How Is The Underground Railroad Connected To Indiana? (TOP 5 Tips)

Commercial ferries crossing the Ohio River also provided means for fugitives to escape from Kentucky to Indiana. Beginning in the 1850s and continuing into the 1860s, some fugitives boarded trains such as the New Albany-Salem Railroad traveling north to Indianapolis.

What were the stations on the Underground Railroad?

  • William Jackson’s house in Newton, Massachusetts, was a “station” on the Underground Railroad. The Jacksons were abolitionists, people who worked to end slavery.

How did Indiana participate in the Underground Railroad?

Indiana played a large role in the Underground Railroad, helping thousands of escaped slaves safely travel through the Hoosier state. A stone tunnel was built to lead slaves to Carpenter’s basement, where they could hide until they were ready to be moved farther north.

Where did the Underground Railroad go through Indiana?

Indiana’s Underground Railroad The routes in Indiana went from Posey to South Bend; from Corydon to Porter; and from Madison to DeKalb County, with many stops in between.

Where did the Underground Railroad connect?

These were called “stations,” “safe houses,” and “depots.” The people operating them were called “stationmasters.” There were many well-used routes stretching west through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa. Others headed north through Pennsylvania and into New England or through Detroit on their way to Canada.

Were there slaves in Indiana?

Even with statehood, there was still slavery in Indiana. Despite slavery and indentures becoming illegal in 1816 due to the state constitution, the 1820 federal census listed 190 slaves in Indiana.

Was Indiana part of the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad in Indiana was part of a larger, unofficial, and loosely-connected network of groups and individuals who aided and facilitated the escape of runaway slaves from the southern United States. It is not known how many fugitive slaves escaped through Indiana on their journey to Michigan and Canada.

Did the Underground Railroad go through Kentucky?

Kentucky was the last state enslaved peoples needed to pass through on the Underground Railroad’s northern route to freedom. One of the hidden “stations” on the Underground Railroad was located at Lexington’s St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on North Upper Street.

Is the Underground Railroad really underground?

So yeah, everything about the “real” Underground Railroad in The Underground Railroad is false. In fact, the first underground train — the London Underground, or Tube — wasn’t built until 1863. That’s not only well into the timeline of America’s own Civil War, but in a nation an ocean away from Cora.

How many Underground Railroad routes were there?

There were four main routes that the enslaved could follow: North along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to the northern United States and Canada; South to Florida and refuge with the Seminole Indians and to the Bahamas; West along the Gulf of Mexico and into Mexico; and East along the seaboard into Canada.

What happened to Cesar in the Underground Railroad?

While the show doesn’t show us what happens after their encounter, Caesar comes to Cora in a dream later, confirming to viewers that he was killed. In the novel, Caesar faces a similar fate of being killed following his capture, though instead of Ridgeway and Homer, he is killed by an angry mob.

When did Indiana outlaw slavery?

less equal Hoosiers For the most part, hoosiers were grateful that their Constitution of 1816 prohibited slavery. Most felt slavery was the South’s problem, not indiana’s. Many believed, too, that blacks, slave or free, were inferior to whites.

When were slaves freed in Indiana?

1820: The Indiana Supreme Court freed all remaining slaves, numbered at 190 in the U.S. Census, after ruling in Polly vs. Lasselle. 1821: The Indiana Supreme Court put an end to indentured servitude, used as an end run around the slavery ban, in a case involving Mary Bateman Clark.

Was Kentucky a free state?

Civil War. Kentucky did not abolish slavery during the Civil War, as did the border states of Maryland and Missouri. However, during the war, more than 70% of slaves in Kentucky were freed or escaped to Union lines. The war undermined the institution of slavery.

The Underground Railroad in Indiana

Mary Schons contributed to this article. The 20th of June, 2019 is a Thursday. For 30 years before to the American Civil War, enslaved African Americans utilized the Underground Railroad to gain their freedom, a network known as the Underground Railroad (1861-1865). The “railroad” employed a variety of routes to transport people from slave-supporting states in the South to “free” states in the North and Canada. Sometimes abolitionists, or persons who were opposed to slavery, were responsible for organizing routes for the Underground Railroad.

There was a great deal of activity on the Underground Railroad in the states that bordered the Ohio River, which served as a boundary between slave and free states.

Not everyone in Indiana supported the emancipation of enslaved people.

Because Indiana was a part of the Underground Railroad, its narrative is the tale of all states that had a role in it.

  • However, while some people did have secret chambers in their homes or carriages, the great bulk of the Underground Railroad consisted of individuals surreptitiously assisting slaves who were attempting to flee slavery in whatever manner they were able to.
  • The persons that were enslaved were referred to as “passengers.” “Stations” were private residences or commercial establishments where passengers and conductors seeking freedom might take refuge.
  • If a new owner supported slavery, or if the residence was revealed to be a station on the Underground Railroad, passengers and conductors were obliged to locate a new station or move on somewhere.
  • Only a small number of people kept records of this hidden activity in order to protect homeowners and others seeking freedom who required assistance.
  • People who were found assisting those who had fled slavery faced arrest and imprisonment.
  • No one knows exactly how the Underground Railroad received its name, nor does anybody care.
  • Another version of the story assigns the name to a freedom-seeker who was apprehended in Washington, D.C., in the year 1839.

A third narrative connects the name to an enslaved man called Tice Davids, who made the decision to pursue his freedom in 1831, according to the legend.

Unfortunately, there was no boat available to take us over the river.

His enslaver returned to Kentucky without him, claiming that Davids had vanished while traveling on a “underground railroad.” To put it another way, the name “Underground Railroad” had been widely accepted by the mid-1840s.

According to Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance, slavery was prohibited north of the Ohio River; however, the rule did not apply to enslaved persons who were already residing in the region.

Slavery was a common feature of life in the Northwest Territories at the time.

Indiana was established as a territory in 1800, with future United States PresidentWilliam Henry Harrison serving as the area’s first territorial governor.

Harrison and his followers also believed that permitting slavery in Indiana would increase the state’s population.

Their petition was refused by Congress.

The “contract holder” has the authority to determine how long the victim must be held in slavery.

When Indiana became a state in 1816, its stateConstitutioncontained wording that was comparable to Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance—new enslaved persons were not permitted, but existing enslaved people were allowed to continue in their current state of enslavement.

The term “slave” was still used to describe some Hoosiers as late as the 1820 census.

(White people were exempt from this requirement.) Indiana’s 1851 Constitution prohibited blacks from voting, serving in the military, or testifying in any trial in which a white person was accused of a crime.

All three pathways eventually went to Michigan and subsequently to Canada, although they took different routes.

Lewis Harding said in a 1915 history of Decatur County, Indiana, that the county was a spot where three roads came together after crossing the Ohio River at separate points in the county.

assisted the escaped slaves in every way imaginable,” he adds, using the injunction as an example.

As Harding says, “the sympathies of the majority of the residents of this nation were with the escaped slave and his rescuer.” Historians now feel that the path to independence resembled a spider’s web rather than three independent pathways to freedom.

While traveling, they had to avoid organized networks of patrolmen who grabbed freedom-seekers and held them hostage for ransom money.

Known as the “President of the Underground Railroad,” Coffin is credited for bringing slavery to Indiana in 1826.

In his memoir, Reminiscences, Coffin tells the story of two girls who escaped Tennessee and sought refuge with their grandparents in the Indiana county of Randolph.

They were not, however, destined to live in safety.

When the alarm went off, it attracted the majority of the settlement’s black people together in a single location.

Unknown to them, an uncle of the two girls rode up on his horse at the same time the enslaver was being held at bay by the grandmother’scorn knife.

They were not given any authorization to enter the premises or search for items, according to him.” The uncle remained at the doorway for as long as he could to continue the dispute with the enslaver.

According to the account, the girls were disguised as guys and sneaked past the crowd to where two horses were waiting for them.

The girls were able to make it to Coffin’s residence without incident.

Eliza Harris’s Indefatigable Escape Indiana is the scene of one of the most famous slave escapes in history, which took place in the state of Indiana.

Harris made the snap decision to flee to Canada with her infant son in tow.

There were no bridges, and there was no way for a raft to get through the thick ice.

Moving from one ice floe to another while carrying her child, she eventually made it to the other end.

Eliza, in fact, is the name of the character who travels across the frigid Ohio.

In order to recover from their ordeal, Harris and her child traveled to Levi Coffin’s Fountain City residence.

In 1854, Levi and Catherine Coffin were on a visit to Canada with their daughter when a woman approached Catherine and introduced herself.

God’s blessings on you!” It was Eliza Harris, who had safely migrated to Chatham, Ontario, Canada, when the call came through.

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

Examine the list of locations to determine if any are in your immediate vicinity.

But it was carried out according to a completely other set of rules.

See also:  What The Underground Railroad Looked Like Inside? (Correct answer)


Levi Coffin’s Reminiscences, published in 1880abet Help is a verb that refers to assisting in the committing of a crime.

abolitionist A person who is opposed to slavery as a noun.

authority Making choices is the responsibility of a nounperson or organization.

The payment of a fine or the performance of a contract under the terms of an agreement constitutes a bond, which is an unenforceable agreement.

cattle Andoxen are nouncows.

The American Civil War The American Civil War was fought between the Union (north) and the Confederacy between 1860 and 1865.

conductor A person who escorted slaves to safety and freedom on the Underground Railroad was known as a guide.

The House of Representatives and the Senate are the two chambers of the United States Congress.

convictVerb to find someone guilty of committing a criminal offense.

Municipality is a type of political entity that is smaller than a state or province, but often larger than a city, town, or other municipality.

defendantNounperson or entity who has been accused of committing a crime or engaging in other misconduct.

economy The production, distribution, and consumption of commodities and services are all referred to as a system.

enslave acquainted with the verbto completely control Adjectivewell-known.

forbidVerb to ban or prohibit something.

fugitive a noun or an adjective that has gotten away from the law or another limitation a system or order established by a country, a state, or any other political body; government Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American writer and abolitionist activist who lived from 1811 to 1896.

Nouna huge, flat sheet of ice that is floating on the surface of a body of water.

labor is a noun that refers to work or employment.

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the term negronoun was frequently used to refer to persons of African descent.

During the American Civil War, the North was comprised of states that backed the United States (Union).

A portion of the modern-day states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota belonged to the Northwest Territory at the time of its creation.

The Ohio River is the greatest tributary of the Mississippi River, with a length of 1,580 kilometers (981 miles).

passenger A fugitive slave seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad is referred to as a noun.

Requests are made verbally, and are frequently accompanied by a document signed by the respondents.

prominentAdjectivethat is significant or stands out.

recover from an accident or strenuous activityVerb to recover from an injury or rigorous activity repeal a verb that means to reverse or reject anything that was previously guaranteed rouse a verb that means to awaken or make active.

Slavery is a noun that refers to the act of owning another human being or being owned by another human being (also known as servitude).

South During the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America (Confederacy) was backed or sympathized with by a huge number of states.

Supreme CourtNounin the United States, the highest judicial authority on questions of national or constitutional significance.

terminology A noungroup of words that are employed in a particular topic area.

Nounland that is protected against invaders by an animal, a person, or the government.

the southern hemisphere Geographic and political territory in the south-eastern and south-central sections of the United States that includes all of the states that sided with the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

unconstitutional Adjective that refers to a violation of the laws of the United States Constitution.

9th President of the United States of America, William Henry HarrisonNoun (1773-1841). (1841). word-of-mouth Informal communication, sometimes known as rumor or rumor mill. NounA official order issued by a government or other authoritative body.

Media Credits

With the exception of promotional graphics, which normally link to another page that carries the media credit, all audio, artwork, photos, and videos are attributed beneath the media asset they are associated with. In the case of media, the Rights Holder is the individual or group that gets credited.


Mary Schons is a writer who lives in New York City.


Kara West, Emdash Editing, Jeannie Evers, Emdash Editing


Kara West, Emdash Editing, Jeannie Evers, and Emdash Publishing

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Underground Railroad Sites in Indiana

The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes. Image courtesy of the National Park Service “The Underground Railroad” is depicted on the cover. Indiana has a long and illustrious history of involvement in the Underground Railroad. During the years leading up to and during the Civil War, a large number of runaway slaves journeyed across the state of Indiana. These fleeing men and women changed their routes and the places of their stops on a regular basis in order to reduce their chances of being apprehended and maybe recaptured by authorities.

Historians have been successful in locating various places that supported fleeing slaves in their journey to freedom, utilizing a broad variety of primary and secondary sources.

Indiana has hundreds of sites that have been identified.

Check back regularly to check if any new things have been added.

  • Decatur County, Elkhart County, Floyd County, Fremont, Fort Wayne, Gibson County, Grant County, Hamilton County, Harrison County, Henry County, Jackson County, Knox County, Lake County, Lancaster, Madison, Madison County, Marion County, Michigan City, New Albany, Orland, Parke County, Ripley County, South Bend, Warrick County, and Wayne County are among the counties in Indiana.

7 Fascinating Places Around Indiana That Were Once Part Of The Underground Railroad

Published on February 20, 2018 in IndianaAttractions. A significant part in the Underground Railroad was performed by Indiana, which assisted thousands of fugitive slaves in their journeys across the Hoosier state. It is true that there are hundreds of locations around Indiana that sheltered persons fleeing slavery, but there are a few buildings that stand out as some of the most significant structures in the state. These 7 magnificent locations in Indiana were once key points on the Underground Railroad’s route across the state.

  • The Carpenter House is located in Evansville, Indiana.
  • It was previously owned by Willard Carpenter, a railroad entrepreneur who became well-known in this southern Indiana community after establishing himself there.
  • To transport slaves to Carpenter’s basement, a stone tunnel was constructed, allowing them to remain hidden until they were ready to be sent farther north.
  • 2.
  • Several historians believe that Erastus purposefully designed his home with the Underground Railroad in mind, including the construction of a cupola at the top of the structure to serve as a watch point and an inside cistern to collect rainwater for slaves concealed within his walls.
  • Eleutherian College – Madison is located on the campus of Eleutherian College – Madison.
  • It was established in the early 1800s and is currently owned and operated by the Hoyt-Whipple family.

Its address is 6927 IN-250, which puts it in the city of Madison, Indiana.

Slippery Noodle Inn, located in Indianapolis This historic inn is the oldest tavern in the state, and it was here that escaped slaves were able to find safe passage through the Underground Railroad.

This historic tavern can be found at 372 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46225, and it is open daily.

Westfield Shopping Center The city of Westfield was a major station on the Underground Railroad’s route across the United States.

While these residences are privately held, you may learn more about them at the Westfield Washington Historical Society Museum in Westfield, Massachusetts.

New Albany’s Town Clock Church is number six on the list.

This chapel, which was constructed in 1852, was seen as a beacon of hope for those traveling the Underground Railroad through the area.

The Levi and Catharine Coffin House is located near Fountain City, Missouri.

The mansion was owned by Catharine and Levi Coffin, and it is believed that over the twenty years that they lived there, they assisted nearly 2,000 slaves in escaping to freedom.

A fictitious version of the Coffins appears in the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” where they are depicted as the pair who assist runaway slave Eliza Harris.

Have you ever been to any of the important stops on the Underground Railroad in Indiana? If not, you should. Check out these magnificent National Landmarks in Indiana for additional information on the history of the Hoosier state.

Indiana is home to several stops on the Underground Railroad

The state of Indiana is host to a number of Underground Railroad stations. Jane Ammeson is a reporter with the Times of London. The Underground Railroad, which was by its very nature a secret trip with sites that were only known to those who needed to know, had routes and stations all around Indiana for enslaved persons wanting to escape. However, even for those who were able to make it to the Ohio River, a large body of water dividing Kentucky from Indiana, the crossing did not ensure freedom, as slave masters dispatched ruthless thugs to track them down.

  1. Enslaved individuals might seek for signs that pointed the way to places where they could securely stay, eat, and be clothed at places known as stations, which were normally only accessible at night and when they were hungry and terrified of being captured.
  2. The church is still standing, and it included multiple secret compartments.
  3. She stayed with them during the Civil War, cooking for them and also seeing to their needs when they were ill.
  4. As part of the war’s conclusion, she and over 150,000 other Union troops marched in a procession through Washington, D.C.
  5. The Georgetown Neighborhood, which is now a component of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, is located in Madison, a charming riverport city on the Ohio River that is home to the Georgetown Underground Railroad Museum.
  6. There is a walking tour that you may do on your own.
  7. First Street in downtown Portland.
  8. The Ripley County Courthouse Square in Versailles, where a conflict between abolitionists and others with stronger Confederate beliefs was averted because to the fast thinking of Jonathan Gordon, is one of the stops on the tour route.
  9. Harding was able to continue his ferocious and uplifting speech since he had more space to do it now.
  10. They also had a cistern in the basement that provided fresh water, and a wagon with a concealed rear that served as a hiding place.
See also:  Why Did The Underground Railroad Use Railroad Terminology? (Solved)

Both the Coffin home, which is now a National Historic Landmark, and the Interpretative Center next door, which is operated by the Indiana State Museum, are staffed by docents who include the great-great-granddaughter of William Bush, a slave who came to the Coffin home for assistance and ended up staying and becoming a valued member of the community.

It is the state’s oldest continually operational bar, having been established sometime before 1850.

The German “Freethinkers” who settled in Indianapolis following a mass migration in 1848 were adamantly opposed to slavery, and current owner Hal Yeagy claims that the basement was built deeper than necessary, with thick walls and small rooms where escaped slaves could be hidden as they passed through the area.

The rooms are not included in any tours, but you may dine in the old bar and take in the history while doing so.

The cemetery is home to the gravesites of many abolitionists, including Westfield Simon Bales, who, along with others, provided safe havens for freedom seekers.

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‘This mysterious road’: Indiana’s role in the Underground Railroad

The state of Indiana was a participant in an extensive system that transported escaped slaves from Southern states to freedom prior to and during the Civil War. The Underground Railroad was a network of paths connecting safe homes and hiding places that was established when someone crossed the Ohio River into Canada. A group of individuals sought to shield runaways from slave hunters and assist them in their journey to Michigan or Canada. It wasn’t a railroad or even a road; it was simply a collection of people.

  1. If you are apprehended, you might face a trial and be deported back to the South, where you could face harsh punishment.
  2. When Indiana was first discovered, it was believed that there were three routes running across the state: from Posey to South Bend; from Corydon to Porter; and from Madison to DeKalb County, with other stops in between.
  3. We were glad when we could go away to get a hot meal, some sleep, some clean clothes, or medical treatment.
  4. It was termed “stations” or “depots” where people might get food and shelter during World War I.
  5. Morton: The ‘War Governor’ with the large monument Passengers were slaves who had escaped from their masters, while those who directed them were known as “conductors.” The proprietor of the safe house was referred to as the “station master.”

‘Grand Central Station’

Levi Coffin is referred to as the “president” of the Underground Railroad by several historians. It is believed that he and his wife, Catherine, were responsible for transporting 2,000 fugitive slaves via their Fountain City residence with the assistance of a farm cart with a false bottom for hiding captives. After being designated as a National Historic Landmark, the house that was formerly known as the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad” is now a museum. The presence of a secret attic room, where runaways might take refuge while slave catchers were around, is noteworthy.

Station masters Elijah Anderson and George DeBaptiste were active in Madison, as were James Washington and Matthew Sawyer, as well as the Bartlett family in South Bend, who all worked as station masters.

People who practiced the Quaker faith in large numbers, both white abolitionists and African-American communities across the state, such as Lyles Station in southwest Indiana and Roberts Settlement in Atlanta, Hamilton County, were major stations on the Underground Railroad.

Eleutherian College, which was founded in Jefferson County by anti-slavery Baptists, was created in the same way.

The stations’ locations would shift often, perhaps on a daily basis, if neighbors got suspicious or slave trackers kept an eye on them. But the tourists were aware of the places as if there were also a subterranean communication system in place to keep them informed.

Indiana Underground Railroad locations

Despite the fact that there are few remaining residences or safe havens, the following structures serve as memories of Indiana’s role in the underground railroad:

  • Decatur County Courthouse (Greensburg)
  • Decatur County Jail (Greensburg). Dr. Samuel Tibbets’ residence in Lancaster
  • Madison’s Georgetown District (formerly Madison Heights)
  • Eleutherian College (Madison) is a historic institution of higher learning. Home for Isaiah Walton (Lancaster)
  • Craven Home (Lancaster), owned by John Gill and Martha Wilson. The John H. Tibbetts House (Madison) is a historic building. State Historic Site of the Levi Coffin House (Fountain City)
  • Lyman Hoyt House (Madison, Wisconsin)
  • Hicklin House (North Vernon)
  • Margaret and William Hicklin Home (North Vernon)
  • Seymour Train Station (also known as Seymour)
  • To keep up with Dawn Mitchell, IndyStar Visuals Manager and Retro Indy writer, follow her on Twitter: @dawn mitchell61.

Network to Freedom Essay – Madison, Indiana: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary

Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary Madison, Indiana

Prior to the American Civil War, the Ohio River defined the boundary between the slave-holding southern states and the free-states of the northern states. As enslaved freedom seekers crossed into Indiana, border settlements along the river became hotbeds for Underground Railroad activity, with free African-Americans and anti-slavery whites sheltering them and assisting them in their journey farther north on the Underground Railroad. Madison’s location along a shallow, narrow portion of the Ohio River made it an excellent crossing place, and the numerous creeks emptying into the river provided easy-to-follow pathways northward into rural Jefferson County from the city center.

  1. The Georgetown area, which is located along Walnut Street north of Main Street, was home to around 50 African-American households.
  2. During the 1840s and 1850s, mob violence threatened southern Indiana’s free black communities, prompting some of Madison’s Underground Railroad leaders, such as George DeBaptiste, to relocate.
  3. In 1837, George DeBaptiste, a well-known Underground Railroad conductor, moved to Madison and established a home there.
  4. After relocating to Madison in 1837, he established a wholesale shipping business.
  5. The next year, after working as President William Henry Harrison’s “steward of the White House” during the president’s brief tenure in office, DeBaptiste returned to Madison and opened a barber shop at the corner of Walnut and Second Streets.
  6. After that, he relocated to Detroit, Michigan, where he resumed his anti-slavery activism.
African Methodist Episcopal ChurchCourtesy of Larry Hunt

William J. Anderson, who was born to a freeblack woman and subsequently bonded to a slave owner, managed to escape from a riverboat while going down the Ohio River and eventually landed in Madison around 1835. In 1846, he learned masonry skills and constructed a Federal-style home for himself and his wife at 713 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. Known as an outspoken abolitionist and Underground Railroad leader, he was instrumental in the organization and construction of two churches in Georgetown: the Methodist Episcopal Church (1840) and the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1850).

  • Detailed information on William Anderson’s role in the Underground Railroad may be found in his autobiography, which is available digitally at theUniversity of North Carolina as part of theDocumenting the American SouthInitiative.
  • Anderson) settled in Madison in 1837 and had a residence at 624 Walnut St.
  • Elijah’s fair skin enabled him to pass himself off as a slave master and travel with fugitives all the way to Canada via ship or railroad.
  • Anderson was caught on an Ohio River steamer in 1856 for conveying a party of enslaved African Americans from Lawrenceburg, Indiana, to Cleveland, Ohio.
  • A Kentucky statute against “enticing slaves to flee” was broken by him, and he was condemned to eight years in a Frankfort, Kentucky, jail.
  • As a child in Virginia, Chapman Harris heard stories about the freedom that African Americans had in Indiana and dreamt of one day settling in the state.
  • Within a few months of their arrival in 1837, Harris and his two eldest boys began collaborating with local leaders of the Underground Railroad.

Harris also had a chance encounter with abolitionist JohnBrown, who happened to be passing through Indiana only a few weeks before the raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.

Eleutherian College, perched on CollegeHill in rural Lancaster.National Park Service
Located about 10 miles northwest of Madison, the town ofLancaster also has a richabolitionist history. Founded by a group of New England Baptists with stronganti-slavery sentiments, the rural community of Lancaster became a center forabolitionist activity. A group of activists including Lyman Hoyt, IsaiahWalton, Dr. Samuel Tibbets, and Chapman Harris formed the Neil’s CreekAnti-Slavery Society in 1839 with members both religiously and morally opposingslavery. The Society even petitioned the Indiana General Assembly to repeallaws against harboring fugitive slaves and eventually set its sights on thenational political arena when it aligned with the Liberty Party in 1845. Started by Society members in 1846,theNeil’s Creek Abolitionist Baptist Churchwrote a disavowal of slavery into its official bylaws. Much of the Anti-SlaveryChurch’s congregation was active in the Underground Railroad, offering shelterand transportation to fugitive slaves en route to Indianapolis. Members helped buildEleutherian College,founded in 1848 as the first higher education institution in Indiana tointegrate by race and gender.In 1998, theSecretary of the Interior established theNational Underground Railroad (UGRR) Networkto Freedom Program, a program aimed at preserving, interpreting, and commemoratingthe history of the Underground Railroad. Through shared partnerships with local,State, and Federal entities, as well as interested individuals andorganizations, the Network to Freedom promotes programs and partnerships to preservesites and resources associated with the Underground Railroad and to educate thepublic about its historical significance.Eleutherian College, theLyman andAsenath Hoyt House, the Isaiah Walton Home Site, the Dr. Samuel Tibbets Home Site,and the Tibbets House- all in rural Lancaster, Indiana; the Chapman Harris HomeSite and the John Gill and Martha Wilson Craven Home-outside Madison; and theGeorgetown Neighborhoodin downtown Madison are part of the National UGRR Networkto Freedom Program and are recognizedfor theirsignificance relating to the Underground Railroad.test

Indiana County and the Underground Railroad

When Scottish-Irish Presbyterians first settled in Indiana County, they brought with them a long history of persecution, which established the groundwork for a burgeoning anti-slavery movement in the decades leading up to the Civil War. There were also at least two African Methodist Episcopal Zion congregations in the mid-1840s whose aim was to “assist refugees,” according to historical records. Other religious groups, such as the Wesleyan Methodists and the Baptists, were vocal in their opposition to slavery.

A free person might be grabbed from the street and sold into slavery based only on the word of a white person.

Indiana County became regarded as a “hotbed of abolition” and a “welcoming refuge” for runaway slaves fleeing the Confederacy.

Popular Sovereignty and The Fight for a Free Kansas

The 1850 Compromise also established the notion of popular sovereignty, which was later developed further. People in the territories would vote on whether they wanted to be free or slaves, and they would select how to enter the Union “democratically.” One of the most significant tests of this idea occurred during the settling of Kansas. The settlers, both pro- and anti-slavery, loaded their wagons and started out for the West. The Pennsylvania-Kansas Liberty Society, which was sponsored by the Plumville Baptist Church, gathered funds and supplies to transport local immigrants to Kansas in order to establish a free state.

A pacifist son of Dr.

After pro-slavery Border Ruffians stormed Lawrence, John Mitchell offered to accompany them in search of supplies.

He was apprehended, tortured, and imprisoned, where he succumbed to pneumonia and died as a result.

Indiana and the Election of 1860

It was in the state of Kansas that the Republican Party was born, with its fundamental principle being to block the growth of slavery and, by doing so, to put an end to it. Among the Republican platform’s key points were the promotion of industry, growth, free soil, free labor, and social change. In Indiana County, slavery was the subject of four-fifths of the Republican platform. Democrats were staunch supporters of the status quo and opposed any movement on the subject of slavery.

With 3910 votes in the 1860 election, Republican Abraham Lincoln defeated all other candidates in Indiana County, garnering 1369 votes overall. In response to Lincoln’s election, the state of South Carolina declared its independence from the United States.

Underground Railroad

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

Quaker Abolitionists

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

What Was the Underground Railroad?

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

MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:

How the Underground Railroad Worked

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

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

While some traveled north via Pennsylvania and into New England, or through Detroit on their route to Canada, others chose to travel south. The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.

Fugitive Slave Acts

The Fugitive Slave Acts were a major cause for many fugitive slaves to flee to Canada. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved individuals from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the fleeing enslaved people. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in certain northern states to fight this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to reinforce the preceding legislation, which was perceived by southern states to be insufficiently enforced at the time of passage.

The northern states were still considered a danger zone for fugitives who had managed to flee.

Some Underground Railroad operators chose to station themselves in Canada and sought to assist fugitives who were arriving to settle in the country.

Harriet Tubman

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

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

Frederick Douglass

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

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

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

Who Ran the Underground Railroad?

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

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

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

John Brown

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

The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved lady and her young daughter.

Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.

After being apprehended in 1844 while transporting a boatload of freed slaves from the Caribbean to the United States, Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was sentenced to prison for life.

John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to assist in the rescue of enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their families as they made their way north.

He managed to elude capture twice.

End of the Line

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

MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.


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

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