The Underground Railroad Helped Enslaved Peope Who? (Professionals recommend)

The Underground Railroad was a secret system developed to aid fugitive slaves on their escape to freedom. Involvement with the Underground Railroad was not only dangerous, but it was also illegal. So, to help protect themselves and their mission secret codes were created.

How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans?

How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans? It provided a network of escape routes toward the North. In his pamphlet Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, on what did David Walker base his arguments against slavery? They feared that the abolition of slavery would destroy their economy.

What is the Underground Railroad how does it help slaves?

The Underground Railroad—the resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, through the end of the Civil War—refers to the efforts of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom by escaping bondage. Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape.

Who are some people who helped with the Underground Railroad?

These eight abolitionists helped enslaved people escape to freedom.

  • Isaac Hopper. Abolitionist Isaac Hopper.
  • John Brown. Abolitionist John Brown, c.
  • Harriet Tubman.
  • Thomas Garrett.
  • 5 Myths About Slavery.
  • William Still.
  • Levi Coffin.
  • Elijah Anderson.

Who did the Underground Railroad impact?

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. Many slaveholders were so angry at the success of the Underground Railroad that they grew to hate the North.

Why was the Underground Railroad important to American history?

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 the Underground Railroad contribute to the Civil War?

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

How was the Underground Railroad successful?

The success of the Underground Railroad rested on the cooperation of former runaway slaves, free-born blacks, Native Americans, and white and black abolitionists who helped guide runaway slaves along the routes and provided their homes as safe havens.

What was the purpose of the Underground Railroad quizlet?

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early-to-mid 19th century, and used by African-American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause.

How many slaves used 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. Those involved in the Underground Railroad used code words to maintain anonymity.

Who helped the most in the Underground Railroad?

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the best-known figure related to the underground railroad. She made by some accounts 19 or more rescue trips to the south and helped more than 300 people escape slavery.

Who helped the slaves escape?

” Harriet Tubman, perhaps the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, helped hundreds of runaway slaves escape to freedom.

How did Fairfield help slaves escape?

Posing as a slaveholder, a slave trader, and sometimes a peddler, Fairfield was able to gain the confidence of whites, which made it easier for him to lead runaway slaves to freedom. One of his most impressive feats was freeing 28 slaves by staging a funeral procession.

Where did the slaves go after the Underground Railroad?

They eventually escaped either further north or to Canada, where slavery had been abolished during the 1830s. To reduce the risk of infiltration, many people associated with the Underground Railroad knew only their part of the operation and not of the whole scheme.

Who started Underground Railroad?

In the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia that helped enslaved people on the run.

Underground Railroad

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

Quaker Abolitionists

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

What Was the Underground Railroad?

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

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

How the Underground Railroad Worked

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

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

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

Fugitive Slave Acts

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

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

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

Harriet Tubman

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

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

Frederick Douglass

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

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.

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.

See also:  Why Is Called The Underground Railroad? (Solved)

Underground Railroad

See how abolitionists in the United States, like as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Thomas Garrett, assisted enslaved people in their attempts to escape to freedom. Learn about the abolitionist movement in the United States, as well as the importance of the Underground Railroad in this historical period. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. is a publishing company that publishes encyclopedias. View all of the videos related to this topic. When escaped slaves from the South were secretly assisted by sympathetic Northerners, in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Acts, to reach safe havens in the North or Canada, this was referred to as the Underground Railroad in the United States.

Even though it was neither underground nor a railroad, it was given this name because its actions had to be carried out in secret, either via the use of darkness or disguise, and because railroad words were employed in relation to the system’s operation.

In all directions, the network of channels stretched over 14 northern states and into “the promised land” of Canada, where fugitive-slave hunters were unable to track them down or capture them.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, obtained firsthand experience of escaped slaves via her association with the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she lived for a time during the Civil War.

The existence of the Underground Railroad, despite the fact that it was only a small minority of Northerners who took part in it, did much to arouse Northern sympathy for the plight of slaves during the antebellum period, while also convincing many Southerners that the North as a whole would never peacefully allow the institution of slavery to remain unchallenged.

When was the first time a sitting president of the United States appeared on television? Return to the past for the really American responses. Amy Tikkanen has made the most current revisions and updates to this page.

The Underground Railroad

At the time of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, locations, and individuals that assisted enslaved persons in the American South in their attempts to flee to freedom in the northern states. Subjects History of the United States, Social StudiesImage

Home of Levi Coffin

A network of routes, locations, and individuals existed during the time of slavery in the United States to assist enslaved persons in the American South in their attempts to go north. Subjects Social Studies, History of the United States of America

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Underground Railroad

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After doing thorough study, we have discovered that there was no one path. A labyrinth of alternative pathways, hiding spots, assistance and treachery entangled the players. What is the educational value of studying the UGRR? While there are hundreds of Hoosiers who have assisted fugitives in their quest for freedom, there are also some Hoosiers who have assisted in the arrest of these fugitives. We are attempting to track down all of the individuals who had an effect on the lives of the fugitives through the State of Indiana’s Underground Railroad Initiative.

Historic reports are being written when the research is finished, seminars are being held, and educational materials are being developed so that Hoosiers may learn more about this element of our history.

Identifying locations, individuals, and events related with Underground Railroad involvement in Indiana is the purpose of this initiative, which was established in 2008.

Education and outreach to the general public The Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety (DHPA) sponsors a number of educational, training, and outreach activities for the general public as part of the Underground Railroad Initiative.

Staff members also give guidance and assistance to local historical organizations and individuals in their research efforts, as well as technical assistance in the submission of nominations for the National Register of Historic Places and the National Network to Freedom.

  • The following is a list of Underground Railroad Educational Resources:

Facilitation of Scientific Investigations This agency collaborates with organizations that contain Underground Railroad collections and refers scholars to these repositories. DHPA Aside from that, the DHPA has launched an inventory of the research that is available to the general public and maintains a bibliography of primary and secondary materials, which includes publications like as books, newspapers, and websites, that are related to the Underground Railroad. In addition, we now have a PDF version of the Dr.

The Indiana State Library is home to Dr.

Resources for the Underground Railroad

  • The Underground Railroad Sites in Indiana
  • The History of the Underground Railroad in Indiana
  • The Indiana Freedom Trails
  • And the Network to Freedom are some of the topics covered.

Underground Railroad – Kansapedia – Kansas Historical Society

Many slaves passed through Kansas Territory on their route to freedom during the early years of the territory’s existence. The Underground Railroad was the name given to the informal network of people who assisted these previously enslaved persons in their attempts to elude capture. Despite the fact that this trail was neither a train nor an underground passage, it did transport people from the South to the North in a hidden manner. It is hard to tell how many persons were able to escape through this scheme, which was set up by abolitionist supporters.

  1. During the American Civil War, the Underground Railroad was comprised of a network of safe homes that welcomed fugitives on their trip.
  2. Those who took part were putting their lives in danger by doing so.
  3. The black individuals who took part, whether they were free or fugitives from slavery, ran the chance of being thrown back to slavery.
  4. Numerous abolitionist organizations and religions, including the Society of Friends (Quakers), Congregationalists, Wesleyans, and Reformed Presbyterians; American Indians, former enslaved people, and free blacks were among those who opposed slavery.
  5. The majority of the fugitives fled by foot or on wagons, making their way northward from station to station.
  6. A handful of fugitives were granted sanctuary in Canada.
  7. A few days later, she managed to get away from her owner and seek refuge at the home of another settler.

Pro-slavery forces ultimately tracked her down and transported her back to Lecompton, where they were to receive their prize.

Ann walked into the kitchen to do the dishes.

The gentlemen were preoccupied with eating and drinking.

She had been waiting for this moment for a long time.

She hid among a thicket of bushes.

She stayed there till the next morning.

She had a good view across the prairie.

Ann deduced that he must be a well-educated gentleman.

When she approached the guy, she was cautious since she knew he was Dr.

He promised to pick her up and take her to his house.

Ann crept into the house and lied down softly out of sight.

Barker picked Ann up and took her to Lawrence.

and Mrs.

A big barrel that had been used as a shipping crate could be found in the basement of the Scales’ home.

This provided Ann with a claustrophobic, but more safe, hiding spot.

Scales with household chores.

He had raised approximately $70 and had borrowed a closed carriage as well as a team of mules to get to the event.

John and Ann continued their journey northward toward Holton.

It had not been an easy road to go.

Ann had to leave the safety of the carriage in order to assist John in pushing the carriage out of the muck.

The Kansas Journey is a collection of excerpts.

Kansas Historical Society is the author of this work.

Date of creation: March 2011; date of modification: December 2020. Unless otherwise stated, the author of this article is entirely responsible for the content of this article.

FSU experts available to discuss life of Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery and dedicated her life to abolitionist causes. Once she had escaped to freedom in Philadelphia, she returned multiple times to the southern United States to assist other slaves in escaping, transporting them to safety via the Underground Railroad. Experts from Florida State University are ready to speak with you about Harriet Tubman’s life in advance of the upcoming film “Harriet.” Growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Tubman was hired as a domestic worker by a family that had rented her out when she was a little child.

  • She was struck in the head by a heavy object, and she will suffer from terrible headaches for the rest of her life.
  • Jones is a history professor at Florida State University who specializes in women’s history.
  • From there, she began plotting covert operations to release others who were imprisoned.
  • Jones, Professor of History [email protected] Maxine D.

According to Jones, the most well-known aspect of Tubman’s life is that she assisted enslaved people in escaping their lives as property in the South, an accomplishment that earned her the moniker “Moses.” The fact that she also worked as a spy and scout for the Union Army during the Civil War is a little known fact among historians.

  1. This is an occurrence that appears to be depicted in the film’s trailer.
  2. She needed to be entirely devoted to the cause if she was going to walk into a place where her freedom and life were on the line with each voyage.
  3. “It was said that she was prepared to quiet — and even kill — that individual if necessary.” Her advocacy for freedom continued later in her life when she spoke in favour of the Women’s Suffrage Association.
  4. A teaching assistant professor at Florida State University, Meghan Martinez has a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
  5. Martinez described Tubman as “a symbol of black agency and sovereignty.” “People like Abraham Lincoln are frequently credited for ‘freeing the slaves,’ and this is understandable.

‘However, Harriet Tubman is a shining example of the various ways in which black people struggled to liberate themselves from slavery — both physically, as Tubman did in the Underground Railroad and during the Civil War, and also via political engagement.’ Slavery abolitionists like Harriet Tubman were active in anti-slavery groups in the North, where they educated white Northerners about the horrors and crimes of slavery.

In order to elicit empathy from white supporters and to convince them to become abolitionists themselves, they put their own trauma on the line.”

Underground Railroad in New York

Travel down New York’s Underground Railroad to commemorate the history and valor that carried America to freedom during the American Civil War era. Note: Please join I LOVE NY for a panel discussion with top experts from Underground Railroad tourist destinations. You can see it here. Why did New York play such a significant part in the Underground Railroad, which helped approximately 100,000 enslaved people escape to freedom in the northern United States and Canada during the American Civil War?

See also:  How Many Peopel Could Escape At Once On The Underground Railroad?

Visiting New York’s Underground Railroad system, which stretches from Brooklyn to Buffalo and everywhere in between, and learning the stories of America’s most courageous abolitionists along the route, is a popular tourist attraction.

For further information, please see the Underground Railroad page on the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation’s website.

Harriet Tubman and the Search for Freedom in Mexico

While the decision to replace former President Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill with that of abolitionist Harriet Tubman may appear to be a move inward, it is actually a move away from the foreign-policy-focused presidents and statesmen who have graced the United States currency since its founding in the early twentieth century. The role of Harriet Tubman in a network that helped people gain freedom in British colonial Canada, however, was part of a larger struggle between competing visions of American foreign policy, among those who saw the hemisphere as a battleground for slavery versus a battleground for freedom versus slavery.

Tubman was the first African-American woman to be elected to the United States Senate.

Tubman’s efforts on the Underground Railroad in the 1850s, assisting between 70 and 300 enslaved persons to go in the other direction, from slavery to freedom, may appear little in the perspective of millions of people being forced to migrate across the continent.

There were several probable destinations, with Canada being one of them.

While the decision to replace former President Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill with that of abolitionist Harriet Tubman may appear to be a move inward, it is actually a move away from the foreign-policy-focused presidents and statesmen who have graced the United States currency since its founding in the early twentieth century.

Tubman was born in the early 1820s, during a period of forced migration known as the Second Middle Passage, during which approximately a million Black people were trafficked from the older, coastal states to fertile, cotton-growing land taken from Native Americans in the new Louisiana Territory.

  1. They were then sent down the Mississippi River to the Deep South, specifically Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.
  2. While noteworthy in and of itself, her actions are notable in part because they were an unusual example of a dilemma — whether or not to attempt to seek freedom abroad — that thousands of people faced in various ways during the first half of the nineteenth century.
  3. Liberia, Haiti, Spanish Florida, Central America, and Mexico were just a few of the countries to which African Americans fled in search of freedom and a better life prior to the American Revolution.
  4. The colony of Liberia in West Africa was formed by the American Colonization Society, an organization that held the belief that it was neither feasible or desirable for Black and White people to coexist peacefully in the same place.

It was never particularly popular among African-Americans to emigrate to Liberia, in part because of the implications inherent in colonization arguments that free Black people were not “real Americans,” but for many who were released from slavery on the condition that they emigrated, there was no choice.

  1. Haiti, the world’s first sovereign Black-led country, appeared to be a promising prospect at first.
  2. Abolitionist Benjamin Lundy campaigned for the formation of a free colony in Tamaulipas, Mexico, south of the Mexican territory of Texas.
  3. As was the case with the colonization of Liberia, Lundy’s proposal was put out as a purposeful response to the development of slavery.
  4. The worsening conditions for Black people, both enslaved and free, beginning in the 1830s rekindled Black movements for migration as well as other forms of resistance.
  5. Both enslaved fugitive and free Black Americans had established in North America outside the borders of the United States since the colonial period, in areas such as Spanish Florida among the Seminoles or rural Appalachia.
  6. However, for the expanding number of enslaved persons in the Deep South, Canada was out of the question.
  7. According to her, Mexico would be a safe haven where Black people’s rights would not be “continually infringed upon,” and where “our value will be understood and acknowledged,” according to the New York Times.

A considerably more convenient route to freedom for many enslaved persons in the Deep South than attempting to travel to the northern states or Canada was through Mexico.

As a result, African-Americans followed the advise of the Philadelphia woman and traveled to Mexico.

And, like those fleeing to the United States via the northern Underground Railroad, those going to Mexico relied on the assistance of strangers.

However, free Black people also relocated to the area, establishing companies, learning Spanish, and eventually becoming citizens.

However, it wasn’t long before the large swathes of Mexican territory that provided freedom and opportunity for African-Americans began to dwindle in size.

Pro-slavery advocates such as Andrew Jackson’s vice president, John Calhoun, have campaigned for territory conquests and hemispheric policies in defense of slavery in areas like as Cuba and Brazil, among other locations.

Mexico was the next stop.

Southerners who supported territorial expansion have been screaming for access to new regions.

Texas colonization had the potential to offer up fresh cotton-growing area, but Mexican abolition in 1829 put this strategy in jeopardy.

Even with the fast increase in the number of enslaved individuals being relocated to the area, an independent Republic of Texas remained an unstable defender of slavery despite its independence.

Britain’s foreign policy was explicitly and frequently fiercely antislavery, and this was reflected in its foreign policy.

Abolitionists were outspoken in their opposition to the war, believing it to be yet another triumph for the extension of slave territory in North America and the strengthening of slavery’s grip on the United States.

A compromise was tried in the Compromise of 1850 to reconcile the pro- and antislavery demands in reference to the huge territory gains that had resulted from the Mexican-American War’s triumph.

The Fugitive Slave Act, on the other hand, applied the rules of slave-holding states to the whole country, essentially compelling governments where slavery was prohibited to recognize enslaved status.

Accounts of successful escapes by Frederick Douglass or Harriet Jacobs were counterbalanced by stories of kidnapped free individuals, such as Henrietta Wood in Ohio or Solomon Northrup in New York, who were held against their will.

This just serves to highlight the significance of Tubman’s efforts throughout the 1850s.

Staying in Philadelphia and returning to Maryland on a number of occasions to accompany others to freedom was an extraordinary act of bravery on his part.

Through her own efforts, Tubman assisted many Americans in coming to comprehend the extent to which Black people were willing to go in order to secure their freedom, even journeys that took them outside of the United States’ boundaries.

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.

Franklin County, PA

Former President Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill has been replaced with the abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s image, which may appear to be a turn inward, away from the presidents and statesmen who have graced U.S. currency since the early twentieth century who have been concerned with foreign affairs. The participation of Harriet Tubman in a network that helped individuals gain freedom in British colonial Canada, however, was part of a larger conflict between rival conceptions of American foreign policy, among those who saw the hemisphere as a war for slavery vs a battleground for liberty.

  • Tubman was the first African-American woman to become a United States citizen.
  • Tubman’s efforts on the Underground Railroad in the 1850s, assisting between 70 and 300 enslaved individuals journey in the other direction, to freedom, may appear little in the light of millions of people being forced to migrate across the continent.
  • There were several potential destinations, with Canada being one of them.
  • Former President Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill has been replaced with the abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s image, which may appear to be a turn inward, away from the presidents and statesmen who have graced U.S.
  • The participation of Harriet Tubman in a network that helped individuals gain freedom in British colonial Canada, however, was part of a larger conflict between rival conceptions of American foreign policy, among those who saw the hemisphere as a war for slavery vs a battleground for liberty.
  • Tubman was the first African-American woman to become a United States citizen.
  • Tubman’s efforts on the Underground Railroad in the 1850s, assisting between 70 and 300 enslaved individuals journey in the other direction, to freedom, may appear little in the light of millions of people being forced to migrate across the continent.

There were several potential destinations, with Canada being one of them.

The Second Middle Passage transported enslaved individuals to new United States territory in the southern United States at the same time that some American leaders discussed the advantages of relocating others to new colonies for liberated people.

With free Black labor, rather than slave labor, it was believed that the new settlement of Black Americans would promote American ideals, particularly Christianity and plantation capitalism, rather than promoting slavery itself.

Others were more popular than others as vacation spots.

Nevertheless, a big emigration scheme supported by Haitian President Jean-Pierre Boyer was unsuccessful because the immigrants were forced to endure tremendous hardship—drought, hunger, and a smallpox epidemic—which made it impossible for them to develop farms and find employment.

A purposeful threat to slavery’s spread was posed by Lundy’s plan, which included the colonization of Liberia.

Conditions for Black people, both enslaved and free, deteriorated in the 1830s, sparking a resurgence of black campaigns for migration.

For more than a century after the American Revolution, enslaved fugitives and free Black Americans had established communities across North America, including in areas like Spanish Florida among the Seminoles and rural Appalachia.

During the American Civil War, the abolitionist journal The Liberator published a letter from an unknown free Black lady in Philadelphia urging her to go to Mexico.

See also:  Where Were The Slaves Trying To Get To On The Underground Railroad? (Professionals recommend)

After freeing the last of its enslaved population in 1829, Mexico (which still possessed territory ranging from Texas to California) became the first country to do so.

As a result, historians have discovered that, in contrast to northern states, where slave catchers were not often prohibited from reenslaving people, attempts to track down those fleeing slavery into Mexico were frequently thwarted.

Women and men such as Beverly, an escaped convict from Louisiana who made his way across Texas; or Elijah and Zeb, who fled Arkansas and were mistaken by their master into thinking they were headed via Texas to “go among the savage Indians.” People migrating to Mexico relied on strangers for assistance in the same way as those fleeing to America’s northern states did.

  1. Nevertheless, free Black people also relocated to the area, establishing companies and learning Spanish, as well as obtaining citizenship.
  2. decided to travel to Mexico, where he obtained citizenship in 1844.
  3. Since the Revolutionary War, the United States has pursued hemispheric goals as part of its foreign strategy.
  4. American slavery was utilized to extend and protect itself throughout the hemisphere as a result of the Louisiana Purchase in 1804, the adoption of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, and the acquisition of Eastern Florida by President John Quincy Adams (at the time secretary of state).
  5. His enthusiasm for white American migration to Texas, which he wanted to acquire as part of his acquisition of the land, came from his childhood.
  6. The land in the Eastern United States has been depleted by cotton cultivation.
  7. By waging a military campaign for Texas independence in 1835, Jackson’s buddy Sam Houston widened the boundary of slavery, making sanctuary in Mexico just a little bit more out of reach for those fleeing through the southern Underground Railroad, which extended just beyond the Rio Grande.

There was a possibility of pressure from London on the nascent Republic to prohibit the slave trade and the use of enslaved labor.

President James Polk’s involvement and annexation of Texas, which ultimately resulted in the Mexican-American War in 1846-1848, was driven in part by the possibility of British action.

Because of the implementation of the Fugitive Slave Act as part of the Compromise of 1850, Canada had become increasingly enticing by the 1850s, when Tubman started transporting individuals to freedom from Maryland.

California would be accepted as a free state, but Texas would be admitted as a slave state, according to the Constitution.

Individuals who were free Black Americans who lived near the borders of slave states were particularly vulnerable to abduction and slavery.

Slavery’s expansion into “free” territory, even inside the borders of the United States, made Canada—and the clout of the antislavery British Empire—the greatest option for those seeking freedom.

In Liberia, she might have traveled on her own to find protection, or she could have looked for work in Canada.

It was one of many routes to freedom that were eventually closed off as a result of the unrelenting extension of slavery that was encouraged by persons like Andrew Jackson and his supporters.

Through her own efforts, Tubman assisted many Americans in coming to comprehend the extent to which Black people were willing to go in order to secure their freedom, even journeys that took them outside of the United States’ boundaries.


Franklin County’s geographic position close north of the Mason-Dixon line has long been recognized as one of its most distinguishing features. It is a border region of a border state that is firmly a part of the North but has significant cultural, physical, and economic links to the South. It is also a border region of a border state. Many African American communities, including those made up of liberated former slaves and their descendants as well as fugitive slaves who decided to remain in Pennsylvania, flourished in Franklin County during the decades preceding the Civil War.

A significant free black population could be found in several towns around the county, but the community in and around Mercersburg, which is just a few miles from Maryland on the hilly western end of the county, is particularly noteworthy in terms of its historical significance.

Slavery in Pennsylvania and Franklin County

slavery existed in Pennsylvania from the time of the state’s founding in the 1640s, and it was practiced even among Quakers, who later became its most vocal opponents. William Penn himself was a slave owner, and it is reported that he preferred owning black slaves over employing white indentured servants throughout the course of his career. Even as additional slaves were brought into the area, however, significant religious and moral opposition to slavery arose within a few decades of its introduction.

During the Pennsylvania legislative session of 1780, the Pennsylvania legislature passed An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, which sought to make the process of abolition less disruptive to the state’s economy than immediate emancipation, while also respecting the property rights of slaveholders.

Children, on the other hand, were legally obligated to work as indentured slaves until they reached the age of 28, while adults were enslaved for the rest of their lives.

Inevitably, the abolition of slavery didn’t herald the abolition of racism or prejudice, and these close-knit communities provided them with some kind of protection.

Pennsylvania enacted its own personal liberty legislation, both at the state and regional levels, that was in contradiction with the new federal statute, but the danger remained in place.

So Franklin County was an especially hazardous battlefield, pitting anti-slavery campaigners against slave hunters and their spies in a series of bloody battles.

The Underground Railroad in Franklin County

Abolitionists and Quakers both fought to keep slavery out of Pennsylvania from the state’s initial colonization in the 1640s, eventually becoming its most vocal opponents. William Penn himself was a slave owner, and it is believed that he preferred owning black slaves over employing white indentured servants throughout the course of his career. Even as more slaves were brought into the area, however, within a few decades, there was a growing theological and moral opposition to slavery. Abolitionist sentiment was particularly strong in southern Pennsylvania, particularly in Franklin County, where agriculture was the mainstay of the local economy.

  1. As a result of the passage of the statute, the state barred the continued importation of slaves, and children born in Pennsylvania were granted their freedom.
  2. Upon their release, the majority of freed African Americans in Franklin County decided to remain in the region with their families, forming communities that were based on shared values such as race, family, and religious affiliations.
  3. After the passage of the federal Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which permitted slave owners to capture and claim their runaway slaves even if they had crossed into free states, the importance of security and shelter increased even more significantly.
  4. All of this occurred during the decade leading up to the American Civil War, when compromising with the South was a highly popular attitude, particularly in border regions like ours, particularly in the South.

Mercersburg’s “Little Africa”

Slavery existed in Pennsylvania from the time of its founding in the 1640s, even among Quakers, who would later become its most vocal opponents. William Penn himself was a slave owner, and it is reported that he preferred owning black slaves to employing white indentured servants to the other way around. Even as additional slaves were transported into the area, however, significant religious and moral opposition to slavery developed within a few decades. Slavery was particularly prevalent in southern Pennsylvania, particularly in Franklin County, where agriculture was the primary source of income.

  1. Following the passage of the legislation, future slave imports into the state was outlawed, and children born in Pennsylvania were granted their freedom.
  2. Following their manumission, the majority of liberated African Americans in Franklin County decided to remain in the region with their families, settling into communities that were bonded by race, family, and religion after their manumission.
  3. After the passage of the federal Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which permitted slave owners to capture and claim their runaway slaves even after they had crossed into free states, the importance of security and shelter increased even more.
  4. The events described above took place during the decade leading up to the American Civil War, when compromise with the South was a fairly popular attitude, particularly in border regions like ours.

As a result, Franklin County was a perilous battleground, where anti-slavery campaigners faced off against slave catchers and their spies.

The 54th and 55th Massachusetts and the Zion Union Cemetery

MILITARY UNIFORMS OF THE 54th MASS. INFANTRY REGIMENT, US COLORED TROOPS The 54th Massachusetts Regiment was one of the first Civil War fighting regiments to accept African Americans when it was formed in 1863. Soldiers from Pennsylvania made up more than a quarter of the highly regarded unit’s membership. Mercersburg came in second only to Philadelphia in terms of assembling volunteers from around the state. The regiment’s bravery helped to raise the general public’s opinion of black troops and to increase recruitment.

  1. After the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, African Americans were granted the opportunity to serve in the Union Army for the first time.
  2. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Unit, which was the first all-African American regiment, was made famous by the 1989 filmGlory, which starred Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman as members of the regiment.
  3. On the battlefield, the 54th is most renowned for its courageous but fatal attack on Fort Wagner, which guarded the port of Charleston, South Carolina.
  4. Despite their defeat, the damage they caused to the fort resulted in the Confederacy’s eventual abandonment of the structure.
  5. After the war, the African American community needed a larger burial ground for their dead, and they pooled their resources to purchase about three acres south of the Mercersburg Borough in 1876.
  6. There are at least 38 Civil War servicemen buried there, including thirteen members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
  7. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission dedicated the memorial depicted above in November 2009, according to their website.

Southern Invasion and Aftermath

In 1863, the Gettysburg Campaign and the subsequent invasion of Franklin County, which culminated in the Burning of Chambersburg, brought the relative stability of Franklin County’s free African American community to a crashing halt. Confederate forces unleashed a reign of brutality and terror, seizing free African Americans and transporting them back to the South, where they were put to work or sold for profit to the highest bidder. After the Civil War, white Pennsylvanians were keen to reestablish economic and social links with Maryland and the rest of the South.

  • Relations between whites and African Americans deteriorated as a result of the lack of a shared moral purpose to unite them.
  • Despite this, the history of African American Mercersburg is still very much alive and thriving today.
  • Also still there are descendants of the original African-American population, including relatives of African-American Union troops, who reside in the neighborhood and pay honor to their rich cultural history.
  • It was a simple matter of following the map and visiting the locations marked on this leaflet, which was developed by the Mercersburg Historical Architectural Review Board and distributed by the Franklin County Visitor’s Bureau.

During my stay, as well as during my research and writing for this piece, it proved to be a wonderful resource. It is strongly recommended that you take the same guided tour that I did if you find this material as intriguing as I do.

Sources and Suggested Reading

“African Americans in Pennsylvania: Slavery and Resistance, 164401865,” according to the bibliography. Pennsylvania has a rich history of African-Americans. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is a state agency. Edward L. Ayers’s In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 is a history of the American Civil War. The W. W. Norton Company published a book in 2003 titled “The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War,” an electronic archive (Barnes, Roscoe III.

“The Mercersburg family remembers the United States Colored Troops.” Public Opinion, published on November 11, 2010.

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism in the county.

McCulloh is the author of this work.

The Mercersburg Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Mercersburg.

A Living Legacy: African American Historic Sites in Mercersburg, Mercer County, Pennsylvania Smith, David G., et al.

Switala, William J., “Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania,” in Switala, William J.

“The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment,” the caption reads.

A E Television Networks is a television network owned by AEG.

Mercersburg’s historic district.

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