And she knew how to communicate—and gather intelligence—without being caught. She would, for example, sing certain songs, or mimic an owl, to signify when it was time to escape or when it was too dangerous to come out of hiding. She also mailed coded letters and sent along messengers.
How did the slaves communicate about the Underground Railroad?
Spirituals, a form of Christian song of African American origin, contained codes that were used to communicate with each other and help give directions. Some believe Sweet Chariot was a direct reference to the Underground Railroad and sung as a signal for a slave to ready themselves for escape.
How did Harriet Tubman communicate with slaves?
Harriet Tubman and other slaves used songs as a strategy to communicate with slaves in their struggle for freedom. Coded songs contained words giving directions on how to escape also known as signal songs or where to meet known as map songs.
How did escaped slaves communicate along the Underground Railroad?
Supporters of the Underground Railroad used words railroad conductors employed everyday to create their own code as secret language in order to help slaves escape. Underground Railroad code was also used in songs sung by slaves to communicate among each other without their masters being aware.
How did the slaves communicate with each other?
Slaves from different countries, tribes and cultures used singing as a way to communicate during the voyage. They were able to look for kin, countrymen and women through song. These songs were influenced by African and religious traditions and would later form the basis for what is known as “Negro Spirituals”.
How did Harriet Tubman get involved in 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 use the Underground Railroad?
Harriet Tubman was an escaped enslaved woman who became a “ conductor ” on the Underground Railroad, leading enslaved people to freedom before the Civil War, all while carrying a bounty on her head.
Was the Underground Railroad an actual railroad?
Nope! Despite its name, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad in the way Amtrak or commuter rail is. It wasn’t even a real railroad. The Underground Railroad of history was simply a loose network of safe houses and top secret routes to states where slavery was banned.
How did slaves communicate to each other in plantations?
Through singing, call and response, and hollering, slaves coordinated their labor, communicated with one another across adjacent fields, bolstered weary spirits, and commented on the oppressiveness of their masters.
What methods did slaves use to escape?
Freedom seekers used several means to escape slavery. Most often they traveled by land on foot, horse, or wagon under the protection of darkness. Drivers concealed self-liberators in false compartments built into their wagons, or hid them under loads of produce. Sometimes, fleeing slaves traveled by train.
How did Harriet Tubman help the slaves escape?
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 escape slavery herself?
Tubman herself used the Underground Railroad to escape slavery. In late 1850, after hearing of the upcoming sale of one of her nieces, Tubman headed back down south, embarking on the first of nearly two dozen missions to help other enslaved people escape as she had.
How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans?
How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans? It provided a network of escape routes toward the North. In his pamphlet Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, on what did David Walker base his arguments against slavery? They feared that the abolition of slavery would destroy their economy.
Underground Railroad Secret Codes : Harriet Tubman
Supporters of the Underground Railroad made use of the following words: Railroad conductors were hired on a daily basis to construct their own code as a secret language in order to assist slaves in escaping. The railroad language was chosen since it was a new mode of transportation at the time, and its communication language was not widely used. Secret code phrases would be used in letters sent to “agents” in order to ensure that if they were intercepted, they would not be apprehended. A form of Underground Railroad code was also utilized in slave songs to allow slaves to communicate with one another without their owners being aware of their activities.
|Agent||Coordinator, who plotted courses of escape and made contacts.|
|Baggage||Fugitive slaves carried by Underground Railroad workers.|
|Bundles of wood||Fugitives that were expected.|
|Conductor||Person who directly transported slaves|
|Drinking Gourd||Big Dipper and the North Star|
|Flying bondsmen||The number of escaping slaves|
|Forwarding||Taking slaves from station to station|
|Freedom train||The Underground Railroad|
|French leave||Sudden departure|
|Gospel train||The Underground Railroad|
|Stockholder||Those who donated money, food, clothing.|
|Load of potatoes||Escaping slaves hidden under farm produce in a wagon|
|Operator||Person who helped freedom seekers as a conductor or agent|
|Parcel||Fugitives that were expected|
|Patter roller||Bounty hunter hired to capture slaves|
|Preachers||Leaders of and spokespersons for the Underground Railroad|
|River Jordan||Ohio River|
|Shepherds||People who encouraged slaves to escape and escorted them|
|Station||Place of safety and temporary refuge, a safe house|
|Station master||Keeper or owner of a safe house|
Following that will be Songs of the Underground Railroad. Underground Railroad codes, coded language, coded music, Underground Railroad followers, underground railroad, supporters of the Underground Railroad Underground Railroad is a subcategory of the category Underground Railroad.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad
Taking a look at Harriet Tubman, who is considered the most renowned conductor on the Underground Railroad, our Headlines and Heroes blog. Tubman and those she assisted in their emancipation from slavery traveled north to freedom, occasionally crossing the Canadian border. While we’re thinking about the Texas origins of Juneteenth, let’s not forget about a lesser-known Underground Railroad that ran south from Texas to Mexico. In “Harriet Tubman,” The Sun (New York, NY), June 7, 1896, p. 5, there is a description of her life.
- Prints Photographs Division is a division of the Department of Photographs.
- She then returned to the area several times over the following decade, risking her life in order to assist others in their quest for freedom as a renowned conductor of the Underground Railroad (also known as the Underground Railroad).
- Prior to the Civil War, media coverage of her successful missions was sparse, but what is available serves to demonstrate the extent of her accomplishments in arranging these escapes and is worth reading for that reason.
- Her earliest attempted escape occurred with two of her brothers, Harry and Ben, according to an October 1849 “runaway slave” ad in which she is referred to by her early nickname, Minty, which she still uses today.
- Photograph courtesy of the Bucktown Village Foundation in Cambridge, Maryland.
- Her first name, Harriet, had already been chosen for her, despite the fact that the advertisement does not mention it.
She had also married and used her husband’s surname, John Tubman, as her own.
Slaves from the Cambridge, Maryland region managed to evade capture in two separate groups in October 1857.
In what the newspapers referred to as “a vast stampede of slaves,” forty-four men, women, and children managed to flee the situation.
Tubman and the majority of her family had been held in bondage by the Pattison family.
While speaking at antislavery and women’s rights conferences in the late 1800s, Tubman used her platform to convey her own story of slavery, escape, and efforts to save others.
There are few articles regarding her lectures during this time period since she was frequently presented using a pseudonym to avoid being apprehended and returned to slavery under the rules of the Federal Fugitive Slave Act.
“Harriet Tribbman,” in “Grand A.
Convention at Auburn, New York,” Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), January 21, 1860, p.
Convention in Auburn, New York,” Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), January 21, 1860, p.
A description of Harriett Tupman may be found in “A Female Conductor of the Underground Railroad,” published in The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA) on June 6, 1860, page 1.
In addition, when Tubman’s remarks were mentioned in the press, they were only quickly summarized and paraphrased, rather than being printed in their whole, as other abolitionists’ speeches were occasionally done.
With the rescue of Charles Nalle, who had escaped slavery in Culpeper, Virginia, but had been apprehended in Troy, New York, where Tubman was on a visit, Tubman’s rescue attempts shifted from Maryland to New York on April 27, 1860, and continued until the end of the year.
At the Woman’s Rights Convention in Boston in early June 1860, when Tubman spoke about these events, the Chicago Press and Tribunereporter responded with racist outrage at the audience’s positive reaction to Tubman’s story of Nalle’s rescue as well as her recounting of her trips back to the South to bring others to freedom.
- Later media coverage of Tubman’s accomplishments was frequently laudatory and theatrical in nature.
- On September 29, 1907, p.
- This and several other later articles are included in the book Harriet Tubman: Topics in Chronicling America, which recounts her early days on the Underground Railroad, her impressive Civil War service as a nurse, scout, and spy in the Union Army, and her post-war efforts.
- In keeping with contemporary biographies such asScenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman(1869) and Harriet, the Moses of her People(1886), both written by Sarah H.
- Taylor, financial secretary at Tuskegee Institute, certain content in these profiles may have been embellished from time to time.
This request was made in an essay written by Taylor shortly before to the release of his book, “The Troubles of a Heroine,” in which he requested that money be delivered directly to Tubman in order to pay off the mortgage on her property so that she may convert it into a “Old Folks’ Home.” On March 10, 1913, Tubman passed away in the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged Negroes in Auburn, New York, where she had lived for the previous twelve years.
While these newspaper stories provide us with crucial views into Harriet Tubman’s amazing heroics, they also serve as excellent examples of the variety of original materials available inChronicling America. More information may be found at:
- Harriet Tubman: A Resource Guide
- Harriet Tubman: A Resource Guide
- Runaway! from Slavery in America: A Resource Guide
- Slavery in America: A Resource Guide Newspaper advertisements for fugitive slaves, as well as a blog called Headlines and Heroes Topics in Chronicling America: Fugitive Slave Advertisements
A Guide to Resources on Harriet Tubman Runaway! from Slavery in America: A Resource Guide; Runaway! from Slavery in America: A Resource Guide Newspaper advertisements for fugitive slaves, as well as a blog called Headlines and Heroes; Topics in Chronicling America: Fugitive Slave Advertisements
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.|
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
- Demonstrate how regional disparities in regard to slavery contributed to tensions in the years leading up to the American Civil War.
Harriet Tubman was faced with a dreadful decision in 1849, after having endured the harsh circumstances of slavery for 24 years and fearing that she would be separated from her family again, she had to choose. On the one hand, she desired the protection of her unalienable right to liberty, which would ensure that no one could unilaterally rule over her. To obtain it, on the other hand, she would have to leave her husband and family behind in order to do so. Tubman took the decision to flee slavery and the chains of servitude by rushing away to the North through the Underground Railroad, which was a network of people who assisted enslaved people in securely escaping slavery in the United States.
- Her mother and father were both abolitionists (many slaves, like Frederick Douglass, guessed at their birth year).
- When she was in her thirties, she married a free black man called John Tubman and changed her given name to Harriet in honor of her mother, who had died when she was young.
- This terrible life of hard labor and physical punishment produced lifelong scars from lashes and brain damage from uncontrolled beatings, which she carried with her for the rest of her life.
- When she refused, the man hurled a two-pound weight at her and whacked her in the head with it, breaking her skull.
- She had seizures and migraines for the remainder of her life, and she was hospitalized several times.
- After escaping to Pennsylvania on her own, Tubman went on to work as a conductor in the Underground Railroad, returning to the South on several occasions to assist others from slavery.
- Tubman’s voyages were aided by members of the Quaker church, who were opposed to slavery, as well as by numerous African Americans.
Tubman made the decision to assist others in fleeing because she thought that their freedom was more important than her own safety and that it was her obligation to assist those who were unable to flee on their own own.
She disguised herself in order to avoid being apprehended, and she faced several challenges in order to complete the travels.
Adding to the risk, in 1850, Congress passed a tougher Fugitive Slave Act, which permitted slave catchers to go to the northern United States and apprehend alleged runaway slaves, who were then returned to their masters.
Slaveholders placed advertisements in newspapers describing the runaways and offering monetary rewards, but abolitionists mobilized large groups of people to defend the runaways from slave hunters.
Faced with the ongoing threats, her strength, courage, drive, and sense of duty enabled her to confront them with dignity.
Harriet Tubman, depicted here in her older years, rose to prominence as a symbol of heroism and independence.
As a teacher in Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1862, she educated former enslaved people who were living in Union-controlled territory, according to her bio.
Navy ships, and she took part in the Combahee River Raid, which removed Confederate defenses from the region.
The packed ships aided in the emancipation of 750 slaves, many of whom enlisted in the Union Army to fight for the expansion of freedom.
To build the Home for the Aged in Auburn, New York, she sought assistance from abolitionists like as Fredrick Douglass, Susan B.
When she became too elderly and infirm to administer the house, she deeded the property to the Church of Zion, which agreed to take over management of the facility for her.
Harriet Tubman never lost sight of her sense that she had a responsibility to accomplish as much good as she could for as long as she had the ability to continue.
She was never apprehended, and she never lost sight of anybody she was guiding to freedom. The abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison dubbed her “Moses” because she had led her people out of slavery in the same way as the historical Moses did.
1. Why was the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 regarded as tougher than the acts it succeeded in replacing?
- It made it impossible for slaveholders to track down escaped enslaved folks. It allowed for heavier penalty for anyone who assisted fugitive enslaved individuals in their escape
- Therefore, Northerners who supported runaways would no longer face criminal prosecution. Its laws were applicable to the northern United States and Canada
Runaway enslaved individuals were not pursued by slaveholders because of this law. There was a tougher retaliation for individuals who assisted fugitive and enslaved people escape. Therefore, Northerners who supported runaways would no longer be penalized under the law. This act’s provisions apply to the northern United States as well as Canada.
- Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison, and John Calhoun are all historical figures.
What Christian denomination had a strong association with the anti-slavery campaign prior to the American Civil War? What Christian denomination was intimately engaged with the antislavery campaign in the years leading up to the Civil War?
- 3. Which Christian group was intimately engaged with the antislavery campaign prior to the American Civil War?
5. Harriet Tubman was referred to as “Moses” by William Lloyd Garrison since she was a descendant of Moses.
- Because of this, Harriet Tubman was dubbed “Moses” by William Lloyd Garrison.
6. With the passing of the Compromise of 1850, the subterranean railroad’s final goal shifted, owing to the fact that
- Canadian authorities ensured safe passage for fugitive slaves, and the completion of the Erie Canal made it easier and less expensive for them to reach New York City. There were numerous economic opportunities in the new western territories, but the new fugitive slave law increased the risks for escapees.
7. Even after the Civil War, Harriet Tubman demonstrated her conviction that she should do good for others by establishing the Harriet Tubman Foundation.
- Building a home for elderly and impoverished blacks in Auburn, New York
- Continuing to aid enslaved people in their escape from slavery by leading raids on southern plantations
- Disguising herself in order to escape from a Confederate prison and serve as a teacher
- Writing an inspiring autobiography detailing her heroic life
Free Response Questions
- Explain why Harriet Tubman made the decision to flee slavery in the first place. Give an explanation of how Harriet Tubman came to be known as “Moses.” Give an explanation as to why Underground Railroad operators like as Harriet Tubman, were forced, after 1850, to expand their routes to include Canada.
AP Practice Questions
The paths of the Underground Railroad are highlighted in red on this map. Please refer to the map that has been supplied. 1. The map that has been presented is the most accurate.
- The influence of the transportation revolution of the Jacksonian Era
- The limits of westward expansion
- Opposition to state and federal laws
- And the fall in cotton farming are all discussed in detail in this chapter.
2. What is the source of the pattern shown on the supplied map?
- 2. What is the source of the pattern shown on the map provided?
Lois E. Horton, ed., Harriet Tubman and the Fight for Freedom: A Brief History with Documents. Harriet Tubman and the Fight for Freedom: A Brief History with Documents. Bedford Books, Boston, Massachusetts, 2013.
Bordewich, Fergus M., ed., Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America’s First Civil Rights Movement (Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America’s First Civil Rights Movement). Amistad Publishing Company, New York, 2005. Catherine Clinton is the author of this work. Road to Freedom: Harriet Tubman’s Journey to Emancipation. Little Brown and Company, Boston, 2004. Eric Foner is the author of this work. Gateway to Freedom: The Underground Railroad’s Untold Story is a book on the history of the Underground Railroad.
Norton & Company, New York, 2015.
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.
The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the United States.
As a result, secret codes were developed to aid in the protection of themselves and their purpose.
Runaway slaves were referred to as cargo, and the free persons who assisted them on their journey to freedom were referred to as conductors.
Stations were the names given to the safe homes that were utilized as hiding places along the routes of the Underground Railroad. These stations would be identified by a lantern that was lighted and hung outside.
A Dangerous Path to Freedom
Traveling through the Underground Railroad to seek their freedom was a lengthy and risky trek for escaped slaves. Runaway slaves were forced to travel long distances, sometimes on foot, in a short amount of time in order to escape. They accomplished this while surviving on little or no food and with little protection from the slave hunters who were rushing after them in the night. Slave owners were not the only ones who sought for and apprehended fleeing slaves. For the purpose of encouraging people to aid in the capture of these slaves, their owners would post reward posters offering monetary compensation for assisting in the capture of their property.
- Numerous arrested fugitive slaves were beaten, branded, imprisoned, sold back into slavery, or sometimes killed once they were apprehended.
- They would have to fend off creatures that wanted to kill and devour them while trekking for lengthy periods of time in the wilderness, as well as cross dangerous terrain and endure extreme temperatures.
- The Fleeing Slave Law of 1850 permitted and promoted the arrest of fugitive slaves since they were regarded as stolen property rather than mistreated human beings under the law at the time.
- They would not be able to achieve safety and freedom until they crossed the border into Canada.
- Aside from that, there were Underground Railroad routes that ran south, on their way to Mexico and the Caribbean.
- He was kidnapped from his northern abode, arrested, and prosecuted in Boston, Massachusetts, under the provisions of this legislation.
- After the trial, Burns was returned to the harshness of the southern states, from which he had thought he had fled.
American Memory and America’s Library are two names for the Library of Congress’ American Memory and America’s Library collections.
He did not escape via the Underground Railroad, but rather on a regular railroad.
Since he was a fugitive slave who did not have any “free papers,” he had to borrow a seaman’s protection certificate, which indicated that a seaman was a citizen of the United States, in order to prove that he was free.
Unfortunately, not all fugitive slaves were successful in their quest for freedom.
Harriet Tubman, Henry Bibb, Anthony Burns, Addison White, Josiah Henson, and John Parker were just a few of the people who managed to escape slavery using the Underground Railroad system.
He shipped himself from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a box that measured three feet long, two and a half feet deep, and two feet in diameter. When he was finally let out of the crate, he burst out singing.
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
Train conductors on the Underground Railroad were free people who provided assistance to escaped slaves moving via the Underground Railroad system. By providing safe access to and from stations, conductors assisted fugitive slaves in their escape. Under the cover of night, with slave hunters on their tails, they were able to complete their mission. It’s not uncommon for them to have these stations set up in their own residences or enterprises. However, despite the fact that they were placing themselves in severe risk, these conductors continued to work for a cause larger than themselves: the liberation of thousands of enslaved human beings from their chains.
- They represented a diverse range of racial, occupational, and socioeconomic backgrounds and backgrounds.
- Slaves were regarded as property, and the freeing of slaves was interpreted as a theft of the personal property of slave owners.
- Boat captain Jonathan Walker was apprehended off the coast of Florida while transporting fugitive slaves from the United States to safety in the Bahamas.
- With the following words from one of his poems, abolitionist poet John Whittier paid respect to Walker’s bravery: “Take a step forward with that muscular right hand, brave ploughman of the sea!
- One of them was never separated from the others.
- Following that, he began to compose Underground Railroad:A Record of Facts, True Narratives, and Letters.
- One such escaped slave who has returned to slave states to assist in the liberation of others is John Parker.
Reverend John Rankin, his next-door neighbor and fellow conductor, labored with him on the Underground Railroad.
In their opposition to slavery, the Underground Railroad’s conductors were likely joined by others.
Individuals such as William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur and Lewis Tappan founded the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1848, which marked the beginning of the abolitionist movement in the United States.
Poems, paintings, essays, and other abolitionist content were published in an annual almanac published by the association.
It was via a journal he ran known as the North Star that he expressed his desire to see slavery abolished.
Known for her oratory and writing, Susan B.
“Make the slave’s cause our own,” she exhorted her listeners. With the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, author Harriet Beecher Stowe gave the world with a vivid portrait of the tribulations that slaves endured. The adventures of fleeing slave Josiah Henson served as the basis for most of her novel.
How Harriet Tubman and William Still Helped the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad, a network of people who assisted enslaved persons in escaping to the North, was only as strong as the people who were willing to put their own lives in danger to do so. Among those most closely associated with the Underground Railroad were Harriet Tubman, one of the most well-known “conductors,” and William Still, who is generally referred to as the “Father of the Underground Railroad.”
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and guided others to freedom
Strength came from individuals who were willing to put their own lives in danger to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom in the North, as seen by the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman, one of the most well-known “conductors,” and William Still, who is commonly referred to as the “Father of the Underground Railroad,” were among those who were most closely associated with the voyage to freedom.
William Still helped more than 800 enslaved people escape
Meanwhile, William Still was born in Burlington County, New Jersey, a free state, into a life of liberty and opportunity. The purchase of his freedom by his father, Levi Steel, occurred while his mother, Sidney, was on the run from slavery. In his early years, he came to the aid of a friend who was being pursued by enslaved catchers. He was still a child at the time. The Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery hired him in 1844 to work as a janitor and clerk at their Philadelphia offices.
Around this time, he began assisting fleeing enslaved persons by providing them with temporary lodging in the years leading up to the Civil War.
It is claimed that he escorted 800 enslaved persons to freedom over the course of his 14-year career on the route, all while maintaining meticulous records of their journeys.
More about Harriet Tubman’s life of service after the Underground Railroad can be found at this link.
Tubman made regular stops at Still’s station
Tubman was a frequent visitor at Still’s station, since she made a regular stop in Philadelphia on her way to New York. He is also said to have contributed monetarily to several of Tubman’s journeys. Her visits clearly left an effect on him, as evidenced by the inclusion of a section about her in his book, which followed a letter from Thomas Garrett about her ushering in arriving visitors. As Stillwright put it in his book, “Harriet Tubman had become their “Moses,” but not in the same way that Andrew Johnson had been their “Moses of the brown people.” “She had obediently gone down into Egypt and, through her own heroics, had delivered these six bondmen to safety.
But in terms of courage, shrewdness, and selfless efforts to rescue her fellow-men, she was without peer.
“While great anxieties were entertained for her safety, she appeared to be completely free of personal dread,” he went on to say.
will portray William Still, in the upcoming film Harriet. The film will explore the life and spirit of Tubman, and the role that Still had in guiding so many people on the road to freedom.
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
Background During the first half of the nineteenth century, the size and popularity of the railroad system in the United States contributed to the code names slaves and abolitionists used to describe the operations of the Underground Railroad, such as “passenger,” “cargo,” “station,” “depot,” “stockholder,” and “conductor,” which were used to describe the operations of the Underground Railroad. Because many slaves and abolitionists were well-versed in the bible, they often employed religious code phrases, such as “River Jordan,” “Heaven,” “Promised Land,” and “Moses,” to communicate their intentions.
The Underground Railroad’s facilitators, or conductors, were typically free black people in the North, formerly escaped slaves, and a Even though slaves had a more difficult time fleeing from the most southern states—such as Alabama and Mississippi—because they were surrounded by other slave-holding states, practically every state had some level of Underground Railroad activity throughout the period.
- To find out if there is a historic Underground Railway station near you, see this list of historic Underground Railway stations.
- Fugitive, escapee, and runaway are all phrases that imply that the individual who is fleeing forced labor is somehow at fault for seeking freedom from captivity or slavery.
- These and other vocabulary phrases, such as personal liberty statutes, redemption, and manumission, may be found on the National Park Service’s “Language of Slavery” webpage, which can be accessed by clicking here.
- To analyze how the importance of people and groups’ activities varies over time and is formed by the historical context, use questions produced about them to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is impacted by the historical context.
- North Carolina Standards for Secondary School History 12.9-12.
- The NCSS.D2.His.14.9-12 standard requires students to analyze many and complex causes and consequences of events that have occurred in the past.
- When creating a historical argument, it is important to distinguish between long-term causes and triggering events.
- Integrate evidence from numerous relevant historical sources and interpretations into a reasoned argument about the past.
Students could also look into the following persons and important words throughout these crucial years:
- Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1794
- The Slave Trade Ban was implemented in 1808
- Vestal and Levi Coffin established an escape route for slaves in 1820
- The Missouri Compromise was implemented in 1820
- Denmark Vesey founded Charleston in 1822
- Nat Turner founded Philadelphia in 1831
- The American Anti-Slavery Society was established in Philadelphia in 1833
- The Mexican-American War was implemented in 1846-1848
- Harriet Tubman founded Harpers Ferry in 1859
The Underground Railroad’s conductors were well-versed in how to take advantage of any and all available opportunities. Freedom-seekers rested during the day and traveled the majority of their long-distance (5-10 mile) journeys at night, when they were less likely to be seen. Whenever it was necessary to travel during the day on the train, passengers took on errands and activities to give the impression that they were employed by someone in the vicinity. In spite of the fact that fleeing during the winter may be risky due to the severely cold environment of the northern hemisphere, the winter provided significantly longer periods of darkness under which to seek refuge.
- The Underground Railroad, on the other hand, has spawned a great deal of legend surrounding the signals that comrades would transmit to one another.
- For further information on more songs from this era, please see the Music in African American History lesson on EDSITEment’s website.
- While historians are divided on whether or not songs and textiles may have been used to transmit secret messages in the Underground Railroad system, they remain vital components of African American culture in the nineteenth century, regardless of whether they were utilized to do so.
- For a more detailed account of an Underground Railroad site financed by the National Endowment for the Humanities, see The President of the Underground Railroad (also known as the Underground Railroad President).
- Activities for the Lesson
Activity 1. The Life of Harriet Tubman
All feasible angles were utilized by the Underground Railroad’s conductors to their advantage. Freedom-seekers rested during the day and traveled the majority of the journey (5-10 miles) at night, when they were less likely to be seen by onlookers. Even when traveling during the afternoon, travelers used their time to do errands and do chores to give the impression that they were employed by someone in the neighborhood. Winter might be a perilous season to leave owing to the severely cold environment of the northern hemisphere, but also provided far longer periods of darkness under which to seek refuge.
- As a result, a great deal of legend has developed around the signals that allies would transmit to one another while traveling on the Underground Railroad.
- In order to learn more about additional songs from this era, please see the Music in African American History lesson on EDSITEment’s website.
- While historians are divided on whether or not songs and textiles may have been used to transmit hidden messages in the Underground Railroad system, they remain vital components of African American culture in the nineteenth century, regardless of whether or not they were employed.
- To learn more about an Underground Railroad site financed by the National Endowment for the Humanities, visit this website.
- Activities for the Lesson Plan
- What attributes or abilities did Tubman possess that distinguished her as an especially effective leader on the Underground Railroad
- And In what ways did Tubman’s allies assist her, and who were they? Why should Harriet Tubman be regarded as a significant figure in the history of the United States
Activity 2. Conducting the Underground Railroad
Students can work in pairs or small groups to evaluate primary materials and reply to the questions that have been set forth by the instructor. All of the letters and papers that were utilized during this activity may be used into the mapping activity and evaluation process as well.
For the primary sources, students can work in pairs or small groups to study them and reply to the questions that accompany them. All of the letters and papers that were utilized during this activity may be used into the mapping activity and assessment process as well.
- Students can work in pairs or small groups to evaluate primary materials and reply to the questions that have been assigned to them. The letters and papers that were utilized during this exercise can be integrated into the mapping activity and assessment.
After reading this letter from Thomas Garrett to Harriet Tubman, take some time to discuss the following questions.
- What does Garrett have to say about Tubman’s personality
- What kind of knowledge does Garrett have regarding assisting freedom-seekers in their attempts to elude slavery? When it comes to Tubman, how does Garrett feel? Look for proof as well as inferences from his tone of voice
After reading about Harriet Tubman’s role in the Civil War and subsequently the records relating to her fight to collect recompense for her efforts, discuss the following questions with your classmates.
- After reading about Harriet Tubman’s role in the Civil War and subsequently the records pertaining to her fight to collect money for her efforts, discuss the following questions with your group.
Activity 3. Mapping the Underground Railroad
After reading about Harriet Tubman’s role in the Civil War and subsequently the papers connected to her fight to collect recompense for her efforts, discuss the following questions.
- States that are free and/or slave along the path
- During the winter months, the weather varies from state to state. Terrain (mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, and other natural features)
- How many miles does it take to get from point A to point B? If relevant, notable cities should be included.
In addition to utilizing Google maps to locate the Underground Railroad, students should examine the Historic Hudson’s People Not Property website to learn more about the railroad. This interactive website describes what it was like to be enslaved and how it felt, as well as the implications and trade-offs that enslaved people were forced to make on a regular basis in their efforts to oppose tyranny and emancipation. Lesson Extensions includes a list of maintained Underground Railroad locations in each state, which may be found farther down on this page.
Assessment The students will write a proposal to Congress in order to synthesize the information they have learned about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.
Among the options include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The depiction of Harriet Tubman on U.S. banknotes
- Considering naming a highway or other public place in her name
- Erecting a statue or monument in her honor The declaration of a national holiday every year
Students will argue for Tubman’s significance in history, what sort of recognition she should get, and why a certain day, location, and media was chosen. Students will use primary materials to support their arguments. Their submission should be backed with a prototype, mock-up, or simulation that will provide Congress an idea of what they would be receiving as an award. Students can submit their recommendations to their representatives once they have been reviewed by a teacher. Extensions to the Lesson
Historic Underground Railroad Sites
Students will argue for Tubman’s significance in history, what sort of recognition she should get, and why a certain day, location, and media was chosen. Students will use primary materials as evidence to support their arguments. In order to give Congress an understanding of what they are proposing, they should provide a prototype, mock-up, or simulation of the award.
Students can submit their recommendations to their elected representatives after they have been reviewed by a teacher or a committee. Extending the scope of the lesson
National Archival Collections
The National Park Service has put up a guide on using source documents (spirituals, almanacs, diaries, gazettes, calendars, maps, and so on) in the process of researching and interpreting the Underground Railroad (An extensive research guide on Harriet Tubman’s life and times has been compiled by the Library of Congress for additional examination. Featuring Eric Foner, author of Gateway to Freedom; Edna Greene Medford, professor of history at Howard University; and Adam Rothman, the National Archives’ documentary ” Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad ” was released in October 2012.
Regional Archival Collections
This is a small selection of institutions, humanities centers, and historical societies that make digitized photographs and information about things associated to the Underground Railroad available to the general public. For information on this period of American history in your region of the country, check with your local libraries, museums, and other comparable institutions. Delaware Florida Illinois Massachusetts New York is the capital of the United States. OhioPennsylvania Encyclopedias supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and State Humanities Councils