How To Prove A Historical Site Was Part Of The Underground Railroad?

  • Historians seeking nominations to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom work with site managers to prepare applications that use primary sources linking the site to the Underground Railroad. Primary sources often include newspapers containing runaway slave ads, diaries of freedom seekers, and family documents.

Was any part of the Underground Railroad really a railroad?

Nope! Despite its name, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad in the way Amtrak or commuter rail is. It wasn’t even a real railroad. The Underground Railroad of history was simply a loose network of safe houses and top secret routes to states where slavery was banned.

What were signs of the Underground Railroad?

Certain Songs were sung as symbols of Underground Railway members. ” All Clear ” was conveyed in safe houses using a lighted lantern in a certain place as this symbol. Knocks on doors used a coded series of taps as symbols of identity. Certain items, such as a quilt, were hung on a clothesline.

Which states were an important part of the Underground Railroad?

Students will identify slave states and free states during the time of the Underground Railroad, explore the challenges of escaping, and choose the route they would have taken.

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

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

Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?

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

What happened to Lovey in the Underground Railroad?

She secretly decides to join Cora and Caesar’s escape mission but she is captured early in the journey by hog hunters who return her to Randall, where she is killed by being impaled by a metal spike, her body left on display to discourage others who think of trying to escape.

What code words were used in the Underground Railroad?

The code words often used on the Underground Railroad were: “ tracks” (routes fixed by abolitionist sympathizers); “stations” or “depots” (hiding places); “conductors” (guides on the Underground Railroad); “agents” (sympathizers who helped the slaves connect to the Railroad); “station masters” (those who hid slaves in

What time period was the Underground Railroad used?

system used by abolitionists between 1800-1865 to help enslaved African Americans escape to free states.

Why did they call it underground railroad?

(Actual underground railroads did not exist until 1863.) According to John Rankin, “It was so called because they who took passage on it disappeared from public view as really as if they had gone into the ground. After the fugitive slaves entered a depot on that road no trace of them could be found.

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 many seasons was the Underground Railroad?

The series was billed as a limited series. That should mean there is only one season of the series. After all, it does tell the full story for the books, even if there are a few questions at the very end. Being billed as a limited series doesn’t mean a series remains that way.

How long was the Underground Railroad journey?

The journey would take him 800 miles and six weeks, on a route winding through Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, tracing the byways that fugitive slaves took to Canada and freedom.

Who is the leader of the Underground Railroad?

Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), a renowned leader in the Underground Railroad movement, established the Home for the Aged in 1908. Born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman gained her freedom in 1849 when she escaped to Philadelphia.

Can you take a tour of the Underground Railroad?

Schedule Your Visit Our adjusted hours of operations are Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm (EST). Learn more about what you can see and do at the visitor center, and explore the stories of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad!

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

Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the South by providing them with refuge and assistance. A number of separate covert operations came together to form the organization. Although the exact dates of its creation 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 Union was defeated.

What Was the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad was a network of people, both African-American and white, who provided sanctuary and assistance to fugitive enslaved persons from the southern United States. It came to be as a result of the convergence of various separate covert operations in the past. Although the exact dates of its creation are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy continued in a less-secretive manner.

How the Underground Railroad Worked

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

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

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

Fugitive Slave Acts

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.

Agent,” according to the document.

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

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

Who Ran the Underground Railroad?

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

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

Finally, they were able to make their way closer to him. Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitive enslaved individuals no matter where he was.

John Brown

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

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

Preserving New York’s Ties to the Underground Railroad (Published 2021)

Is the local administration giving adequate respect to historical landmarks that commemorate Black history? That is the issue hanging over two imperiled antebellum residences, one in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan, that were originally held by abolitionists and have just been brought before the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Sixteen years after the city’s plan to use eminent domain to seize and demolish a Greek Revival rowhouse in Downtown Brooklyn that may have served as a stop on the Underground Railroad sparked a fierce preservation campaign, the proposed landmark at 227 Duffield Street finally received a public hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission in July.

See also:  Who Is The Best-known Conductors Of The Underground Railroad? (The answer is found)

A thorough assessment of the property had previously been requested by the city’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, a stance that was also supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

New efforts to save a second vulnerable property owned by abolitionists, located at 857 Riverside Drive, were quickly denied by the commission in late November, even as the public awaits an as-yet-unscheduled vote on historic status that may forever safeguard 227 Duffield.

For The New York Times, Katherine Marks contributed reporting.

Only 17 sites are associated with abolitionism or the Underground Railroad, the network of Black and white activists who assisted enslaved African-Americans fleeing north to freedom before to the Civil War, out of more than 37,000 municipal assets protected on the National Register of Historic Places.

However, despite the fact that slavery was not abolished in New York State until 1827 and that the city maintained strong ties to the Southern slave economy until the Civil War, a small group of courageous New Yorkers played a significant role in the effort to abolish slavery and assist those fleeing bondage.

  1. Even in free states, those who harbored fugitive slaves were liable to severe penalties and up to six months in prison under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
  2. The image is courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery.
  3. The threatened two-story wood-frame house at Riverside and West 159th Street was built around 1851 and is now in risk of being demolished.
  4. Also on top of the villa is a cupola with eight windows, which is an attractive addition that recalls the wood-frame house at 200 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn, where the villa was originally built.
  5. In contrast, the Riverside home has been stripped of its cupola and front porch, and the clapboard siding on its front face has been replaced with faux-stone siding to create a more modern appearance.
  6. Following the approval of an application to construct a 13-story residential structure on the site, a demolition permit application for 857 Riverside was filed with the Buildings Department in August.
  7. Spencer Developers’ Michael Petrokansky and Sigmund Freund are listed as the property’s owners on the demolition application.



In spite of the fact that Mr.

“We’re looking into the authenticity of the sales transaction, and we want to fight to keep him from being evicted,” Mr.

The move went happened, and we believe he wasn’t quite aware of what was going on at the time.

Wright stated that if he is successful in regaining possession of the house, he intends to repair the cupola, clapboard siding, and wraparound porch that have been lost.

Petrokansky, who was only briefly contacted by phone, declined to speak further.

Freund did not react.

For The New York Times, Katherine Marks contributed reporting.

Brewer, and several other local officials.

In the 1850s, heirs of the naturalist-painter John James Audubon created a suburban neighborhood of Italianate villas out of the surrounding countryside, which is now known as the Audubon Park Historic District.

In addition to providing a rich source of period data, Matthew Spady, a historian who lives across the street from the imperiled home and who just released a book about Audubon Park, also assisted with the project.

Amodio, a freelance writer who also lives in the neighborhood, who contributed his own research and wrote an extensive history of the property, which was presented to the landmarks commission in November by the Alliance for the Preservation of Historic Homes.

Harris held the home from 1852 and 1854, when he sold it to Judge John Newhouse, a business associate and fellow abolitionist who was also an activist against slavery.

Peter S.

Harris’s antislavery advocacy is well documented in the study, although the possibility that the Harris-Newhouse Home was used as a safe house for fugitives is purely conjectural.

Harris preached anti-slavery lectures and hosted abolitionist conferences at his Wesleyan Methodist church on King Street in Lower Manhattan, which is now known as 95 King Street.

Harris’s sugar factory, located at 144 Duane Street in what is now known as TriBeCa, was described as “a type of Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad” by an architect named William Johnson, who was also a self-proclaimed “active operator” of the Underground Railroad network at the time.

  • Amodio refers to as “a prototypical Black Lives Matter moment writ large,” a racist 1846 political cartoon depicts a dehumanizing caricature of George Kirk, an African-American fugitive from Southern slavery who has been discovered inside a box on a horse-drawn wagon marked “D.
  • Harris had dispatched his dray to attempt to entice Kirk to the safety of his refinery, but “the whole police force of the city turned slave-catcher,” according to the New-York Tribune, and Kirk was apprehended by officers who used epithets before being released by a compassionate judge.
  • One of the “many exquisite building plots” that Harris promoted for construction at the time was a three-acre plot of land that would eventually become the address 857 Riverside.
  • The next year, Harris repurchased both the home and the acreage.
  • Spady, the park’s historian, the home may have been built by one of Audubon’s sons, who was putting up villas on his family’s estate nearby at the time and who also appears to have erected an apartment for Harris.
  • Peter S.
  • Harris, a man of ambition as well as compassion, built a new refinery on the Hudson at 160th Street, just a few blocks away from the little residence, as well as a port for shipping.

A risky venture, establishing a passenger line to compete with the Hudson River Railroad was a risky undertaking.

Spady’s book, “The Neighborhood Manhattan Forgot,” Harris’ genuine motivation was most likely to establish a new Underground Railroad station.


Beyond this apparent infrastructure of liberty, Mr.

Abolitionists, the couple co-founded the Washington Heights Congregational Church in 1854, which maintained a staunch anti-slavery attitude.

Author Eric Foner said in an interview that people like Harris were “certainly against the grain,” and that they were “certainly not in the mainstream of political and racial thinking in New York City.” Foner’s book, “Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad,” is about the history of the Underground Railroad.

“It was the New York merchants that carried southern cotton and exercised control over the cotton trade across the Atlantic to England.” New York corporations also provided insurance to southern slave-owners against the death of their human chattel, while the city’s banks provided loans for the purchase of slaves and plantation property in the southern United States.

In addition, the city of New York had a municipal administration that was pro-southern.

Because of the considerable alterations that have been made to the home and its architectural characteristics, she said in response that the structure “doesn’t appear to have the integrity essential for recognition as an individual landmark.” “The renovations include the removal of the octagonal cupola and wraparound porch, as well as their ornate trim, the replacement of windows and doors, as well as the removal of their enframements, and the insertion of permastone veneer to the exterior walls.” This means that the home “neither the historic look nor appropriate historical fabric from the nineteenth-century abolitionist era,” according to her conclusion.

Because a two-story storefront was built to the Truesdell home on Duffield Street (also known as Abolitionist Place) in the 1930s, the Truesdell house on Duffield Street (also known as Abolitionist Place) has been a source of contention in the preservation battle.

For The New York Times, Katherine Marks contributed reporting.

It is “absolutely obvious” under the city landmarks statute, she explained, that a landmark may have either historic or aesthetic characteristics — it is a “or,” rather than a “and.” “Even the most obnoxious structure on the planet may be designated as a historic landmark if it is historically significant.” The concentration on the integrity of historic fabric also “raises an intriguing problem of racial justice,” according to Peter S.

  • Green, a leader of the Upper Riverside Residents Alliance, which advocates for the preservation of the neighborhood’s historic character.
  • Brewer, the borough president, have stated that they would continue the landmark battle and that they will oppose zoning findings made by the Buildings Department that might allow the house’s owners to erect a 13-story skyscraper on the site.
  • Latimer in Flushing, Queens, as a precedent for historic landmark designation.
  • Adams said that the Latimer House had not only been renovated by removing all outward ornamentation, but it had also been relocated to a new location.
  • “It’s easy to imagine something similar occurring here,” says the architect.
  • About January 10, Mr.
  • The discussion will take place on the internet and will be moderated by Mr.

According to Tom Calarco, co-author of “Secret Lives of the Underground Railroad in New York City,” the theory that Harris used his boat and refinery, as well as the 857 Riverside villa, to aid freedom seekers heading north is “everything sounds supportable based on what was going on in New York City at the time.” Because they were such strong abolitionists — they were assisting hundreds of escaped slaves each year — the Wesleyan Methodist link was significant.

  1. Mr.
  2. Although the connection between Mr.
  3. ‘It would become a place of pilgrimage for Black people,’ Mr.
  4. “It would become a place where teachers could take school kids and say, ‘Hey, look, right here in your own neighborhood, there were white people who were highly invested in the notion that people shouldn’t be slaves,'” Mr.

“It would become a place of pilgrimage for Black people.” As he went on to say: “There are figures in our past, such as this sugar refiner, who point the way toward what we need to do in order to overcome those who want to turn the clock back, and this house is a remarkable landmark that represents this man and his cause, and this house is a remarkable landmark that represents this man and his cause.” Sign up here to receive weekly email updates on the latest residential real estate news.

Keep up with us on Twitter: @nytrealestate

Was My House on the Underground Railroad?

Jacob and Deborah Willets were Quaker instructors at Nine Partners School who took part in Underground Railroad operations, assisting enslaved New Yorkers to flee to Vermont or Canada. Jacob and Deborah Willets lived in Millbrook, the home of Jacob and Deborah Willets. The Underground Railroad (UGRR) was a genuine thing that enabled many enslaved people escape to freedom, not only in the southern United States, but also in New York, New Jersey, and other northern slaveholding states during the early nineteenth century.

  • Prior to the American Civil War (1861-1865), only a tiny proportion of white Northerners engaged in active opposition to slavery, including providing assistance to people seeking liberation from slavery.
  • You should ask the following questions if you feel a property may have been utilized on the Underground Railroad, as well as techniques for moving forward with your investigation: 1) Confirm that the house was built on the specified date.
  • Research the property at your county clerk’s office, or wherever historical deeds are kept in your area, to identify who held it between the American Revolution and Civil War (roughly 1790-1860).
  • (Identities of tenants in rented premises are sometimes difficult to ascertain; city or county directories may be of assistance.) Census statistics, media obituaries and clippings, and information from local religious institutions are also possible sources of information.
  • It’s possible that the historical books and newspapers in your library have records of local abolitionist societies, such as lists of persons who signed petitions or attended antislavery meetings, among other things.
  • There are very few guarantees in life.
  • More than likely, you will be able to confirm, at the very least, that abolitionists resided in the house in question.

Inevitably, few African Americans who had fled slavery informed census collectors in the United States that they were born in the southern United States before to the Civil War.

If an African American informed census takers in 1860 that he or she was born in, say, “New York,” but in 1870 stated that he or she was born in a slave state (such as “Maryland” or “Virginia”), this may be proof that the individual had escaped from slavery in the previous decade.

Additionally, the passage of the punitive federal Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which forced some African Americans to seek temporary refuge in Canada, provides important additional information.

In addition to a tunnel, hidden closet, or secret chamber, the greatest proof of UGRR activity is not a secret room.

Smuggling down the Hudson River and the protection of Patriots or Loyalists during the American Revolution were among the activities carried out in the Hudson Valley.

Renovations to a structure on a regular basis may result in the closure of areas that are subsequently “rediscovered.” If you do discover a secret compartment, you may be able to deduce its function and dates of usage based on the presence of discarded bottles, tools, newspapers, clothing, or other things in the area.

Keep in mind that you may come across evidence of both slavery and antislavery sentiment.

Slaveholders and enslaved individuals may have lived or worked in a residence, depending on the era, according to property and census data, which may be used to corroborate their presence.

See also:  What Happened Before The Underground Railroad?

If you discover historical evidence of slavery on your land, make careful to preserve the material and report it to your local historical organization for further investigation and review.

The MHAHP would like to express its gratitude to renowned historianJudith Wellman of SUNY Oswego for her training and mentoring in local UGRR investigation. MHAHP assumes all responsibility for the information provided on this website.

The Underground Railroad

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

Watching ‘The Underground Railroad’ on Amazon? Check out these Hudson Valley sites

As much as slavery was a Southern issue, its origins may be traced back hundreds of years in the history of the Hudson Valley. A network of pathways along the Underground Railroad, which transported approximately 100,000 enslaved Black men and women to safe houses and other places of protection, may be found at dozens of historical sites distributed throughout New York State. An adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Underground Railroad,” which was published in 2016, has re-ignited interest in this period of history.

  1. The series has gained widespread appreciation from reviewers and television junkies alike.
  2. Despite the fact that the show does not travel to New York, the Underground Railroad did pass through the Hudson Valley during its existence.
  3. But what about the Hudson Valley?
  4. In the region, there were a number of Quaker homes, some of which are no longer standing.
  5. “At this time, there are no structures in Dutchess County that we can certify through the Network to Freedom as satisfying their standards,” he explained.
  6. Westchester County, on the other hand, is devoid of solid evidence indicating the existence of places associated with the Underground Railroad.
  7. According to Bunten, the plantation was founded by Fredrick Philips and ultimately expanded to encompass the all of what is now Westchester County, New York.
  8. Similar evidence suggests that at least one stop on the Underground Railroad occurred in Orange County, according to the evidence.

According to Gary Randall, the head of the Florida Historical Society in the town, “there was a chamber in the home basement and a tunnel across to the ox barn – they had the slaves go there until they were taken to other areas.” Despite the fact that the ox barn has been demolished, the property’s subterranean chambers have remained.

“William Henry Seward was the one who started the Emancipation Act,” Randall added.

According to Randall, he spent a lot of his childhood time in the kitchen with his parents cooking.

Although “a lot is almost definite, and there’s evidence to imply quite a bit,” Bunten said it’s “frequently difficult” to verify specific aspects of the Underground Railroad.

  • Abolitionists and civil rights activists in the South argued that slavery was a Southern issue, although its origins may be traced back to the Hudson Valley. There are dozens of historical sites spread around New York State that serve as reminders of our past, chronicling a network of paths along the Underground Railroad that transported approximately 100,000 enslaved Black men and women to safe homes and other places of safety. “The Underground Railroad,” a novel by Colson Whitehead that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, has re-ignited interest in this forgotten period of history. This year’s 10-part Amazon miniseries “The Underground Railroad,” directed by “Moonlight” filmmaker Barry Jenkins, portrays the tale of slavery from a more in-depth perspective. The miniseries has gained widespread critical and popular praise. In a review published in USA Today, the series was characterized as “overwhelming” and “triumphant”. In his work, Whitehead reimagines how a true underground train system might have benefited slaves on their journey toward freedom. Despite the fact that the show did not travel to New York, the Underground Railroad passed through the region. The Network to Freedom, which is operated by the National Park Service, has certified that approximately 680 places across the country are part of the Underground Railroad. The Hudson Valley, on the other hand. In addition, the majority of historic structures from that time period either do not meet the Network to Freedom’s requirements or do not have sufficient documentation to be certified as being part of the Underground Railroad. In the region, there were a number of Quaker homes, some of which are no longer standing.” Peter Bunten, chairman of the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project in Dutchess County, explained that researching something that no longer exists is very hard. “At this time, there are no structures in Dutchess County that can be certified by the Network to Freedom as satisfying their standards,” he explained. By way of letters and through churches, we’ve learned of persons who were active with the railroad
  • Yet, meeting that requirement is difficult. The county also does not have a great deal of evidence indicating that any areas were formerly part of the Underground Railroad system. Slave labor erected Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow in the 1600s, according to historians, but it is unknown how freedom-seeking slaves made their way up to New York City from there. In the words of Bunten, the plantation was founded by Fredrick Philips and ultimately expanded to encompass the whole area that is now Westchester County. However, historians think that Quakers in both Dutchess and Westchester counties assisted slaves in their journey north to freedom, based on correspondence and the discovery of similar family names throughout the two counties. It appears that at least one trip on the Underground Railroad may have taken place in Orange County, based on comparable evidence. The Henry Green Homestead, located in the hamlet of Florida, was erected in 1848, but it is thought to have functioned as a stopover for escaped slaves during the years leading up to the American Civil War. According to Gary Randall, the head of the Florida Historical Society in the town, “there was a chamber in the home basement and a tunnel across to the ox barn – they had the slaves go there until they were relocated to other locations.” The ox barn has since been demolished, but the underground chambers of the property have remained. In the Seward House, Randall speculated that William Henry Seward may have had an underground tunnel. “William Henry Seward was the one who started the Emancipation Act,” Randall explained. “During Lincoln’s administration, he was in command of the Senate. As a child, Seward lived among slaves in the hamlet of Florida, and had a deep respect for them and the job they performed. In his childhood, according to Randall, he spent much of his time with his parents in the kitchen. It was as a result of this that he finally became an outspoken champion for their freedom. Although “a lot is fairly definite, and there’s evidence to imply quite a bit,” Bunten said it’s “frequently difficult” to verify certain aspects of the Underground Railroad. The Henry Green Homestead’s location in the village of Florida is well documented. An interactive website that investigates the impact of slavery in the Hudson Valley is available here. a historical look at the Underground Railroad Places to see in Upstate New York Even though there are hundreds of historical Underground Railroad sites scattered around the state, the following is a guide to some more historical places in the area.
  • Isabel Keane is a trending news reporter for The Journal News, the Poughkeepsie Journal, and the Times Herald-Record in New York City. Her most recent tales may be found here. You may follow her on Twitter at @ijkeane.

Detroit’s Underground Railroad History & Historical Sites

In addition to The Journal News, the Poughkeepsie Journal and the Times Herald-Record, Isabel Keane also covers current news for the Associated Press. Her most recent stories may be found by clicking here. You may follow her on Twitter at @ijkeane; and

Why was the Underground Railroad important?

Human ownership was lawful in the United States until 1865, more than a century after the country was founded on the values of freedom and equality. Africans were enslaved by Europeans and subjected to the Triangular Trade, which consisted of traffickers transporting captives from Africa to the Americas and Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. African slaves were compelled to reside on their owner’s land in order to cultivate or offer other services such as weaving, cleaning, and masonry without recompense or the opportunity to leave their owners’ land.

This was the genesis of the Civil Battle, which has been referred to as “the war against one’s own neighbor.” In order to assist slaves in escaping the horrors of their situation in the southern United States and escaping to freedom in the northern United States and Canada, the Underground Railroad was established.

How did the Underground Railroad Work?

Even though the United States was founded on the values of freedom and equality, it was not lawful to own humans until 1865, more than a century after the country was established on those principles. Human enslavement by Europeans occurred during the Triangular Trade, which involved traders transporting captives from Africa to the Americas and Europe. Afro-American slaves were obliged to reside on their owner’s land in order to cultivate or offer other services such as weaving, cleaning, and building, with no recompense or the ability to flee.

Essentially, this was the genesis of the Civil Battle, which has been referred to as “the war against thine own neighbor.” In order to aid slaves in escaping the horrors of their situation in the southern United States and escaping to freedom in the northern United States and Canada, the Underground Railroad was established.

Next Stop: Midnight

For so many people who were brought or were born in this country under the oppression of slavery, Detroit represented a beacon of hope for a better future. In those days, Detroit was referred to as Midnight, and it was the penultimate destination before reaching Canada, which had abolished slavery. Michigan has played a significant role in that tradition, and Detroit is the personification of freedom’s unbroken spirit of determination. This, I believe, opens up fresh perspectives on the essence of our city’s Spirit of Detroit.

Underground Railroad Historical Sites in Detroit

The city of Detroit still has a number of historical landmarks where you may practically stand in the places where fugitive slaves persevered in their efforts to gain freedom. Located in Hart Plaza, this statue, which overlooks the Detroit River and is unquestionably an international emblem of freedom, is unquestionably a national and worldwide symbol of freedom. Behind the monument, you can see youngsters waving and asking for more to join them as a conductor leads them to safety. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (also known as Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church): It was founded in 1839 as the Colored Methodist Society and played an important role in the Underground Railroad at both of its early locations.

  • Antoine St.
  • Second Baptist Church: Croghan Street Station is located in the basement of Second Baptist Church, which is located in what is now Detroit’s Greektown district.
  • William C.
  • Approximately 5,000 fugitive slaves took shelter in this subterranean hiding place.
  • Workers uncovered a tunnel beneath the river that had been utilized in the Underground Railroad when the church was moved in 1955 to make space for a new civic center.
  • The Residence of George DeBaptiste: This entrepreneur and politician, who was born a free man, assisted former slaves in their escape to freedom over the river from Detroit to Canada.
  • Despite the fact that his house is no longer extant, the location is noted at the intersection of East Larned and Beaubien street.
  • The Finney Hotel, which originally stood on the southeast intersection of Woodward and Griswold streets in downtown Detroit, was demolished in 2011.
  • He was a conductor for the cause even before there were any discussions about reconstruction.
  • Tommy’s Detroit BarGrill: It is said that the structure that houses this sports bar was formerly a stop on the Underground Railroad, which is a fascinating fact (and Prohibition for that matter).

An underground passageway beneath the bar is thought to have served as an escape route during both periods of history.

Underground Railroad Tours in Detroit

The city of Detroit still has a number of historical landmarks where you may practically stand in the places where fugitive slaves persevered in their efforts to find freedom. Located in Hart Plaza, this statue, which overlooks the Detroit River and is unquestionably a worldwide emblem of freedom, is unquestionably a national and international symbol of liberty. Behind the statue, youngsters are seen calling out to others to join them as a conductor leads them to safety. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (also known as the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church) is an African Methodist Episcopal church located in Bethel, South Carolina.

  • Antoine St.
  • Located in the basement of Second Baptist Church in what is now Detroit’s Greektown area, Croghan Street Station is a public transportation stop.
  • William C.
  • Approximately 5,000 runaway slaves took sanctuary in this underground hideout.
  • As part of the church’s relocation in 1955 to make space for a new municipal center, construction workers uncovered a tunnel that ran beneath the river to Canada and had been utilized in the Underground Railroad.
  • Slavery was transported over the river by a steamer, operated by a white man, that he acquired disguised as a business vessel but was actually employed to transfer slaves.
  • Additionally, DeBaptiste was laid to rest at Detroit’s Elmwood Cemetery.
  • Finney was a tailor who eventually went on to work in the hospitality industry and was an outspoken supporter of the anti-slavery movement.
  • Seen on the northeast corner of State and Griswold, his historical marker is well worth a visit.
  • An underground passageway beneath the bar is thought to have served as an escape route during both historical periods.
See also:  When Did The Term Underground Railroad Start? (Question)

Learn more aboutDetroit’s black history.

Was this article of assistance? YesNo

  1. City Tour Detroit, Detroit, MI 48226313-757-1283
  2. 3Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-833-1805
  3. 4Gateway to Freedom Marker, Detroit, MI 48202313-833-1805
  4. 1
  5. 2City Tour Detroit, Detroit, MI 48226313-757-1283
  6. 3Detroit Historical Museum The Hart Plaza is located at Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan, USA
  7. 5 and 6Mariner’s Church is located at 170 E Jefferson Ave in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Phone: 313-259-2206
  8. Address: 1200 Elmwood St, Detroit, MI 48207, USA
  9. Elmwood Cemetery 8George DeBaptiste’s Home Marker415 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48226, United States
  10. 9Finney Hotel Historical Marker1212 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226, United States
  11. 10Tommy’s Detroit BarGrill624 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48226, United States 313-965-2269

Eastern Illinois University : Teaching with Primary Sources

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

The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the United States.

As a result, secret codes were developed to aid in the protection of themselves and their purpose.

Runaway slaves were referred to as cargo, and the free persons who assisted them on their journey to freedom were referred to as conductors.

Stations were the names given to the safe homes that were utilized as hiding places along the routes of the Underground Railroad. These stations would be identified by a lantern that was lighted and hung outside.

A Dangerous Path to Freedom

Traveling through the Underground Railroad to seek their freedom was a lengthy and risky trek for escaped slaves. Runaway slaves were forced to travel long distances, sometimes on foot, in a short amount of time in order to escape. They accomplished this while surviving on little or no food and with little protection from the slave hunters who were rushing after them in the night. Slave owners were not the only ones who sought for and apprehended fleeing slaves. For the purpose of encouraging people to aid in the capture of these slaves, their owners would post reward posters offering monetary compensation for assisting in the capture of their property.

  • Numerous arrested fugitive slaves were beaten, branded, imprisoned, sold back into slavery, or sometimes killed once they were apprehended.
  • They would have to fend off creatures that wanted to kill and devour them while trekking for lengthy periods of time in the wilderness, as well as cross dangerous terrain and endure extreme temperatures.
  • The Fleeing Slave Law of 1850 permitted and promoted the arrest of fugitive slaves since they were regarded as stolen property rather than mistreated human beings under the law at the time.
  • They would not be able to achieve safety and freedom until they crossed the border into Canada.
  • Aside from that, there were Underground Railroad routes that ran south, on their way to Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • He was kidnapped from his northern abode, arrested, and prosecuted in Boston, Massachusetts, under the provisions of this legislation.
  • After the trial, Burns was returned to the harshness of the southern states, from which he had thought he had fled.

American Memory and America’s Library are two names for the Library of Congress’ American Memory and America’s Library collections.

He did not escape via the Underground Railroad, but rather on a regular railroad.

Since he was a fugitive slave who did not have any “free papers,” he had to borrow a seaman’s protection certificate, which indicated that a seaman was a citizen of the United States, in order to prove that he was free.

Unfortunately, not all fugitive slaves were successful in their quest for freedom.

Harriet Tubman, Henry Bibb, Anthony Burns, Addison White, Josiah Henson, and John Parker were just a few of the people who managed to escape slavery using the Underground Railroad system.

He shipped himself from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a box that measured three feet long, two and a half feet deep, and two feet in diameter. When he was finally let out of the crate, he burst out singing.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efforts of Abolitionists Telling Their Story:Fugitive Slave Narratives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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