How Is Abraham Lincoln Help At The Underground Railroad? (Solved)

How did Lincoln bring the transcontinental railroad to a close?

  • On July 1, 1862 after decades of US congressional debate and disagreement on a Transcontinental Railroad and an appropriate route the road should take, President Lincoln brought the debate to a close and brought the enterprise to life, all with a stroke of his pen.

Who helped with the Underground Railroad?

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.

Who built the Underground Railroad?

William Still, sometimes called “The Father of the Underground Railroad”, helped hundreds of slaves escape (as many as 60 a month), sometimes hiding them in his Philadelphia home. He kept careful records, including short biographies of the people, that contained frequent railway metaphors.

Who helped Harriet Tubman with the Underground Railroad?

Fugitive Slave Act She often drugged babies and young children to prevent slave catchers from hearing their cries. Over the next ten years, Harriet befriended other abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett and Martha Coffin Wright, and established her own Underground Railroad network.

What role did the Underground Railroad play?

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.

How successful was the Underground Railroad?

Ironically the Fugitive Slave Act increased Northern opposition to slavery and helped hasten the Civil War. The Underground Railroad gave freedom to thousands of enslaved women and men and hope to tens of thousands more. In both cases the success of the Underground Railroad hastened the destruction of slavery.

How did the Underground Railroad help slaves?

The Underground Railroad was a secret system developed to aid fugitive slaves on their escape to freedom. The free individuals who helped runaway slaves travel toward freedom were called conductors, and the fugitive slaves were referred to as cargo.

Who ended slavery?

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “all persons held as slaves… shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free,” effective January 1, 1863. It was not until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, in 1865, that slavery was formally abolished ( here ).

How many slaves did Harriet Tubman save on the Underground Railroad?

Fact: According to Tubman’s own words, and extensive documentation on her rescue missions, we know that she rescued about 70 people —family and friends—during approximately 13 trips to Maryland.

Why did Harriet Tubman help slaves escape?

The Underground Railroad and Siblings Following a bout of illness and the death of her owner, Tubman decided to escape slavery in Maryland for Philadelphia. She feared that her family would be further severed and was concerned for her own fate as a sickly slave of low economic value.

What strategies did Harriet Tubman use?

Unapologetically militant, Harriet Tubman used a variety of tactics to rescue fugitives and outwit slaveowners. She disguised herself as an insane, homeless Black man, and as a mentally impaired free woman; she and her cargo hid in trees, plodded through mud, and concealed themselves from bounty hunters.

How did the Underground Railroad help cause the Civil War?

The Underground Railroad physically resisted the repressive laws that held slaves in bondage. By provoking fear and anger in the South, and prompting the enactment of harsh legislation that eroded the rights of white Americans, the Underground Railroad was a direct contributing cause of the Civil War.

Was the Underground Railroad a railroad?

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.

The Underground Railroad – Lincoln Home National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)

When we talk about the Underground Railroad, we’re talking about the attempts of enslaved African Americans to earn their freedom by escaping bondage, which took place from the beginning of the Civil War to the end of the war. In every country where slavery existed, there was a concerted attempt to flee, first to maroon communities in remote locations far from settlements, then across state and international borders. Runaways were considered “fugitives” under the rules of the period because of their acts of self-emancipation, albeit in retrospect, the term “freedom seeker” appears to be a more fair description.

It’s possible that the choice to aid a freedom seeking was taken on the spur of the moment.

Freedom seekers traveled in a variety of directions, including Canada, Mexico, the United States West, the Caribbean islands, and Europe.

The Fugitive Slave Acts

Until the end of the Civil War, enslavement in the United States was considered lawful and acceptable. In contrast to the rhetoric of the Revolutionary War era about freedom, the new United States constitution safeguarded the rights of individuals to possess and enslave other people, including women. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 further reinforced these slaveholding rights, allowing for the return to captivity of any African American who was accused or simply suspected of being a freedom seeker under certain circumstances.

It was a $500 punishment for anybody who supported a liberator or just interfered with an arrest, a clear recognition of the significance and lasting influence on American society of the Underground Railroad phenomenon decades before it was given its official name.

Individuals in the North were brought face to face with the immoral issue by the spectacle of African Americans being reenslaved at the least provocation and the selling of abducted free African Americans to the South for slavery.

Those who aided freedom seekers in their attempts to flee were considered members of the Underground Railroad. “Buy us too,” says H.L. Stephens in his parting words. The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information.

Motivation of Freedom Seekers

Time period, geographic location, kind of agriculture or industry, size of the slaveholding unit, urban vs rural environment, and even the temperament and financial stability of the enslaver all influenced the degree to which people were enslaved. All of these experiences have one thing in common: the dehumanization of both the victim and the oppressor as a result of the demands of a system that treats human beings as property rather than as individuals. This element, probably more than any other, helps to explain why some people opted to escape and why their owners were frequently taken aback by their actions.

Many people were able to flee because they had access to knowledge and abilities, including reading, which gave them an advantage.

The slaves rebelled despite the fact that the slavery system was intended to train them to accept it.

Geography of the Underground Railroad

Wherever there were enslaved African Americans, there were those who were desperate to get away. Slavery existed in all of the original thirteen colonies, as well as in Spanish California, Louisiana, and Florida, as well as in all of the Caribbean islands, until the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) and the British abolition of slavery brought an end to slavery in the United States (1834). The Underground Railroad had its beginnings at the site of enslavement in the United States. The routes followed natural and man-made forms of movement, including rivers, canals, bays, the Atlantic Coast, ferries and river crossings, as well as roads and trails and other infrastructure.

Freedom seekers used their inventiveness to devise disguises, forgeries, and other techniques, drawing on their courage and brains in the process.

Commemoration of Underground Railroad History

Commemoration may only take place if local Underground Railroad figures and events have been discovered and documented. Primary materials, such as letters from the time period, court testimony, or newspaper articles, are used to verify the historical record. Education and preservation of the public are the following steps, which will be accomplished through the preservation of major locations, the use of authentic history in heritage tourism and educational programs, museum and touring exhibits, and commemorative sculpture.

Whenever a site has been paved over, changed, or reconstructed, a pamphlet, walking tour, school curriculum, road marker, or plaque might be used to educate the public about the significance of the location.

A local festival might be organized to bring the history of the area to the attention of the general public.

Uncovering Underground Railroad History

Despite years of assertions that the Underground Railroad’s history was shrouded in secrecy, local historians, genealogists, oral historians, and other researchers have discovered that primary sources describing the flight to freedom of many enslaved African Americans have survived to the present day. It is becoming clearer that the slaves were determined to pursue their own and their families’ freedom, as evidenced by court documents, memoirs of conductors and freedom seekers, letters, runaway advertisements in newspapers, and military records.

A lot of the time, no one has been able to piece together the parts of freedom seekers’ narrative by looking at their starting and ending locations, let alone the moments in between.

Anthony Burns is a writer who lives in New York City.

Unknown Underground Railroad Heroes

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman, known as the “Moses of her people,” and Frederick Douglass, a freedom seeker who rose to become the greatest African American leader of his time, are two of the most well-known figures linked with the Underground Railroad. Both were from the state of Maryland. Those seeking freedom, on the other hand, came from every part of the world where slavery was legalized, even the northern colonies. Harriet Jacobs arrived from North Carolina, where she had spent the previous seven years hidden in her grandmother’s attic.

  • Louis and journeyed 700 miles until she reached Canada, where she sought sanctuary.
  • Lewis Hayden, his wife, and their kid were able to flee from slavery in Kentucky to freedom in Ohio thanks to the assistance of Delia Webster and Calvin Fairbanks.
  • Mary Ellen Pleasant, a black businesswoman from San Francisco, took in a fugitive named Archy Lee and hosted him in her house, setting the stage for an important state court case.
  • Coffin and Rankin are two white clergymen from the Midwest who aided freedom seekers in their efforts to gain their independence.
  • Residents of Wellington and Oberlin, Ohio, both black and white, stood up to slave hunters and refused to allow them to return John Price to his servitude in the state of Kentucky.
  • Charles Torrey, Leonard Grimes, and Jacob Bigelow were among the members of a multiracial network in Washington, D.C., who worked for years to assist individuals like as Ann Marie Weems, the Edmondson sisters, and Garland White in their quest for freedom.

William and Ellen Craft managed to flee over one thousand miles from Georgia to Boston by putting on a convincing disguise.

National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

In addition to coordinating preservation and education efforts across the country, the National Park Service Underground Railroad program integrates local historical sites, museums, and interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad into a mosaic of community, regional, and national stories. The Network also seeks to foster contact and collaboration between scholars and other interested parties, as well as to help in the formation of statewide organizations dedicated to the preservation and investigation of Underground Railroad locations.

The Underground Railroad – Abraham Lincoln

When it came to the fight against slavery, the so-called “Underground Railroad” was one of the most useful tools the abolitionist movement had at its disposal. In the Northern United States and Canada, where slavery was illegal, this was the term given to a covert network of free African-Americans and whites who assisted slaves in escaping from their owners and gaining freedom from slavery. The Underground Railroad system was comprised of a network of barns and residences known as “safe houses” or “depots” that went from the southern United States up into the northeastern United States and Canada.

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Although it is unknown how many fugitive slaves traveled over the Underground Railroad to freedom, historians believe that as many as fifty thousand black people may have made their way to the free states or Canada through this route during the American Civil War.

In response to the burgeoning abolitionist movement, the network received an influx of new energy and resources, and an increasing number of runaway slaves took advantage of it to flee the Southern states.

Freedom-seekers who had purchased their freedom from their owners and relocated to the North included former slaves like Frederick Douglass who, after successfully escaping from slavery themselves, risked their lives and freedom on a number of occasions in order to aid other slaves.

1820-1913), an escaped slave who made nineteen perilous voyages back into slave country to assist more than three hundred runaways, was the most well-known of the black “conductors.” White abolitionists also contributed to the cause, despite the fact that they were fully aware that they would be severely punished if their acts were detected.

  • Torrey, who assisted hundreds of runaways in their escape after being imprisoned for his efforts.
  • The men and women who worked on the Underground Railroad were courageous, but their heroism was equaled by that of the fleeing slaves who sought refuge on the Underground Railroad.
  • But throughout the mid-nineteenth century, hundreds of slaves fled for freedom every year, going through uncharted country at night with the knowledge that Harriet Tubman (far left) was standing with a group of slaves she assisted in their escape via the Underground Railroad at the time.
  • Those who managed to flee the slave states that bordered the North, such as Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia, constituted the majority of fugitive slaves who fled the South.
  • In fact, some fugitive slaves from the Deep South chose to remain in the region because they believed they would not be able to make it all the way to the North if they attempted to do so.
  • Others hid in isolated areas where there were few people to be found.
  • Finally, some slaves fleeing the Deep South were able to seek shelter in Mexico, where slavery had been abolished since the 19th century.

Slave patrols were formed by white inhabitants in southern localities to prowl the countryside and enforce the laws of slavery.

Additionally, officials from the South pressed the North to enforce the nation’s runaway slave laws.

A runaway slave clause had been inserted in the United States Constitution, and this statute, known as the Fugitive Slave Law, was simply a more stringent version of that article.

Slaveholders wishing to recover control of their “property” were prohibited from interfering with their efforts under the law.

Runaway slaves were rendered even more difficult to recapture in 1842, when the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that enraged slaveholders throughout the Southern United States (South).

Pennsylvania, a slaveholder could still “seize and recapture his slave, whenever he can do so without disruption of the peace, or any criminal violence,” even if he did so without violating the law.

However, the Court’s judgment also ruled that the Northern states were not obligated to assist the Southern states. Continue reading at this link: Slave Catchers are individuals who capture slaves. Was this article of assistance?

The Underground Railroad

The so-called “Underground Railroad” was one of the most effective tools in the abolitionist movement’s arsenal in the fight against slavery. In the Northern United States and Canada, where slavery was illegal, this was the term given to a covert network of free African-Americans and whites who assisted slaves in escaping from their owners and gaining freedom from slavery. In order to transport slaves from the South to the North, a network of barns and residences known as’safe houses’ or ‘depots’ was built up from the South into the North.

Although it is unknown how many runaway slaves traveled over the Underground Railroad to freedom, historians believe that as many as fifty thousand black people may have made their way to the free states or Canada through this route in the 1860s.

In response to the burgeoning abolitionist movement, the network received an influx of new energy and resources, and an increasing number of fugitive slaves took advantage of it to flee the Southern plantations.

Freedom-seekers who had purchased their freedom from their owners and relocated to the North included former slaves like Frederick Douglass who, after successfully escaping from slavery themselves, risked their lives and freedom on a number of occasions in order to aid other slaves in their plight.

1820-1913), an escaped slave who made nineteen perilous voyages back into slave country to assist more than three hundred runaways, was the most well-known of the African-American “conductors.” Although they were aware that they would be severely punished if their acts were detected, white abolitionists contributed to the cause as well.

  1. Torrey, who assisted hundreds of runaways in their escape.
  2. Fugitive slaves were as courageous as the men and women who ran the Underground Railroad, and their bravery was equaled by the men and women who worked on the railroad itself.
  3. Every year throughout the mid-nineteenth century, however, hundreds of slaves fled for freedom, going across uncharted area by night with the knowledge that Harriet Tubman (far left) stood with a group of slaves she assisted in their escape via the Underground Railroad.
  4. It’s possible that enraged slavecatchers are only a few minutes away.
  5. Despite the fact that attempting to flee from these states was extremely risky, slaves from these states did not have to travel nearly as far as slaves from Alabama or Mississippi in order to reach territory where slavery was prohibited.
  6. As a result, others went to great southern towns such as Charleston, where they hoped to blend in with the free black community that existed there.
  7. This included the Florida Everglades, where escaped slaves were assisted by the Seminole Indians who had established their home in the swamps.

While slave governments tried numerous methods to prevent runaway slaves from escaping, runaway slaves remained a major problem for the South from the 1830s until the Civil War began in 1861.

Aiming to apprehend fugitives and scare slaves who might be contemplating emancipation, these patrols were set up.

South Carolina relied heavily on a runaway slave statute passed in 1793 as its principal fugitive slave legislation.

As a result, slaveholders were able to recover fugitive slaves who were hiding in the free states of America, and the Northern courts and legal authorities were obligated to assist the slaveowners in their endeavors.

The Underground Railroad, it became obvious by the late 1830s, was helping runaway slaves dodge slave patrols and slavecatchers dispatched to the North in order to reunite with their families in freedom.

According to the Court’s decision in Prigg v.

In addition, the Court declared that the Northern states were not obligated to assist the Southern states in their legal battles. You may find more information about this by visiting: Traps for Slaves This article was a big help.

Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, near the city of Baltimore. Douglass learned to read and write the alphabet from the wife of one of his masters when he was a kid. Later, she was told she couldn’t continue since slave literacy was prohibited in Maryland at the time. Young Douglass persisted in his schooling, seeing that knowledge may be “the bridge from slavery to freedom.” 1 Following his firsthand encounter with the brutality and moral inequalities of slavery, Frederick Douglass was twenty years old when he successfully escaped to the North in 1838 by impersonating a free black sailor and going through the Underground Railroad.

  1. Douglass was formally a free man upon his arrival in New York City in 1838, but he was also acutely aware that much more needed to be done to free others who were still held in slavery.
  2. Abolitionist and editor of The Liberator William Lloyd Garrison introduced Douglass to the cause in 1841, and the two became friends.
  3. 2 After relocating to Rochester, New York, in 1843, he and his wife, Anna Murray-Douglass, began helping the transit of enslaved fugitives to Canada via the Underground Railroad.
  4. Douglass, shown here in 1876, was the most photographed man in nineteenth-century America, according to the National Portrait Gallery.

Please Show Me More In 1845, Frederick Douglass became the most renowned African-American man in the country, thanks to the publication of his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, and the foundation of his own antislavery newspaper, The North Star, two years later.

  • Meanwhile, his impassioned remarks explaining the moral indignities of slavery drew widespread national attention and helped to increase the support of abolitionism across the United States of America.
  • I respond; it is a day that, more than any other day of the year, shows to him the heinous injustice and cruelty of which he is the perpetual victim, and I respond accordingly.
  • At this very moment, there is no other nation on the face of the planet that is guilty of activities that are more horrific and brutal than the people of the United States.
  • American voters were presented with a crowded ballot that included four candidates: Abraham Lincoln (Republican), John C.
  • Douglas (Democrat), and John Bell (Independence Party) (Constitutional Union).
  • Frederick Douglass endorsed Lincoln and the Republicans, believing they were more antislavery than the divided Democrats.
  • Despite receiving less than forty percent of the popular vote, Abraham Lincoln was elected president and received the majority of votes in the United States House of Representatives.

Lincoln for the anti-slavery movement in America?

The election of Lincoln.

But perhaps most significantly, it indicated the potential of electing, if not an Abolitionist, but someone with an anti-slavery reputation to the position of President of the United States.

The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information.

Abraham Lincoln’s real opinions on slavery were more complex and nuanced than the label “Great Emancipator” may suggest.

Although his moral fury over slavery was evident upon his inauguration, he made no political attempt to create a strategy to free millions of individuals who had been enslaved throughout the country.

Early in his administration, he attempted to appease slave states by retaining their constitutional right to continue the institution of slavery.

In many respects, Lincoln’s genuine emotions towards slavery were obscured by his determination to keep the Union together during the Civil War.

During Lincoln’s presidency, the two leaders had a tense relationship that was difficult to navigate.

Following emancipation, Lincoln, along with many other antislavery leaders, feared that black and white Americans would be unable to peacefully cohabit in the United States.

8 A delegation of important black leaders (which, oddly enough, did not include Frederick Douglass) was invited to the White House on August 14, 1862, to address these views with President Abraham Lincoln, who hosted them there.

You may feel that you will be able to live in Washington or elsewhere in the United States for the rest of your days.

What do you do on the Fourth of July, according to an American slave?

Your celebration is a fake in his eyes.

Douglass’ Monthly, which he edited, featured a blistering reaction by Frederick Douglass: When Mr.

Despite the fact that he was elected as an anti-slavery candidate by Republican and Abolitionist voters, Mr.

10 Douglass was severely critical of Lincoln’s sluggishness toward emancipation and his support for the racial roots of colonization, but he had a great deal of respect for the president, especially when the Emancipation Proclamation was implemented on January 1, 1863.

in his own peculiar, cautious, forbearing, and hesitating way, slow, but we hope certain, has, while the loyal heart was near breaking with despair, proclaimed and declared: That on the first of January, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand, Eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state, the people of which shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be 11 Douglass praised President Lincoln for his decision and assured readers that it was legitimate: “Abraham Lincoln may be slow, Abraham Lincoln may desire peace even at the cost of leaving our terrible national sore untouched, to fester on for generations, but Abraham Lincoln is not the man to reconsider, retract, and contradict words and purposes solemnly proclaimed over his official signature,” Douglass wrote in the article.

  1. Despite continuous fighting in the Civil War, Douglass devoted his time and energy to recruiting African-American troops and advocating for equitable pay and treatment for those who enrolled.
  2. He also printed broadsides of his recruiting address, “Men of Color to Arms!” in March 1863.
  3. The president was asked to improve the treatment of African-American troops who are fighting to rescue the country during this meeting, and he agreed.
  4. Furthermore, Douglass brought attention to the need of African-American participation in the Union cause, and Lincoln granted him authority to recruit throughout the South.
  5. Douglas’s mass-produced broadside imploring men of color to join the Union cause was printed in large quantities.
  6. Please Show Me More Dougiss was invited back to the White House a year after his first visit in order to discuss Lincoln’s emancipation efforts.
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Prior tensions between the two men began to dissipate during this conversation, and Douglass wrote in his memoirs that “what was said on this day demonstrated a stronger moral commitment against slavery than I had ever seen previously in anything he said or wrote.” After President Lincoln’s second inauguration in 1865, Douglass had one final meeting with him.

  1. to hear the president’s address, and he sought to pay him a visit at the White House later in the day after.
  2. Douglass, on the other hand, was able to manoeuvre his way into the East Room, where he was warmly welcomed by his former adversary turned friend.
  3. I noticed you in the audience today, listening intently to my inauguration address.
  4. “I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on it.” The encounter, in which Douglass was addressed by President Abraham Lincoln as a “man among men,” had a lasting impact on him and he carried it with him for the rest of his life.
  5. Photograph of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, taken in 1898, courtesy of the National Park Service.
  6. Following his death, First Lady Mary Todd was in charge of the administration.
  7. 18 Lincoln’s friend, critic, and advisor Frederick Douglass may have best characterized his feelings for the president in a speech made at the dedication of the Freedman’s Monument in Washington, D.C., in 1876: “As a friend, critic, and counsel to Abraham Lincoln,” Douglass said.

He was the outstanding President of the white man’s country, who was completely committed to the welfare of white men.

The Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C., which was built with donations from liberated African Americans all throughout the country and dedicated in 1868, is housed in the Library of Congress.

20During the Reconstruction era, Frederick Douglass continued to battle for racial equality, focusing on African-American voting rights, women’s suffrage, and equality for all Americans.

Marshal of the District of Columbia under Presidents Ulysses S.

Hayes, as Recorder of Deeds under President James Garfield, and as Consul General to Haiti under President Benjamin Harrison.

His impact is immeasurable: a man born into slavery who rose to become the leader of a movement and a pathfinder who highlighted the route to equality at a time when there was great discrepancy in wealth and opportunity for all.

Washington and William E. B. Du Bois, who carried the cause of Douglass’s legacy forward into an uncertain century. We would like to express our gratitude to Ka’mal McClarin of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for his support with this piece.

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What was the Underground Railroad? : Harriet Tubman

The Underground Railroad was established in the early nineteenth century and reached its zenith between 1850 and 1860, when it was at its most active. It’s possible that reliable numbers on fleeing slaves who used the Underground Railroad may never be discovered because so much of what we know now comes from narratives written after the Civil War. Between 1810 and 1860, it is estimated that over 100,000 slaves managed to escape using the network. In the upper south, the bulk of slaves were transported from slave states that bordered free states such as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland; very few slaves were transported from the Deep South.

Various Underground Railroad routes were discovered.

Why was it called Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad; it was a network of people and ideas. Due to the network’s clandestine actions being secret and illegal, it was necessary for them to remain “underground” in order to aid fleeing slaves in their efforts to remain hidden from the authorities. Historically, the word “railroad” was used to describe a developing transportation system whose proponents communicated in secret through the usage of railroad code (also known as railroad code).

The homes where fugitives would rest and dine were referred to as “stations” or “depots,” and the owner of the property was referred to as the “station master,” while the “conductor” was the person in charge of transporting slaves from one station to the next, among other things.

Secret codes and phrases are included in this exhaustive collection.


With no clearly defined routes, the Underground Railway was a loosely structured network of linkages rather than a well-organized network of connections. They assisted slaves in their journey to freedom by providing them with housing and transportation. Small groups of supporters were formed independently; the majority of them were familiar with a few connecting stations but were unfamiliar with the complete trip. This technique maintained the confidentiality of those participating while also reducing the likelihood of infiltration.

There was no one path, and there were most likely a number of them.

These locations are listed on the website of the National Park Service.

The majority of them traveled on foot and hid in barns or other out-of-the-way locations such as basements and cupboards.

In major cities such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, committees were created to address the issue. These committees generated cash to assist fugitives in resettling by providing them with temporary lodging and employment referrals.

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

Until 1850, fugitives had a minimal probability of being apprehended while residing in free states. Following the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Actas part of the Compromise of 1850, the Underground Railroad was diverted to Canada as its final objective, with the United States being the final destination. In newly constructed settlements in Southern Ontario, tens of thousands of slaves were resettled. In an instant, their work became more difficult and perhaps dangerous. A $1000 fine or six months in jail was imposed on anybody who assisted slaves.

Slave catchers were lavishly compensated, and even free African Americans were subjected to re-education through the destruction of their free documents.

The end of the Underground Railroad

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in the Confederate states of the United States of America. Following the war’s conclusion, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865, thereby ending slavery in the whole United States and putting an end to the Underground Railroad’s operations throughout the country.

Supporters of the Underground Railroad

Black and white abolitionists, free blacks, Native Americans, and religious organizations such as the Religious Society of Friends, often known as Quakers and Congregationalists, were among those who sympathized with the network’s goals and objectives. It was the Quakers in Pennsylvania that issued the first demand for the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1688. Levi Coffin, William Still, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, Samuel Burris, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Joh Brown, Anderson Ruffin Abbott, Henry Brown, Obadiah Bush, Asa Drury, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Samuel Green, Gerrit Smith, Lucretia Coffin Mott, and Jermain Loguen are just a few of the most well-known supporters of the Underground Railroad: Levi Coffin, William Still, Frederick More information on the history of the Underground Railroad may be found at the following websites.

From the National Park Service’s Freedom Sites Network The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located in Washington, D.C.

Under the categories of “popular” and “underground railroad,”

Underground Railroad

When describing a network of meeting spots, hidden routes, passages, and safehouses used by slaves in the United States to escape slave-holding states and seek refuge in northern states and Canada, the Underground Railroad was referred to as the Underground Railroad (UR). The underground railroad, which was established in the early 1800s and sponsored by persons active in the Abolitionist Movement, assisted thousands of slaves in their attempts to escape bondage. Between 1810 and 1850, it is estimated that 100,000 slaves escaped from bondage in the southern United States.

A network of safe houses and abolitionists dedicated to emancipating as many slaves as possible assisted them in their escape, despite the fact that such activities were in violation of state laws and the Constitution of the United States.

Facts, information and articles about the Underground Railroad

Aproximate year of birth: 1780


The beginnings of the American Civil War occurred around the year 1862.

Slaves Freed

Estimates range between 6,000 and 10,000.

Prominent Figures

Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. William Still is a well-known author and poet. Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. John Fairfield is a well-known author.

Related Reading:

The Story of How Canada Became the Final Station on the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman’s Legacy as a Freedom Fighter and a Spion is well documented.

The Beginnings Of the Underground Railroad

Even before the nineteenth century, it appears that a mechanism to assist runaways existed. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with the assistance provided to one of his escaped slaves by “a organization of Quakers, founded for such purposes.” The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers as they are more officially known, were among the first abolitionist organizations to emerge. Their influence may have played a role in Pennsylvania becoming the first state to abolish slavery, which was home to a large number of Quakers.

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In recognition of his contributions, Levi is often referred to as the “president of the Underground Railroad.” In Fountain City, Ohio, on Ohio’s western border, the eight-room Indiana home they bought and used as a “station” before they came to Cincinnati has been preserved and is now a National Historic Landmark.

The Underground Railroad Gets Its Name

Owen Brown, the father of radical abolitionist John Brown, was a member of the Underground Railroad in the state of New York during the Civil War. An unconfirmed narrative suggests that “Mammy Sally” designated the house where Abraham Lincoln’s future wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, grew up and served as a safe house where fugitives could receive food, but the account is doubtful. Routes of the Underground Railroad It was not until the early 1830s that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was first used.

Fugitives going by water or on genuine trains were occasionally provided with clothing so that they wouldn’t give themselves away by wearing their worn-out job attire.

Many of them continued on to Canada, where they could not be lawfully reclaimed by their rightful owners.

The slave or slaves were forced to flee from their masters, which was frequently done at night. It was imperative that the runaways maintain their eyes on the North Star at all times; only by keeping that star in front of them could they be certain that they were on their trip north.

Conductors On The Railroad

A “conductor,” who pretended to be a slave, would sometimes accompany fugitives to a plantation in order to lead them on their journey. Harriet Tubman, a former slave who traveled to slave states 19 times and liberated more than 300 people, is one of the most well-known “conductors.” She used her shotgun to threaten death to any captives who lost heart and sought to return to slavery. The Underground Railroad’s operators faced their own set of risks as well. If someone living in the North was convicted of assisting fugitives in their escape, he or she could face fines of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which was a significant sum at the time; however, in areas where abolitionism was strong, the “secret” railroad was openly operated, and no one was arrested.

His position as the most significant commander of the Underground Railroad in and around Albany grew as time went on.

However, in previous times of American history, the phrase “vigilance committee” generally refers to citizen organizations that took the law into their own hands, prosecuting and hanging those suspected of crimes when there was no local government or when they considered the local authority was corrupt or weak.

White males who were found assisting slaves in their escape were subjected to heavier punishments than white women, but both were likely to face at the very least incarceration.

The Civil War On The Horizon

Events such as the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott decision compelled more anti-slavery activists to take an active part in the effort to liberate slaves in the United States. After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, Southern states began to secede in December 1860, putting an end to the Union’s hopes of achieving independence from the United States. Abolitionist newspapers and even some loud abolitionists warned against giving the remaining Southern states an excuse to separate. Lucia Bagbe (later known as Sara Lucy Bagby Johnson) is considered to be the final slave who was returned to bondage as a result of the Fugitive Slave Law.

Her owner hunted her down and arrested her in December 1860.

Even the Cleveland Leader, a Republican weekly that was traditionally anti-slavery and pro-the Fugitive Slave Legislation, warned its readers that allowing the law to run its course “may be oil thrown upon the seas of our nation’s difficulties,” according to the newspaper.

Following her capture, Lucy was carried back to Ohio County, Virginia, and punished, but she was released at some time when Union soldiers took control of the region. In her honor, a Grand Jubilee was celebrated on May 6, 1863, in the city of Cleveland.

The Reverse Underground Railroad

A “reverse Underground Railroad” arose in the northern states surrounding the Ohio River during the Civil War. The black men and women of those states, whether or not they had previously been slaves, were occasionally kidnapped and concealed in homes, barns, and other structures until they could be transported to the South and sold as slaves.

The Underground Railroad and the Coming of War

The Underground Railroad served as a symbol for the abolition of slavery. Despite this, many textbooks refer to it as the official name of a covert network that formerly assisted fugitive slaves in their escape. The pupils who are more literal in their thinking begin to wonder whether these established escape routes were genuinely beneath the surface of the land. However, the phrase “Underground Railroad” is best understood as a rhetorical technique that was used to illustrate a point by comparing two entities that were diametrically opposed to one another.

  1. Understanding the origins of the term has a significant impact on its meaning and use.
  2. There could be no “underground railroad” until the general public in the United States became aware with genuine railways, which occurred throughout the 1830s and 1840s.
  3. The term also draws attention to a particular geographic direction.
  4. Even while slaves fled in every direction on a map, the metaphor delivered its most potent punch in areas that were closest to the nation’s busiest railroad stations.
  5. Also, why would they want to compare and irrevocably link a large-scale operation to assist escaped slaves with a well-organized network of hidden railways in the first place?
  6. Abolitionists, or those who pushed for the abolition of slavery as soon as possible, desired to publicize, and possibly even inflate, the number of slave escapes and the depth of the network that existed to help those fugitives in order to gain public support.
  7. This appeared to be a potentially deadly game to several of the participants.

According to his Narrativein 1845, “I have never approved of the very public manner in which some of our western friends have conducted what they call theunderground railroad,” warning that these mostly Ohio-based (“western”) abolitionists were establishing a “upperground railroad” through their “open declarations.” The public’s awareness of slave escapes and open disobedience of federal law only grew in the years that followed, especially when the contentious Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed.

Anxious fugitives and their accomplices retaliated with greater force this time around.

A former slave called William Parker was aided to escape to Canada by him in September 1851 after Parker had organized a resistance movement in Christiana, Pennsylvania that resulted in the death of a Maryland slaveholder and the confusion of federal officials.

The infamously strict statute was used to prosecute just around 350 fugitive slave cases between 1850 and 1861, with none of them taking place in the abolitionist-friendly New England states after 1854.

Students sometimes appear to image escaped slaves cowering in the shadows, while cunning “conductors” and “stationmasters” constructed sophisticated covert hiding spots and coded communications to aid spirit fugitives on their route to freedom in the nineteenth century.

An alternative explanation for the Underground Railroad should be offered in terms of sectional divisions as well as the onset of the Civil War.

When American towns felt endangered in the nineteenth century, they turned to extra-legal “vigilance” clubs for assistance.

Almost immediately, though, these organizations began providing protection to fugitive slaves who had escaped from their masters.

Many now-forgotten personalities such as Lewis Hayden, George DeBaptiste, David Ruggles, and William Still were instrumental in organizing the most active vigilance committees in cities such as Boston, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia during the era of the Great Depression.

It was via these vigilance groups that the Underground Railroad came to be regarded as the organized core of the network.

The vigilance concept was imitated during the 1840s, when William Parker established a “mutual protection” group in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and when John Brown established his League of Gileadites in Springfield, Massachusetts, respectively.

They kept their secrets close to their chests, but these were not clandestine operators in the way of France’s Resistance.

vigilance agents in Detroit crammed newspaper pages with information regarding their monthly traffic volume.

One entrepreneurial individual circulated a business card with the words “Underground Railroad Agent” written on the back.

In addition to being available for classroom use, a surprising amount of this covert material may be found online.

The book presents the fascinating materials he collected while serving as the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee’s head of research and documentation.

And the amount of literature about the Underground Railroad that is readily available is growing all the time.

How could they disclose their presence and run the danger of being apprehended if they kept documents detailing their illicit activities?

Aside from the security provided by state personal liberty statutes, those assisting fleeing criminals sometimes benefited from an overarching unwillingness across the North to support federal action or reward southern authority.

Attempts to pass personal liberty or anti-kidnapping legislation in northern states, led by Pennsylvania, began as early as the 1820s.

The Supreme Court ruled in two important instances, Prigg v.

Booth (1859), that these northern personal liberty guarantees were unconstitutional and hence unenforceable.

They may also be surprised to learn that a federal jury in Philadelphia found the primary defendant in the Christiana treason trial not guilty after only fifteen minutes of deliberation.

This was the popular mood that was utilized by northern vigilance committees in order to keep their problematic efforts on behalf of fugitives going for as long as possible.

No well-known Underground Railroad worker was ever killed or sentenced to a considerable amount of time in prison for assisting fugitives once they crossed the Mason-Dixon Line or the Ohio River in the course of their work.

The branding of Jonathan Walker, a sea captain convicted of transporting runaways, with the mark “S.S.” (“slave-stealer”) on his hand was ordered by a federal marshal in Florida in 1844 after he was apprehended.

What did occur, on the other hand, was an increase in rhetorical violence.

The threats became more serious.

Following that, the outcomes affected the responses that eventually led to war.

The hunt for fugitives and those who assisted them served as a major catalyst for the nation’s debate about slavery, which began in 1850.

When measured in words, however, as seen by the antebellum newspaper articles, sermons, speeches, and resolutions prompted by the fugitive-hunting issue, the “Underground Railroad” proved to be a metaphor that served to spark the American Civil War in the most literal sense.

In Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, published by the Anti-Slavery Office in Boston in 1845, page 101 is quoted ().


Campbell’s book, The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law: 1850–1860 (New York: W.

Norton, 1970), contains an appendix that discusses this topic.

See, for example, Graham Russell Gao Hodges’ David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City (David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City) (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

To learn more about this, see Fergus M.


Douglass, Frederick, “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” in Park Publishing’s Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Hartford, CT: Park Publishing, 1881), p.


He is the author of Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home (2003) and the co-director of House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, both of which are located in Pennsylvania.

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