The Underground Railroad: What Was It And How Did It Work? (Suits you)

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

What was the Underground Railroad and why was it created?

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.

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.

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 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.

What happened to the Underground Railroad?

End of the Line The Underground Railroad ceased operations about 1863, during the Civil War. In reality, its work moved aboveground as part of the Union effort against the Confederacy.

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 far did the Underground Railroad go?

Because it was dangerous to be in free states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, or even Massachusetts after 1850, most people hoping to escape traveled all the way to Canada. So, you could say that the Underground Railroad went from the American south to Canada.

What happened after the Underground Railroad ended?

After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act as part of the Compromise of 1850 the Underground Railroad was rerouted to Canada as its final destination. Thousands of slaves settled in newly formed communities in Southern Ontario. Those who helped slaves were subjected to $1000 fine or 6 months in prison.

Why was it called the Underground Railroad?

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

How many slaves died trying to escape?

At least 2 million Africans –10 to 15 percent–died during the infamous “Middle Passage” across the Atlantic. Another 15 to 30 percent died during the march to or confinement along the coast. Altogether, for every 100 slaves who reached the New World, another 40 had died in Africa or during the Middle Passage.

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.

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.

2: Timing

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.

  1. If they want to apprehend a bunch of escapees, they can join a plantation on the pretext of being a slave.
  2. There were a few attempts at fashion that came close to becoming brilliant.
  3. After surviving numerous close calls while traveling openly by rail and boat, they were able to make it to the North.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

6. Fighting

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.

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.
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Underground Railroad

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

Facts, information and articles about the Underground Railroad

Aproximate year of birth: 1780

Ended

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

Slaves Freed

Estimates range between 6,000 and 10,000.

Prominent Figures

From 6,000 to 8,000 people are expected to attend

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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

Runaway assistance appears to have occurred well before the nineteenth century. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with the assistance provided to one of his fugitive slaves by “a organization of Quakers, created specifically for this reason.” The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers as they are more officially known, were among the first abolitionist organizations to emerge in the nineteenth century. It is possible that their influence had a role in Pennsylvania becoming the first state to abolish slavery, given it was home to many Quakers at the time.

Due to his role in the Underground Railroad, Levi is sometimes referred to as its president.

“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 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (published in 1852).

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

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

Eastern Illinois University : Teaching with Primary Sources

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

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

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

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

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

A Dangerous Path to Freedom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ConductorsAbolitionists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efforts of Abolitionists Telling Their Story:Fugitive Slave Narratives

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

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

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

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

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

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

OurStory : Activities : Slave Live and the Underground Railroad : More Information

The Underground Railroad’s historical context Harriet Tubman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. The Library of Congress has provided permission to use this image. During the 1800s, nearly one hundred thousand slaves attempted to gain their freedom by fleeing their masters’ possessions. These courageous Black Americans walked north toward free states and Canada via hidden routes known as the Underground Railroad, or south into Mexico on routes known as the Underground Railroad. Through their assistance to the runaways, free Blacks, Whites, Native Americans, and former slaves served as “conductors.” The vast majority of those who contributed were everyday individuals, such as storekeepers, housewives, carpenters, clergy, farmers, and educators.

  • Others, referred to as “agents,” sought to liberate the slaves by providing them with new clothing, collecting money for food and medication, training them to read and write, and giving lectures to persuade others that slavery was immoral.
  • A slave grinding grain with a mortar and pestle.
  • Smithsonian Institution |
  • View a bigger version Passengers were the term used to refer to slaves who traveled on the Underground Railroad.
  • A group of volunteers called “agents” tried to free the slaves by providing them with new clothes, collecting money for food and medication, training them to read and write, and giving lectures to persuade people that slavery was immoral.
  • Everyone who took part in the Underground Railroad shown incredible bravery.
  • The people who assisted slaves were likewise in grave risk, yet they persisted in their efforts because they regarded slavery to be unconstitutional.
  • With Minty, a novel created by Alan Schroeder, you may learn more about Harriet Tubman when she was a tiny girl who dreamed of independence.

The Secret History of the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad’s historical background Her name is Harriet Tubman, and she was an Underground Railroad conductor. The Library of Congress has provided permission to use their images. A total of about one hundred thousand slaves sought freedom from their masters throughout the nineteenth century by fleeing from their plantation owners. In order to move north toward free states and Canada, or south toward Mexico, these courageous Black Americans used hidden pathways known as the Underground Railroad.

  • Song, storytelling, and signals like as notches in trees were used to communicate secret messages to fugitives.
  • Stations were temporary safe havens where fugitive slaves might stay for a few days before continuing their journey.
  • Original artwork created by the Museum of American History in 2002 |
  • see it in full size Passengers were the term used to describe slaves who traveled on the Underground Railroad.
  • A group of volunteers called “agents” tried to free the slaves by providing them with new clothes, collecting money for food and medication, training them to read and write, and delivering speeches to persuade people that slavery was immoral.
  • It took tremendous courage for anyone to take part in the Underground Railroad.
  • Even though those who assisted slaves were subjected to severe danger, they persisted in their efforts because they felt slavery was unjust.

With Minty, a novel created by Alan Schroeder, you may learn more about Harriet Tubman when she was a little girl with a desire of freedom. return to the Slave Life and the Underground Railroad section

The Underground Railroad in Indiana

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

  1. There was a great deal of activity on the Underground Railroad in the states that bordered the Ohio River, which served as a boundary between slave and free states.
  2. Not everyone in Indiana supported the emancipation of enslaved people.
  3. Because Indiana was a part of the Underground Railroad, its narrative is the tale of all states that had a role in it.
  4. However, while some people did have secret chambers in their homes or carriages, the great bulk of the Underground Railroad consisted of individuals surreptitiously assisting slaves who were attempting to flee slavery in whatever manner they were able to.
  5. The persons that were enslaved were referred to as “passengers.” “Stations” were private residences or commercial establishments where passengers and conductors seeking freedom might take refuge.
  6. If a new owner supported slavery, or if the residence was revealed to be a station on the Underground Railroad, passengers and conductors were obliged to locate a new station or move on somewhere.
  7. Only a small number of people kept records of this hidden activity in order to protect homeowners and others seeking freedom who required assistance.
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People who were found assisting those who had fled slavery faced arrest and imprisonment.

No one knows exactly how the Underground Railroad received its name, nor does anybody care.

Another version of the story assigns the name to a freedom-seeker who was apprehended in Washington, D.C., in the year 1839.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their petition was refused by Congress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

cattle Andoxen are nouncows.

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

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

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

convictVerb to find someone guilty of committing a criminal offense.

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

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

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

enslave acquainted with the verbto completely control Adjectivewell-known.

forbidVerb to ban or prohibit something.

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

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

labor is a noun that refers to work or employment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

prominentAdjectivethat is significant or stands out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Editors

Kara West, Emdash Editing, Jeannie Evers, Emdash Editing

Producer

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

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