officials in command would dispatch someone to a separate residence so that they would be aware of it. Upon arrival, several of the slaves began throwing pebbles at the window in order to alert the person of their presence in the building.


PS: If you appreciated what you read and are a teacher or tutor in need of materials for children ranging from kindergarten to high school seniors (or even adults!) please contact me. Thanks for reading! For additional information, visit our partner sitesKidsKonnect,SchoolHistory, andHelpTeaching, which each have hundreds of facts, worksheet, activities, quizzes, courses and other resources.

Underground Railroad

Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the southern United States by providing them with refuge and assistance. It came forth as a result of the convergence of numerous separate covert initiatives. Although the exact dates of its inception are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy were carried out in a less-secretive manner until the Civil War ended.

Quaker Abolitionists

The Society of Friends (Quakers) is often regarded as the first organized group to actively assist escaped enslaved persons. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Quakers for attempting to “liberate” one of his enslaved servants. Abolitionist and Quaker Isaac T. Hopper established a network in Philadelphia in the early 1800s to assist enslaved persons who were on the run from slavery. Abolitionist organisations founded by Quakers in North Carolina lay the basis for escape routes and safe havens for fugitive slaves during the same time period.

What Was the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.

By the 1840s, the phrase “Underground Railroad” had become part of the common lexicon in the United States. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:

How the Underground Railroad Worked

The majority of enslaved persons aided by the Underground Railroad were able to flee to neighboring states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made catching fugitive enslaved persons a lucrative industry in the deep South, and there were fewer hiding places for them as a result of the Act. The majority of fugitive enslaved people were on their own until they reached specific places farther north. The escaping enslaved people were escorted by individuals known as “conductors.” Private residences, churches, and schools were also used as hiding places throughout the war.

The personnel in charge of running them were referred to as “stationmasters.” There were several well-traveled roads that ran west through Ohio and into Indiana and Iowa.

The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.

Fugitive Slave Acts

Those enslaved persons who were assisted by the Underground Railroad were primarily from border states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland (see map below). Fugitive slave capture became a lucrative industry in the deep South after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, and there were fewer hiding places for escaped slaves as a result. Refugee enslaved persons usually had to fend for themselves until they reached specified northern locations. In the runaway enslaved people’s journey, they were escorted by people known as “conductors.” Private residences, churches, and schools were among the hiding spots.

Stationmasters were the individuals in charge of running them.

Others traveled north via Pennsylvania and into New England, while others passed through Detroit on their route to the Canadian border.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad during its heyday. When she and two of her brothers fled from a farm in Maryland in 1849, she was given the name Harriet (her married name was Tubman). She was born Araminta Ross, and she was raised as Harriet Tubman. They returned a couple of weeks later, but Tubman fled on her own again shortly after, this time making her way to the state of Pennsylvania. In following years, Tubman returned to the plantation on a number of occasions to rescue family members and other individuals.

Tubman was distraught until she had a vision of God, which led her to join the Underground Railroad and begin escorting other fugitive slaves to the Maryland state capital.

Tubman transported groups of fugitives to Canada on a regular basis, believing that the United States would not treat them favorably.

Frederick Douglass

In his house in Rochester, New York, former enslaved person and celebrated author Frederick Douglasshid fugitives who were assisting 400 escapees in their journey to freedom in Canada. Reverend Jermain Loguen, a former fugitive who lived in the adjacent city of Syracuse, assisted 1,500 escapees on their journey north. The Vigilance Committee was established in Philadelphia in 1838 by Robert Purvis, an escaped enslaved person who later became a trader. Josiah Henson, a former enslaved person and railroad operator, founded the Dawn Institute in Ontario in 1842 to assist fugitive slaves who made their way to Canada in learning the necessary skills to find work.

See also:  What Month Was The Underground Railroad In Use? (Perfect answer)

Agent,” according to the document.

John Parker was a free Black man living in Ohio who worked as a foundry owner and who used his rowboat to ferry fugitives over the Ohio River.

William Still was a notable Philadelphia citizen who was born in New Jersey to runaway slaves parents who fled to Philadelphia as children.

Who Ran the Underground Railroad?

The vast majority of Underground Railroad operators were regular individuals, including farmers and business owners, as well as preachers and religious leaders. Some affluent individuals were active, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who stood for president on two separate occasions. Smith acquired a full family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841 and freed them from their captivity. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, is credited with being one of the first recorded individuals to assist escaped enslaved persons.

Coffin stated that he had discovered their hiding spots and had sought them out in order to assist them in moving forward.

Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitive enslaved individuals no matter where he was.

John Brown

Abolitionist John Brown worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was at this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, which was dedicated to assisting fleeing enslaved individuals in their journey to Canada. Abolitionist John Brown would go on to play a variety of roles during his life. His most well-known duty was conducting an assault on Harper’s Ferry in order to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people at gunpoint. Ultimately, Brown’s forces were beaten, and he was executed for treason in 1859.

  1. The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved lady and her young daughter.
  2. Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.
  3. After being apprehended in 1844 while transporting a boatload of freed slaves from the Caribbean to the United States, Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was sentenced to prison for life.
  4. John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to assist in the rescue of enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their families as they made their way north.

Fairfield’s strategy was to go around the southern United States appearing as a slave broker. He managed to elude capture twice. He died in 1860 in Tennessee, during the American Reconstruction Era.

End of the Line

Operation of the Underground Railroad came to an end in 1863, during the American Civil War. In actuality, its work was shifted aboveground as part of the Union’s overall campaign against the Confederate States of America. Once again, Harriet Tubman made a crucial contribution by organizing intelligence operations and serving as a commanding officer in Union Army efforts to rescue the liberated enslaved people who had been freed. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.


Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad? ‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented.

Mother and two daughters traveled Underground Railroad to freedom

Mary Ennis and her two children, Lydia, who was seven years old, and Louisa Caroline, who was three years old, were the slaves of John Ennis of Georgetown. In the 1850s, Mary was expected to help out in the kitchen and on the farm, among other things. When Mary’s daughters Lydia and Louisa Caroline were babies, she considered utilizing the Underground Railroad to escape from Ennis, but she was afraid to take the risks associated with the lengthy and risky voyage to the free state of Pennsylvania.

  • This was too much for Mary to endure, and she committed suicide.
  • Slave suicides occurred after some slaves realized that they were being sold to plantation owners in the South.
  • A woman sold into slavery in Maryland killed herself and her child after learning that she had been sold into slavery.
  • “What is life worth in the middle of hunger, nakedness, and tremendous toil, under the constant threat of the lash?” a former slave pondered in his writing.
  • They began their journey to freedom during the dead of winter, when long nights and freezing weather prompted the majority of Sussex County citizens to stay at home and avoid being apprehended.
  • Winter storms, complete with snow, ice, and bone-chilling rain, might strike at any time without notice.
  • More: A $400K grant will be used to research African American history.
  • Despite the fact that slavery was on its way out in Delaware by the nineteenth century, the centuries-old practice of owning persons as property persisted in Sussex County.
  • Fugitive slaves may rest in safe homes in Sussex County, which was created by friendly citizens on their way northward from the southern United States.
  • A station on the Underground Railroad was established at Seaford, according to Charles L.
  • They were successful in reaching numerous Underground Railroad stations on their journey northward from Georgetown as Mary and her children continued their journey northward.

In spite of the harsh weather and the dangers of slave hunters, Mary Ennis and her children were able to escape and gain freedom. A life “amidst starvation, nakedness, and exorbitant toil, under the always raised whip” was no longer necessary for them.

Principal sources:

  • In William Still’s The Underground Railroad, A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, and Lettersc., Philadelphia: William Still Publisher, 1886, pp. 207-208
  • 481-485. In William Still’s The Underground Railroad, a Record of Facts, authentic Narratives, and lettersc. Berkley Books published a book by Charles Blockson, The Underground Railroad, Dramatic Firsthand Accounts of Daring Escapes to Freedom (New York, 1987), which has a page count of 146.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad, a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada, was not run by any single organization or person. Rather, it consisted of many individuals – many whites but predominently black – who knew only of the local efforts to aid fugitives and not of the overall operation. Still, it effectively moved hundreds of slaves northward each year – according to one estimate,the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850. An organized system to assist runaway slaves seems to have begun towards the end of the 18th century. In 1786 George Washington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes.” The system grew, and around 1831 it was dubbed “The Underground Railroad,” after the then emerging steam railroads. The system even used terms used in railroading: the homes and businesses where fugitives would rest and eat were called “stations” and “depots” and were run by “stationmasters,” those who contributed money or goods were “stockholders,” and the “conductor” was responsible for moving fugitives from one station to the next.For the slave, running away to the North was anything but easy. The first step was to escape from the slaveholder. For many slaves, this meant relying on his or her own resources. Sometimes a “conductor,” posing as a slave, would enter a plantation and then guide the runaways northward. The fugitives would move at night. They would generally travel between 10 and 20 miles to the next station, where they would rest and eat, hiding in barns and other out-of-the-way places. While they waited, a message would be sent to the next station to alert its stationmaster.The fugitives would also travel by train and boat – conveyances that sometimes had to be paid for. Money was also needed to improve the appearance of the runaways – a black man, woman, or child in tattered clothes would invariably attract suspicious eyes. This money was donated by individuals and also raised by various groups, including vigilance committees.Vigilance committees sprang up in the larger towns and cities of the North, most prominently in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. In addition to soliciting money, the organizations provided food, lodging and money, and helped the fugitives settle into a community by helping them find jobs and providing letters of recommendation.The Underground Railroad had many notable participants, including John Fairfield in Ohio, the son of a slaveholding family, who made many daring rescues, Levi Coffin, a Quaker who assisted more than 3,000 slaves, and Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom.

Slavery in America for Kids and Teachers, American Civil War

In William Still’s The Underground Railroad, A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, and Letters (c.), Philadelphia: William Still Publisher, 1886, pp. 207-208 and 481-485, respectively. Berkley Books published a book by Charles Blockson, The Underground Railroad, Dramatic Firsthand Accounts of Daring Escapes to Freedom (New York, 1987), which has a chapter on the Underground Railroad.

For Teachers

Free American Civil War Lesson Plans, Classroom Activities, Simulations, Debates, Role Play, Projects, and Maps are available on the internet.

Pathways to Freedom

What was the Underground Railroad?The Underground Railroad was a secret network organized by people who helped men, women, and children escape from slavery to freedom. It operated before the Civil War (1861-1865) ended slavery in the United States. The Underground Railroad provided hiding places, food, and often transportation for the fugitives who were trying to escape slavery. Along the way, people also provided directions for the safest way to get further north on the dangerous journey to freedom.Enslaved people escaping North would often stay in “safe houses” to escape capture.These houses were owned by people, both black and white, who were sympathetic to the cause.The people who helped enslaved people escape were called “conductors” or “engineers.” The places along the escape route were called “stations.” Sometimes those escaping were called “passengers.” Sometimes they were called “cargo” or “goods.” Conductors helped passengers get from one station to the next. Sometimes they traveled with people escaping all the way from the South, where they had been enslaveed, to the North or to Canada, where they would be free. Sometimes the conductors traveled only a short distance and then handed those escaping to another helper. Engineers, who were the leaders of the Underground Railroad, helped enslaved people who were running away by providing them with food, shelter, and sometimes jobs. They hid them from people who were trying to catch them and return them to slavery.A well-organized network of people, who worked together in secret, ran the Underground Railroad. The work of the Underground Railroad resulted in freedom for many men, women, and children. It also helped undermine the institution of slavery, which was finally ended in the United States during the Civil War. Many slaveholders were so angry at the success of the Underground Railroad that they grew to hate the North. Many northerners thought that slavery was so horrible that they grew to hate the South. These people who hated each other were ready to go to war when the time came.Why was it called that?«back to About home
See also:  How Long Was The Underground Railroad Journey? (TOP 5 Tips)

Underground Railroad Facts for Kids

Introduction: The Underground Railroad is the term given to a covert network that began in the early nineteenth century with the goal of assisting freed African slaves in their attempts to escape slavery. People from a range of backgrounds led the campaign, including white abolitionists, free blacks, freed slaves, and escaped slaves, among others. The movement was neither subterranean nor did it have any connection to the railroad. Actually, the name was a symbolic phrase that indicated the secrecy with which the movement operated as well as the convoluted pathways used by runaway slaves and their abettors in order to flee from southern slave states to northern free states or Canada.

  1. They were dissatisfied with the circumstances in which they were held and the manner in which they were treated by their ruthless white masters.
  2. Some slaves took it a step farther and managed to get away from their captors.
  3. Once they were out of the slave states, the fleeing slaves didn’t have much to worry about.
  4. The bulk of slaves opted to go to Canada, where slavery was prohibited, in order to avoid being seized by slave catchers who were on the lookout for them even in free states.
  5. The perpetrators of this movement utilized a variety of railway terms to characterize the many components of the system they were attempting to bring down.
  6. A slave who had gotten a ticket was referred to as ‘having purchased a ticket.’ A single conductor was in charge of carrying passengers from one station to another, after which the passengers were passed over to the next conductor in the line of duty.
  7. In order to avoid detection, fugitives and their conductors traveled exclusively at night, walking an average of 30 kilometers each night to reach a station where they could rest and conceal themselves during the day.
  8. Notable Leaders of the Movement: Harriet Tubman was one of the most famous and active leaders of the movement during its early years.
  9. After 13 journeys to the south, she was able to help more than 70 slaves be freed.
  10. The Civil War was triggered by the issue of slavery, which pitted the Union against the Confederacy.
  11. Slavery was proclaimed illegal by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution at the conclusion of the American Civil War.

Despite the fact that a large majority of escaped slaves decided to settle in Canadian territory, their experiences there were not particularly positive. Although slavery had been abolished in the country, racial inequality was still widespread in the community.

Eastern Illinois University : Teaching with Primary Sources

However, many of the intriguing and lesser known elements of the Underground Railroad are not included in many textbooks, despite the fact that it is an essential part of our nation’s history. It is intended that this booklet will serve as a window into the past by presenting a number of original documents pertaining to the Underground Railroad. Broadsides, prize posters, newspaper clippings, historical records, sheet music, pictures, and memoirs connected to the Underground Railroad are among the primary sources included in this collection.

  1. The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the United States.
  2. As a result, secret codes were developed to aid in the protection of themselves and their purpose.
  3. Runaway slaves were referred to as cargo, and the free persons who assisted them on their journey to freedom were referred to as conductors.
  4. These stations would be identified by a lantern that was lighted and hung outside.

A Dangerous Path to Freedom

However, many of the intriguing and lesser known elements of the Underground Railroad are not included in many textbooks, despite the fact that it is a vital part of our country’s history. This pamphlet will give a glimpse into the past through a range of primary documents pertaining to the Underground Railroad, which will be discussed in detail. Broadsides, prize posters, newspaper clippings, historical records, sheet music, pictures, and memoirs relating to the Underground Railroad are among the primary sources included in this collection.

The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the American Civil War.

Consequently, secret codes were developed to assist them in protecting themselves and their purpose.

It was the conductors that assisted escaped slaves in their journey to freedom, and the fugitive slaves were known as cargo when they were transported.


Train conductors on the Underground Railroad were free persons who provided assistance to escaped slaves moving via the Underground Railroad system. Runaway slaves were assisted by conductors, who provided them with safe transportation to and from train stations. They were able to accomplish this under the cover of darkness, with slave hunters on their tails. Many of these stations would be in the comfort of their own homes or places of work, which was convenient. They were in severe danger as a result of their actions in hiding fleeing slaves; nonetheless, they continued because they believed in a cause bigger than themselves, which was the liberation thousands of oppressed human beings.

  • They represented a diverse range of ethnicities, vocations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Due to the widespread belief that slaves were considered property, the freeing of slaves was perceived as a theft of slave owners’ personal belongings.
  • Captain Jonathan Walker was apprehended off the coast of Florida while attempting to convey slaves from the United States to freedom in the Bahamas.
  • With the following words from one of his songs, abolitionist poet John Whittier paid respect to Walker’s valiant actions: “Take a step forward with your muscular right hand, brave ploughman of the sea!
  • She never lost sight of any of them during the journey.
  • He went on to write a novel.
  • John Parker is yet another former slave who escaped and returned to slave states in order to aid in the emancipation of others.

Rankin’s neighbor and fellow conductor, Reverend John Rankin, was a collaborator in the Underground Railroad project.

The Underground Railroad’s conductors were unquestionably anti-slavery, and they were not alone in their views.

Individuals such as William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur and Lewis Tappan founded the American Anti-Slavery Society, which marked the beginning of the abolitionist movement.

The group published an annual almanac that featured poetry, paintings, essays, and other abolitionist material.

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who rose to prominence as an abolitionist after escaping from slavery.

His other abolitionist publications included the Frederick Douglass Paper, which he produced in addition to delivering public addresses on themes that were important to abolitionists.

Anthony was another well-known abolitionist who advocated for the abolition of slavery via her speeches and writings.

For the most part, she based her novel on the adventures of escaped slave Josiah Henson.

Efforts of Abolitionists Telling Their Story:Fugitive Slave Narratives

Henry Bibb was born into slavery in Kentucky in the year 1815, and he was the son of a slave owner. After several failed efforts to emancipate himself from slavery, he maintained the strength and persistence to continue his struggle for freedom despite being captured and imprisoned numerous times. His determination paid off when he was able to successfully escape to the northern states and then on to Canada with the assistance of the Underground Railroad, which had been highly anticipated. The following is an excerpt from his tale, in which he detailed one of his numerous escapes and the difficulties he faced as a result of his efforts.

  1. I began making preparations for the potentially lethal experiment of breading the shackles that tied me as a slave as soon as the clock struck twelve.
  2. On the twenty-fifth of December, 1837, the long-awaited day had finally arrived when I would put into effect my previous determination, which was to flee for Liberty or accept death as a slave, as I had previously stated.
  3. It took every ounce of moral strength I have to keep my emotions under control as I said goodbye to my small family.
  4. Despite the fact that every incentive was extended to me in order to flee if I want to be free, and the call of liberty was booming in my own spirit, ‘Be free, oh, man!
  5. I was up against a slew of hurdles that had gathered around my mind, attempting to bind my wounded soul, which was still imprisoned in the dark prison of mental degeneration.
  6. Furthermore, the danger of being killed or arrested and deported to the far South, where I would be forced to spend the rest of my days in hopeless bondage on a cotton or sugar plantation, all conspired to discourage me.
  7. The moment has come for me to follow through on my commitment.
  8. This marked the beginning of the construction of what was known as the underground rail route to Canada.

For nearly forty-eight hours, I pushed myself to complete my journey without food or rest, battling against external difficulties that no one who has never experienced them can comprehend: “not knowing when I might be captured while traveling among strangers, through cold and fear, braving the north winds while wearing only a thin layer of clothing, pelted by snow storms through the dark hours of the night, and not a single house in which I could enter to protect me from the storm.” This is merely one of several accounts penned by runaway slaves who were on the run from their masters.

Sojourner Truth was another former slave who became well-known for her work to bring slavery to an end.

Green and many others, including Josiah Henson, authored autobiographies in which they described their own personal experiences.

Perhaps a large number of escaped slaves opted to write down their experiences in order to assist people better comprehend their struggles and tribulations; or perhaps they did so in order to help folks learn from the mistakes of the past in order to create a better future for themselves.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *