It was used by enslaved African Americans primarily to escape into free states and Canada. The network was assisted by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees. The enslaved who risked escape and those who aided them are also collectively referred to as the “Underground Railroad”.
What was the Underground Railroad for dummies?
The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. The railroad was comprised of dozens of secret routes and safe houses originating in the slaveholding states and extending all the way to the Canadian border, the only area where fugitives could be assured of their freedom.
What is the Underground Railroad and what was its impact?
A well-organized network of people, who worked together in secret, ran the Underground Railroad. The work of the Underground Railroad resulted in freedom for many men, women, and children. It also helped undermine the institution of slavery, which was finally ended in the United States during the Civil War.
Did the Underground Railroad use trains?
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. It was a metaphoric one, where “conductors,” that is basically escaped slaves and intrepid abolitionists, would lead runaway slaves from one “station,” or save house to the next.
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.
How important was the Underground Railroad?
The underground railroad, where it existed, offered local service to runaway slaves, assisting them from one point to another. The primary importance of the underground railroad was that it gave ample evidence of African American capabilities and gave expression to African American philosophy.
How did Underground Railroad lead to civil war?
The Underground Railroad physically resisted the repressive laws that held slaves in bondage. By provoking fear and anger in the South, and prompting the enactment of harsh legislation that eroded the rights of white Americans, the Underground Railroad was a direct contributing cause of the Civil War.
When was the term Underground Railroad first used?
The term Underground Railroad began to be used in the early 1830s. In keeping with that name for the system, homes and businesses that harbored runaways were known as “stations” or “depots” and were run by “stationmasters.” “Conductors” moved the fugitives from one station to the next.
How many slaves escaped on the Underground Railroad?
The total number of runaways who used the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom is not known, but some estimates exceed 100,000 freed slaves during the antebellum period.
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.
Is the Underground Railroad on Netflix?
Unfortunately, The Underground Railroad is not currently on Netflix and most likely, the series will not come to the streaming giant any time soon.
How many slaves did Harriet Tubman save?
Fact: According to Tubman’s own words, and extensive documentation on her rescue missions, we know that she rescued about 70 people —family and friends—during approximately 13 trips to Maryland.
6 Strategies Harriet Tubman and Others Used to Escape Along the Underground Railroad
Despite the horrors of slavery, the decision to run was not an easy one. Sometimes escaping meant leaving behind family and embarking on an adventure into the unknown, where harsh weather and a shortage of food may be on the horizon. Then there was the continual fear of being apprehended. On both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, so-called slave catchers and their hounds were on the prowl, apprehending runaways — and occasionally free Black individuals likeSolomon Northup — and taking them back to the plantation where they would be flogged, tortured, branded, or murdered.
In total, close to 100,000 Black individuals were able to flee slavery in the decades leading up to the Civil War.
The majority, on the other hand, chose to go to the Northern free states or Canada.
1: Getting Help
Harriet Tubman, maybe around the 1860s. The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information. No matter how brave or brilliant they were, few enslaved individuals were able to free themselves without the assistance of others. Even the smallest amount of assistance, such as hidden instructions on how to get away and who to trust, may make a significant difference. The most fortunate, on the other hand, were those who followed so-called “conductors,” like as Harriet Tubman, who, after escaping slavery in 1849, devoted her life to the Underground Railroad.
Tubman, like her other conductors, built a network of accomplices, including so-called “stationmasters,” who helped her hide her charges in barns and other safe havens along the road.
She was aware of which government officials were receptive to bribery.
Among other things, she would sing particular tunes or impersonate an owl to indicate when it was time to flee or when it was too hazardous to come out of hiding.
Tubman developed a number of other methods during the course of her career to keep her pursuers at arm’s length. For starters, she preferred to operate during the winter months when the longer evenings allowed her to cover more land. Also, she wanted to go on Saturday because she knew that no announcements about runaways would appear in the papers until the following Monday (since there was no paper on Sunday.) Tubman carried a handgun, both for safety and to scare people under her care who were contemplating retreating back to civilization.
The railroad engineer would subsequently claim that “I never drove my train off the track” and that he “never lost a passenger.” Tubman frequently disguised herself in order to return to Maryland on a regular basis, appearing as a male, an old lady, or a middle-class free black, depending on the occasion.
- They may, for example, approach a plantation under the guise of a slave in order to apprehend a gang of escaped slaves.
- Some of the sartorial efforts were close to brilliance.
- They traveled openly by rail and boat, surviving numerous near calls along the way and eventually making it to the North.
- After dressing as a sailor and getting aboard the train, he tried to trick the conductor by flashing his sailor’s protection pass, which he had obtained from an accomplice.
Enslaved women have hidden in attics and crawlspaces for as long as seven years in order to evade their master’s unwelcome sexual approaches. Another confined himself to a wooden container and transported himself from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, where abolitionists were gathered.
4: Codes, Secret Pathways
In order to maintain a safe distance between herself and her pursuers, Tubman devised a number of additional methods throughout time. Because of the longer evenings throughout the winter, she was able to cover more land when she operated. It was also more convenient for her to go on Saturday since she knew that no announcements about runaways would appear in newspapers until the following Monday (since there was no paper on Sunday.) For safety and to frighten those under her supervision who were considering going back, Tubman carried a revolver.
The railroad engineer would subsequently claim that “I never ran my train off the track” and that “I never lost a passenger.” Tubman frequently disguised herself in order to return to Maryland on a regular basis, masquerading as a man, an old lady, or a middle-class free black, depending on the circumstances.
- If they want to apprehend a bunch of escapees, they can join a plantation on the pretext of being a slave.
- There were a few attempts at fashion that came close to becoming brilliant.
- After surviving numerous close calls while traveling openly by rail and boat, they were able to make it to the North.
- The conductor was fooled when he approached him on the train platform in sailor attire, flashing the conductor’s pass, which he had obtained from an accomplice.
- For seven years, one enslaved lady hid in an attic crawlspace, desperate to escape her master’s unwelcome sexual approaches.
5: Buying Freedom
The Underground Railroad, on the other hand, functioned openly and shamelessly for long of its duration, despite the passing of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, which prescribed heavy fines for anybody proven to have helped runaways. Stationmasters in the United States claimed to have sheltered thousands of escaped slaves, and their activities were well documented. A former enslaved man who became a stationmaster in Syracuse, New York, even referred to himself in writing as the “keeper of the Underground Railroad depot” in his hometown of Syracuse, New York.
At times, abolitionists would simply purchase the freedom of an enslaved individual, as they did in the case of Sojourner Truth.
They also used the legal system, litigating, for example, to get the release of Truth’s five-year-old kid from detention center. Besides that, they worked to sway public opinion by funding talks by Truth and other former slaves to convey the miseries of bondage to public attention.
The Underground Railroad volunteers would occasionally band together in large crowds to violently rescue fleeing slaves from captivity and terrify slave catchers into going home empty-handed if all else failed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, John Brown was one among those who advocated for the use of brutal force. Abolitionist leader John Brown led a gang of armed abolitionists into Missouri before leading a failed uprising in Harpers Ferry, where they rescued 11 enslaved individuals and murdered an enslaver.
Brown was followed by pro-slavery troops throughout the voyage.
When describing a network of meeting spots, hidden routes, passages, and safehouses used by slaves in the United States to escape slave-holding states and seek refuge in northern states and Canada, the Underground Railroad was referred to as the Underground Railroad (UR). The underground railroad, which was established in the early 1800s and sponsored by persons active in the Abolitionist Movement, assisted thousands of slaves in their attempts to escape bondage. Between 1810 and 1850, it is estimated that 100,000 slaves escaped from bondage in the southern United States.
Facts, information and articles about the Underground Railroad
Aproximate year of birth: 1780
The beginnings of the American Civil War occurred around the year 1862.
Estimates range between 6,000 and 10,000.
From 6,000 to 8,000 people are expected to attend
The Story of How Canada Became the Final Station on the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman’s Legacy as a Freedom Fighter and a Spion is well documented.
The Beginnings Of the Underground Railroad
Even before the nineteenth century, it appears that a mechanism to assist runaways existed. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with the assistance provided to one of his escaped slaves by “a organization of Quakers, founded for such purposes.” The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers as they are more officially known, were among the first abolitionist organizations to emerge. Their influence may have played a role in Pennsylvania becoming the first state to abolish slavery, which was home to a large number of Quakers.
In recognition of his contributions, Levi is often referred to as the “president of the Underground Railroad.” In Fountain City, Ohio, on Ohio’s western border, the eight-room Indiana home they bought and used as a “station” before they came to Cincinnati has been preserved and is now a National Historic Landmark.
“Eliza” was one of the slaves who hid within it, and her narrative served as the inspiration for the character of the same name in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
The Underground Railroad Gets Its Name
Owen Brown, the father of radical abolitionist John Brown, was a member of the Underground Railroad in the state of New York during the Civil War. An unconfirmed narrative suggests that “Mammy Sally” designated the house where Abraham Lincoln’s future wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, grew up and served as a safe house where fugitives could receive food, but the account is doubtful. Routes of the Underground Railroad It was not until the early 1830s that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was first used.
Fugitives going by water or on genuine trains were occasionally provided with clothing so that they wouldn’t give themselves away by wearing their worn-out job attire.
Many of them continued on to Canada, where they could not be lawfully reclaimed by their rightful owners.
The slave or slaves were forced to flee from their masters, which was frequently done at night.
Conductors On The Railroad
A “conductor,” who pretended to be a slave, would sometimes accompany fugitives to a plantation in order to lead them on their journey. Harriet Tubman, a former slave who traveled to slave states 19 times and liberated more than 300 people, is one of the most well-known “conductors.” She used her shotgun to threaten death to any captives who lost heart and sought to return to slavery. The Underground Railroad’s operators faced their own set of risks as well. If someone living in the North was convicted of assisting fugitives in their escape, he or she could face fines of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which was a significant sum at the time; however, in areas where abolitionism was strong, the “secret” railroad was openly operated, and no one was arrested.
His position as the most significant commander of the Underground Railroad in and around Albany grew as time went on.
However, in previous times of American history, the phrase “vigilance committee” generally refers to citizen organizations that took the law into their own hands, prosecuting and hanging those suspected of crimes when there was no local government or when they considered the local authority was corrupt or weak.
White males who were found assisting slaves in their escape were subjected to heavier punishments than white women, but both were likely to face at the very least incarceration.
The most severe punishments, such as hundreds of lashing with a whip, burning, or hanging, were reserved for any blacks who were discovered in the process of assisting fugitive fugitives on the loose.
The Civil War On The Horizon
Events such as the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott decision compelled more anti-slavery activists to take an active part in the effort to liberate slaves in the United States. After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, Southern states began to secede in December 1860, putting an end to the Union’s hopes of achieving independence from the United States. Abolitionist newspapers and even some loud abolitionists warned against giving the remaining Southern states an excuse to separate. Lucia Bagbe (later known as Sara Lucy Bagby Johnson) is considered to be the final slave who was returned to bondage as a result of the Fugitive Slave Law.
Her owner hunted her down and arrested her in December 1860.
Even the Cleveland Leader, a Republican weekly that was traditionally anti-slavery and pro-the Fugitive Slave Legislation, warned its readers that allowing the law to run its course “may be oil thrown upon the seas of our nation’s difficulties,” according to the newspaper.
In her honor, a Grand Jubilee was celebrated on May 6, 1863, in the city of Cleveland.
The Reverse Underground Railroad
Because of events like the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott decision, an increasing number of anti-slavery activists were involved in the movement to liberate slaves. Southern states began seceding in December 1860, following the election of Abraham Lincoln to the president, putting a crimp in the works of the Union. Abolitionist newspapers and even some loud abolitionists urged against giving the remaining Southern states an excuse to separate. Lucia Bagbe (later known as Sara Lucy Bagby Johnson) is considered to be the final slave who was returned to bondage as a result of the Fugitive Slave Act.
Her owner hunted her down and arrested her in December 1860.
In fact, the Cleveland Leader, a Republican journal that had previously taken a strong stance against slavery and the Fugitive Slave Legislation, warned its readers that allowing the law to run its course “may be oil thrown upon the rivers of our nation’s problems.” Lucy was sent to Ohio County, Virginia, where she was chastised, but she was eventually released when Union soldiers conquered the region.
On May 6, 1863, the city of Cleveland hosted a Grand Jubilee in her honor.
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.|
What was the Underground Railroad? : Harriet Tubman
The Underground Railroad was established in the early nineteenth century and reached its zenith between 1850 and 1860, when it was at its most active. It’s possible that reliable numbers on fleeing slaves who used the Underground Railroad may never be discovered because so much of what we know now comes from narratives written after the Civil War. Between 1810 and 1860, it is estimated that over 100,000 slaves managed to escape using the network. In the upper south, the bulk of slaves were transported from slave states that bordered free states such as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland; very few slaves were transported from the Deep South.
Various Underground Railroad routes were discovered.
Why was it called Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad; it was a network of people and ideas. Due to the network’s clandestine actions being secret and illegal, it was necessary for them to remain “underground” in order to aid fleeing slaves in their efforts to remain hidden from the authorities. Historically, the word “railroad” was used to describe a developing transportation system whose proponents communicated in secret through the usage of railroad code (also known as railroad code).
The homes where fugitives would rest and dine were referred to as “stations” or “depots,” and the owner of the property was referred to as the “station master,” while the “conductor” was the person in charge of transporting slaves from one station to the next, among other things.
Secret codes and phrases are included in this exhaustive collection.
With no clearly defined routes, the Underground Railway was a loosely structured network of linkages rather than a well-organized network of connections. They assisted slaves in their journey to freedom by providing them with housing and transportation. Small groups of supporters were formed independently; the majority of them were familiar with a few connecting stations but were unfamiliar with the complete trip. This technique maintained the confidentiality of those participating while also reducing the likelihood of infiltration.
There was no one path, and there were most likely a number of them.
These locations are listed on the website of the National Park Service.
The majority of them traveled on foot and hid in barns or other out-of-the-way locations such as basements and cupboards.
In major cities such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, committees were created to address the issue. These committees generated cash to assist fugitives in resettling by providing them with temporary lodging and employment referrals.
Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
Until 1850, fugitives had a minimal probability of being apprehended while residing in free states. Following the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Actas part of the Compromise of 1850, the Underground Railroad was diverted to Canada as its final objective, with the United States being the final destination. In newly constructed settlements in Southern Ontario, tens of thousands of slaves were resettled. In an instant, their work became more difficult and perhaps dangerous. A $1000 fine or six months in jail was imposed on anybody who assisted slaves.
Slave catchers were lavishly compensated, and even free African Americans were subjected to re-education through the destruction of their free documents.
The end of the Underground Railroad
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in the Confederate states of the United States of America. Following the war’s conclusion, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865, thereby ending slavery in the whole United States and putting an end to the Underground Railroad’s operations throughout the country.
Supporters of the Underground Railroad
Black and white abolitionists, free blacks, Native Americans, and religious organizations such as the Religious Society of Friends, often known as Quakers and Congregationalists, were among those who sympathized with the network’s goals and objectives. It was the Quakers in Pennsylvania that issued the first demand for the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1688. Levi Coffin, William Still, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, Samuel Burris, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Joh Brown, Anderson Ruffin Abbott, Henry Brown, Obadiah Bush, Asa Drury, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Samuel Green, Gerrit Smith, Lucretia Coffin Mott, and Jermain Loguen are just a few of the most well-known supporters of the Underground Railroad: Levi Coffin, William Still, Frederick More information on the history of the Underground Railroad can be found at the following websites.
From the National Park Service’s Freedom Sites Network The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located in Washington, D.C.
Under the categories of “popular” and “underground railroad,”
7 Facts About the Underground Railroad
Around 100,000 enslaved individuals sought freedom via the Underground Railroad during the 1800s, a network of people and safe houses that built a number of escape routes that ran from the American South to Canada and Mexico.
The Underground Railroad was founded in 1831 and operated until 1865. The large-scale coordination and teamwork that took place under such perilous conditions was an incredible achievement. The following are seven interesting facts regarding the Underground Railroad.
1. The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad.
It should be noted that the Underground Railroad was not a subterranean railroad, despite its name. It served as a metaphor for a network of individuals and safe homes that assisted persons escape slavery in their attempts to achieve freedom in the United States of America. It was not necessary to be a member of the network to provide a hand; individuals who assisted included formerly enslaved persons, abolitionists, and regular townspeople. For individuals seeking freedom, the underground railroad supplied food, housing, clean clothing, and, in some cases, assistance in establishing employment opportunities.
The Underground Railroad, according to some, was born out of an incident that occurred in 1831, when an enslaved person called Tice Davids jumped over the Ohio River to Ripley, Ohio, a town noted for having a robust Underground Railroad network.
” Others credit William Still, a notable abolitionist, with coining the phrase.
2. People used train-themed codewords on the Underground Railroad.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 established slave-catching as a successful economic venture. Being able to communicate in plain language was a sure-fire method for both enslaved persons and those who assisted them to get captured by those hoping to cash in on a bounty. People employed a codeword system based on railroad themes that was well understood to avoid being detected. It made logical since train lines were beginning to sprout up all throughout the country, offering the perfect cover. Stations and depots were the names given to safe homes.
Cargo and shareholders were terms used to refer to enslaved individuals, while cargo and stockholders were used to refer to those who provided financial assistance.
3. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made it harder for enslaved people to escape.
A profitable enterprise was made possible by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. For both enslaved persons and those who assisted them, speaking in plain-speak was a surefire way to be apprehended by those seeking to cash in on a reward. People employed a codeword system that was well understood in order to avoid being detected. Because train lines were beginning to appear all throughout the country, it made logical. They provided the perfect cover. Stations or depots were the names given to safe homes.
Cargo and shareholders were terms used to describe to individuals who provided financial assistance to the slaves.
4. Harriet Tubman helped many people escape on the Underground Railroad.
Harriet Tubman utilized the Underground Railroad to escape from the Poplar Neck Plantation in Maryland to Pennsylvania, which was then a free state, in the fall of 1849, according to historical records. She went on to become a well-known conductor, assisting around 70 individuals —estimates vary — over the course of 13 visits to the South. She attempted to persuade her husband to accompany her on her third journey to assist enslaved people; however, he had already remarried and refused to accompany her.
She also played an important role in the Civil War as a chef and nurse in refugee camps in the South, where she provided assistance to enslaved persons who had managed to flee.
Once she was freed from slavery, she worked as a spy to survey the region, and she even led 150 men in the raid on the Combahee Ferry in June 1863, which resulted in the release of 700 enslaved people.
5. Not all Underground Railroad routes went to Canada.
With the Fugitive Slave Act in place, the Northern States were also not a secure haven for freedom-seekers, who ran the possibility of being apprehended and deported back to the South if they were discovered. Canada appeared to be the most appealing choice for them. Two routes led to Canada: one followed the Mississippi and Ohio rivers through the northern United States and on to Canada, and the other wove its way down the Eastern Seaboard to the Canadian border. Members of the Underground Railroad even assisted previously enslaved persons who arrived in Canada in establishing themselves in their new home.
However, two of the four primary Underground Railroad lines actually traveled south, which was fortunate.
It was common for the freedom-seekers to purposely go the wrong way for a short period of time or take a convoluted path in order to keep the bounty-hunters on their heels.
6. William Still was considered the father of the Underground Railroad.
William Still, who was born on October 7, 1821, was a notable abolitionist and principal conductor in the state of Pennsylvania. Along with actively assisting freedom seekers, he maintained comprehensive records of individuals he assisted in the hope that the documents might one day be used to reunite families. Even though Still is reported to have assisted at least 60 persons in their escape, each of them was interrogated about their family and the difficulties they had while evading capture.
After 42 years apart, Peter was reunited with his mother.
If the journal had been discovered, the lives of everyone he had chronicled would be in danger as well.
7. Henry “Box” Brown escaped along the Underground Railroad by mail.
The son of a renowned abolitionist and main conductor in Pennsylvania, William Still was born on October 7, 1821. His efforts included not only providing direct assistance to freedom seekers but also maintaining thorough records of individuals he assisted in order to facilitate the reunion of families in the future. Even though Still is claimed to have assisted at least 60 persons in their escape, each of them was interrogated about their family and the difficulties they had while fleeing. One of his interviewees, Peter, turned out to be his older brother, who had been re-sold following their mother’s escape from slavery, thanks to his comprehensive questioning and careful listening skills (Still had been born after her escape).
Still was putting his own life in danger by taking such extensive notes, but he was also putting the lives of everyone he chronicled in danger if the journal was discovered and used against them.
He was fortunate in that his notes never fell into the wrong hands, and Still eventually put them into a book that was published in 1872.
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865
Running away slaves from slave states to the North and Canada were assisted by white and African American abolitionists, who set up a network of hiding sites around the country where fugitives could conceal themselves during the day and move under cover of night. In spite of the fact that the majority of runaways preferred to travel on foot and trains were rarely used, the secret network was referred to as the “Underground Railroad” by all parties involved. The term first appeared in literature in 1852, when Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote about a secret “underground” line in her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
- Those working in the Underground Railroad utilized code terms to keep their identities hidden from others.
- While traveling on the Underground Railroad, both runaways and conductors had to endure terrible conditions, harsh weather, and acute starvation.
- Many were willing to put their lives on the line, especially after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act made it illegal to provide assistance to escaped slaves, even in free areas.
- At the time, an abolitionist came to the conclusion that “free colored people shared equal fate with the breathless and the slave.” Listen to a tape of filmmaker Gary Jenkins talking on the Underground Railroad in the West at the Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Underground Railroad routes that extended into Kansas and branched out into northern states like as Iowa and Nebraska, as well as all the way into Canada, were often utilized by the fugitives.
When asked about his feelings on doing so much good for the oppressed while doing so much harm to the oppressors, one conductor from Wakarusa, Kansas, responded, “I feel pretty happy and thankfullthat I have been able to do so much good for the oppressed, so much harm to the oppressors.” It was not uncommon for well-known persons to be connected with the Underground Railroad, such as Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and then returned 19 times to the South to help emancipate over 300 slaves.
- Tubman was said to have carried a revolver in order to guarantee that she never lost track of a passenger.
- Individuals from Kansas also played significant roles, such as Enoch and Luther Platt, who managed railroad stations out of their house in Wabaunsee County, Kansas Territory, in the 1850s.
- It is possible for “shareholders” to make donations to such groups, which may be used to supply supplies or to construct additional lines.
- In addition to developing new routes, members of assistance organisations evaluated the routes to ensure that men, women, and children could travel in safety on them.
During an escape, engineers guided passengers and notified the remainder of the train to reroute if there was a threat to the train’s integrity. The Underground Railroad: A Deciphering Guide
- The Underground Railroad, also known as the Freedom or Gospel Train
- Cargo, passengers, or luggage: fugitives from justice
- The StationorDepot is a safe haven for fugitives from slavery. A person who escorted fugitive slaves between stations was known as a conductor, engineer, agent, or shepherd. The term “stationmaster” refers to someone who oversaw a station and assisted runaways along their path. shareholder or stockholder: an abolitionist who made financial donations to the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War
Conductors from Kansas may easily cross the border into Missouri in order to establish contact with suspected runaway passengers. During the war, slaves residing in Missouri, which was so near to the free state of Kansas, were especially enticed to utilize the Underground Railroad to cross the border into the free state of Kansas to escape. Despite the fact that he did not know exact ways into Kansas, one African-American man expressed his confidence in his ability to reach Lawrence, a town around 40 miles from the state line and home to “the Yankees,” which means “the Yankees are waiting for you.” Conductors frequently provided fugitives with clothing and food for their excursions, and even did it at their own expense on occasion.
- Due to the possibility of being questioned by pursuers, several conductors preferred not to know specific information about the fugitives they assisted.
- In the aftermath of their successful escapes to other free states, a small number of passengers returned to Kansas, including William Dominick Matthews, a first lieutenant in the Independent Battery of the United States Colored Light Artillery in Fort Leavenworth.
- Matthews maintained a boarding house in Leavenworth, Kansas, with the assistance of Daniel R.
- Aside from that, as could be expected, very little is known about the specific individuals and families that aided or were assisted by the Underground Railroad.
The Underground Railroad was a clandestine network of abolitionists that operated between 1861 and 1865. (people who wanted to abolish slavery). In order to get away from enslavement in the American South, they assisted African Americans in escaping to free northern states or Canada. The Underground Railroad was the most important anti-slavery emancipation movement in North America at the time of its founding. It was responsible for transporting between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitives to British North America (nowCanada).
Please check The Underground Railroad for a plain English explanation of the subject matter (Plain-Language Summary).
(people who wanted to abolish slavery).
The Underground Railroad was the most important anti-slavery emancipation movement in North America at the time of its founding.
It was responsible for transporting between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitives to British North America (now Canada). This is the full-length entry on the Underground Railroad that can be found here. Please check The Underground Railroad for a plain English overview of the story (Plain-Language Summary).
It was a hidden network of abolitionists that was known as the Underground Railroad (people who wanted to abolish slavery). In order to get away from enslavement in the American South, they assisted African Americans in escaping to free Northern states or Canada. As the biggest anti-slavery emancipation movement in North America, the Underground Railroad was known as the “Great Society.” A total of between 30,000 and 45,000 fugitives were transported to British North America by the organization (nowCanada).
Please check The Underground Railroad for a plain English overview (Plain-Language Summary).
They aided African Americans in their attempts to flee captivity in the American South to the free Northern states or to the Canadian colonies.
About the Underground Railroad: This is the in-depth entry on the subject.
This underground network of abolitionists was established in the early nineteenth century, with the majority of its members being based in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Within a few decades, it had developed into a well-organized and vibrant network of organizations. The phrase “Underground Railroad” first appeared in the 1830s and has been in use ever since. It had already begun to take shape at that point, an informal covert network to assist escaping slaves. The Underground Railroad was not a real train, and it did not operate on actual railroad rails like other railroads.
abolitionists who were devoted to human rights and equality were responsible for keeping the network running.
Its members comprised free Blacks, fellow enslaved individuals, White and Indigenous supporters, Quakers, Methodists, and Baptists, residents of urban centers and farmers, men and women, from all over the world (including the United States and Canada).
Symbols and Codes
This underground network of abolitionists was established in the early nineteenth century, with the majority of its members being situated in the Philadelphia area. With only a few decades’ time, it had developed into a well-organized and active organization. During the 1830s, the phrase “Underground Railroad” was first heard. It had already begun to take shape at that point, an informal covert network to aid escaping slaves. Although it was referred to as a railroad, the Underground Railroad did not operate on railroad rails.
abolitionists who were devoted to human rights and equality were responsible for keeping the network going.
Its members comprised free Blacks, fellow enslaved individuals, White and Indigenous supporters, Quakers, Methodists, and Baptists, residents of urban centers and farmers, men and women, from all over the world (including the United States and Canada),
“Station masters” were in charge of running the safe houses. They welcomed fugitives into their house and gave them with meals, a change of clothing, and a safe haven to rest and hide from the authorities. Prior to delivering them to the next transfer location, they would frequently give them money. WilliamStill, a black abolitionist who lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was in command of a station there. He accompanied a large number of freedom seekers on their way to Canada. He kept a list of the men, women, and children that came to his station, including Tubman and her passengers, and he transcribed their names.
- He was the owner and operator of a radio station in Syracuse, New York.
- Catharines, both in Upper Canada, from 1837 until 1841, when he decided to permanently move there.
- A large number of women worked as station masters as well.
- A large number of other women worked alongside their spouses to own radio stations.
“Ticket agents” assisted freedom-seekers in coordinating safe excursions and making travel arrangements by putting them in touch with station masters or conductors, among other things. It was not uncommon for ticket agents to be people who traveled for a living, such as circuit preachers or physicians, to work. They were able to hide their abolitionist operations as a result of this. Among those who served on the Underground Railroad were doctors such as Alexander Milton Ross (born in Belleville).
He also gave them with a few basic items so that they could get started on their escape.
Ways to the Promised Land
“Lines” were the names given to the pathways that people took in order to reach freedom. In total, 14 northern states and two British North American colonies — Upper Canada and Lower Canada — were connected by the network of roads. At the end of the line lay “heaven,” also known as “the Promised Land,” which was undeveloped land in Canada or the Northern United States. A nod to the Big Dipper constellation, which points to the North Star and serves as a navigational aid for freedom-seekers seeking their way north, “the drinking gourd” was a reference to the Big Dipper.
A large number of people undertook the perilous journey on foot.
The Underground Railroad, on the other hand, did not simply operate on land. Additionally, passengers traveled by boat through lakes, oceans, and rivers. They traveled at night and slept throughout the day on a regular basis.
The Canadian Terminus
During the last decades of enslavement in the United States, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 freedom seekers crossed the border into Canada. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 fugitives entered the Province of Canada between 1850 and 1860 alone. Because of this, it became the primary terminal for the Underground Railroad. The immigrants settled in various sections of what is now the province of Ontario. Among these were Niagara Falls, Buxton, Chatham, Owen Sound, Windsor, Sandwich (now a part of Windsor), Hamilton, Brantford, London, Oakville, and Toronto.
- Following this huge migration, Black Canadians assisted in the creation of strong communities and made significant contributions to the development of the provinces in where they lived and worked.
- The Provincial Freeman newspaper published a thorough report of a specific case in its publication.
- They were on the lookout for a young man by the name of Joseph Alexander.
- Alexandra was present among the throngs of people and had a brief verbal encounter with his previous owner.
- The guys were forced to flee town after the mob refused to allow them to steal Alexander’s possessions.
The Underground Railroad functioned until the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibited slavery, was ratified in 1865. Freedom-seekers, free Blacks, and descendants of Black Loyalists settled throughout British North America during the American Revolutionary War. It is possible that some of them resided in all-Black colonies, such as the Elgin Settlement and the Buxton Mission in Ontario, the Queen’s Bush Settlement and the DawnSettlement near Dresden in Ontario, as well as Birchtown and Africaville in Nova Scotia, although this is not certain.
- Early African Canadian settlers were hardworking and forward-thinking members of society.
- Religious, educational, social, and cultural institutions, political groupings, and community-building organizations were all founded by black people in the United States.
- (See, for example, Mary Ann Shadd.) African-American men and women held and contributed to a diverse variety of skills and abilities during the time period of the Underground Railroad.
- They also owned and operated saw companies, frozen food distributors, livery stables, pharmacies, herbal treatment services and carpentry firms.
- Black people took an active role in the struggle for racial equality.
- In their communities, they waged war on the prejudice and discrimination they met in their daily lives in Canada by getting meaningful jobs, securing homes, and ensuring that their children received an education.
- Many people were refused the right to dwell in particular neighborhoods because of their color.
- Through publications, conferences, and other public activities, such as Emancipation Day celebrations, Black groups expressed their opposition to racial prejudice and worked to make society a better place for everyone.
- Beginning with their search for independence, security, wealth, and human rights, early Black colonists worked to create a better life for themselves, their descendents, and their fellow citizens in the United States.
In addition, see: Underground Railroad (Plain Language Summary); Black Enslavement in Canada (Plain Language Summary); Chloe Cooley and the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada; Anti-slavery Society of Canada; Josiah Henson; Albert Jackson; Richard Pierpoint; and Editorial: Black Female Freedom Fighters (in English and French).
What is the best way to describe the Underground Railroad in textbooks? Read the following passages from American History textbooks with care, and then respond to the questions that follow them: 1. Can you identify any commonalities that emerge from the numerous depictions of the Underground Railroad that you read? 2. What is the definition of the Underground Railroad in textbooks? 3. Which personalities or incidents do they tend to draw attention to the most frequently? 4. What do they have to say about the scope and duration of Underground Railroad operations, specifically?
Which terms, such as network or safe homes, are used the most frequently, and what significance does this have for the study?
Last but not least, after much research and reading, how would you characterize the Underground Railroad?
Kennedy, The American Spirit, 9th ed., Vol.1 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998), 403-404.
By 1850, southerners were calling for a new and more strict fugitive-slave statute that was more in line with their values.
For example, unlike cattle thieves, the abolitionists who conducted the Underground Railroad did not individually profit from their acts of illegality.
In some respects, the moral judgements of the abolitionists were even more galling than actual larceny.
According to estimates, the South was losing around 1,000 runaways each year in 1850, out of a total population of over 4 million slaves.
The principle, on the other hand, weighed decisively in the favor of the slavemasters.
However, according to a southern senator, while the loss of property is felt, the loss of honor is felt even more acutely.
In the early 1800s, there were a number of petty uprisings that took place.
Turner and his supporters were responsible for the deaths of around 60 white people before being apprehended.
Other ways of protest included interfering with the plantation’s daily operations by feigning illness or working slowly, among other measures.
The Underground Railroad, a network of white and African American citizens who assisted escaped slaves on their journey to the United States, provided assistance.
She made at least 19 visits and transported more than 300 slaves to freedom during her time on the mission.
Liberty or death: if I couldn’t have one, I’d accept the other, since no one would ever take my life if I didn’t have to.
Bragdon, Samuel Proctor McCutchen, and Donald A.
The title was chosen in order to invoke memories of the Underground Railroad.
Enslaved persons were brought out of the South, ensuring their freedom.
They not only looked after African Americans once they arrived in the United States, but they also risked their lives to travel inside the slave states and free those who were still enslaved.
Once she had escaped, she returned to the South on many occasions, releasing more than 300 enslaved persons in the process.
Alan Brinkley’s American History: A Survey, Eleventh Edition (Boston: McGraw Hill, 2003), pages 312 and 340, is an excellent resource.
Some black people sought to resist by fleeing the scene.
However, the chances of making a successful escape, particularly from the Deep South, were impossibly slim to non-existent.
As a result, from 1840 onward, abolitionism proceeded via a variety of channels and spoke in a variety of tones.
Another school of thought held that abolition could only be achieved by a protracted, patient, and peaceful fight; they referred to this as “instant abolition gradually realized.” At initially, such moderates relied on moral persuasion to get them to change their minds.
When that failed to generate results, they moved to political action, attempting to persuade the northern states and the federal government to lend their support wherever they could.
They collaborated with the Garrisonians in assisting fugitive slaves to seek shelter in the northern United States or Canada through the so-called underground railroad system (although their efforts were never as highly organized as the terms suggests).
The Underground Railroad was established by certain abolitionists.
Runaways were escorted to stations where they might spend the night by trained conductors.
Others were religious structures such as churches or caves.
Harriet Tubman, for example, was a fearless conductor who had escaped from slavery herself.
She was responsible for the emancipation of more than 300 slaves, including her own parents.
Slave owners offered a $40,000 bounty for her apprehension if she could be apprehended.
Divine and colleagues’ The American Story, 3rd edition (New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007), and in Robert A.
Thousands of slaves took to the streets to express their dissatisfaction and longing for freedom.
Some were able to remain free for years by hiding in marshes or other isolated regions, while a small number managed to flee to the northern United States or Mexico, stowing away on ships or journeying hundreds of miles overland to avoid capture.
The Underground Railroad, an informal network of sympathetic free blacks (and a few whites) who assisted fugitives in their journey north, was a lifeline for many fugitives.
Either they resided too far south to have a hope of reaching free soil, or they were unwilling to abandon their families and friends in order to leave them behind.
They were also the primary conductors of the mythical Underground Railroad, which provided a safe haven for fugitives fleeing slavery during the American Civil War.
Free blacks created vigilance committees in northern towns and cities to safeguard fugitives and frustrate the slave-catchers’ attempts to capture them.
Three-hundred-eighth edition of Gary B.
Escape routes were numerous and varied: forging passes, masquerading as master and servant, concealing one’s sexuality, slipping aboard ships, and professing devotion until one was captured and brought away on a journey to the North by the master.
Founded by abolitionists in 1848, the underground railroad was a network of safe homes and stations where escaped slaves could stop, eat, and sleep before continuing their journey.
It is impossible to estimate how many slaves really fled to the northern United States and Canada, although the numbers were not in the tens of thousands.
Nightly patrols by white militiamen, a major element of southern life at the time, lowered the possibilities of any slave escaping and, in many cases, discouraged slaves from even attempting to flee their masters.
1 to 1877, 2nd edition (Boston, MA: Bedford / St.
382; James L.
1 to 1877, 2nd edition (Boston, MA: Bedford / St.
382; James L.
Following her successful escape from Maryland slavery in 1849, Harriet Tubman bravely returned to the South to transport slaves to freedom, risking her life several times in the process.
As an offshoot of antislavery emotions and opposition to white supremacy that united practically all African Americans in the North, this “underground railroad” operated mostly via black neighborhoods, black churches, and black houses.
Shi provide a narrative history of the United States.
Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina who migrated to Cincinnati and assisted numerous fugitives, was widely regarded as the country’s first president.
A handful of courageous exiles actually returned to slave nations in order to help plan escapes.
Lewis Paul Todd and Merle Curti’s book, Triumph of the American Nation (Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1986), pages 379 and 380, is a good example of this.
It was neither underground nor a railroad, but it was given this name because its actions were carried out in the dark and in disguise, and because it utilized railroad phrases as code words to communicate with one another.
The railroad’s mission consisted in sheltering fugitive slaves and providing them with food, clothes, and directions to the next stop, among other things.
Harriet Tubman, a former slave who had fled to freedom through the railroad, was the most daring conductor on the line.
It is believed that the Underground Railroad assisted between 40,000 and 100,000 slaves in their efforts to emancipate themselves.
Instructional Materials for Teachers What is the best way to describe the Underground Railroad in textbooks?
Textbook editors are concerned about the lack of concrete data, but they are also hesitant of seeming overly critical of an institution that has become part of national mythology in the process.
As a result, the text is frustrating to read and challenging to teach.
They deserve to know more than only about codes, safe rooms, and a heroic lady conductor called Tubman; they deserve to know more.
The subject of the Underground Railroad receives an average of 180 words each textbook, according to the American Library Association.
No matter how much more material is included on topics such as abolitionists or the Fugitive Slave Law, the amount of space allocated to the topic rarely surpasses a few pages.
According to eight out of 10 history textbooks, Harriet Tubman is the most heroic figure in the Underground Railroad’s history.
When all of the textbooks are combined, only five historical persons are mentioned in addition to Tubman: Levi Coffin (once), Frederick Douglass (twice), Josiah Henson (once), and Nat Turner (once) (once).
The names of major players such as Lewis Hayden (Boston Vigilance Committee), David Ruggles (New York Vigilance Committee), and William Still are not included in any of the textbooks (Philadelphia Vigilance Committee).
In light of this study, the Underground Railroad Digital Classroom at the House Divided has developed its own definition of the Underground Railroad.
A New Definition of the Underground Railroad Northern abolitionists and free blacks used the Underground Railroad as a metaphor to characterize and advertise their attempts to assist fugitive slaves during the years leading up to the American Civil War.
Activists on the Underground Railroad in the North were openly rebellious of federal legislation enacted to assist in the recapture of fugitive children.
These efforts were organized around vigilance committees in northern cities such as Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Detroit, which served as the backbone of the operation.
William Still in Philadelphia, David Ruggles in New York, Lewis Hayden in Boston, and George DeBaptiste in Detroit were also notable vigilance leaders during this time period.
Even though all of these Underground Railroad personalities operated with relative freedom in the northern United States and Canada, southern operators faced considerable and recurrent hazards and, as a result, kept a somewhat lower profile.
Her numerous rescues inside the slave state of Maryland served as the foundation for her legendary reputation as Moses around the world.