Only two women get mentioned in the popular stories – Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman, “The Black Moses”, a former slave and an iconic leader who freed hundreds of enslaved people. After escaping slavery, she served as a conductor of the Underground Railroad.
Who helped conduct the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad had many notable participants, including John Fairfield in Ohio, the son of a slaveholding family, who made many daring rescues, Levi Coffin, a Quaker who assisted more than 3,000 slaves, and Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom.
What is the name of the female conductor of the Underground Railroad that rescued more than 300 slaves?
Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”
Who was most famous for helping with 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.
What did Frederick Douglass do?
Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery, before and during the Civil War.
What was Thomas Garrett’s role in the Underground Railroad?
Quaker abolitionist Thomas Garrett, raised on a farm in Upper Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, regularly hid runaway slaves and assisted as many as 3,000 fugitives in their escape.
What happened to Harriet Tubman sister?
This period is chronicled in Harriet. Tubman ultimately rescued all but one. She didn’t save her sister Rachel Ross. She died shortly before her older sister arrived to bring her to freedom.
Is Gertie Davis died?
The person we know as “Harriet Tubman” endured decades in bondage before becoming Harriet Tubman. Tubman was born under the name Araminta Ross sometime around 1820 (the exact date is unknown); her mother nicknamed her Minty.
Who were the pilots of the Underground Railroad?
Using the terminology of the railroad, those who went south to find enslaved people seeking freedom were called “pilots.” Those who guided enslaved people to safety and freedom were “conductors.” The enslaved people were “passengers.” People’s homes or businesses, where fugitive passengers and conductors could safely
Was Harriet Tubman an abolitionist?
Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in the South to become a leading abolitionist before the American Civil War. She led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom in the North along the route of the Underground Railroad.
What was Frederick Douglass famous quote?
“ Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”
Who was Frederick Douglass father?
Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, a slave, in Tuckahoe, Talbot County, Maryland. Mother is a slave, Harriet Bailey, and father is a white man, rumored to be his master, Aaron Anthony. He had three older siblings, Perry, Sarah, and Eliza.
Why was Frederick Douglass a hero?
Fredrick Douglass is a hero because in the 1800s he was a former slave who became one of the great American anti- slavery leaders, and was a supporter of womens rights. He also started an abolition journal, The North Star in 1847, which was a journal on slavery and anti-slavery.
Women of the Underground Railroad featured in Kentucky exhibit
Delia Ann Webster aided the family’s escape from slavery in Lexington by crossing the Ohio River at Maysville with a little slave child hiding beneath the seat of her carriage and his slave parents, who were covered in flour, riding above her. Webster is one of a large number of women, both black and white, who performed crucial but often overlooked roles in the Underground Railroad, safeguarding Southern slaves and guiding many of them to the promise of freedom in the North. W.T. Young Library’s Warriors in the Shadows: Women of the Underground Railroad exhibit, which runs through March, depicts some of their tales, including Webster’s.
In Wilkinson’s words, “This is really significant to me because I respected those women for their great battling spirit.” “This is a topic that isn’t discussed often in the media.
Her leadership of hundreds of slaves north continued despite a horrific head wound she received at the hands of an overseer that resulted in seizures, severe headaches, and narcoleptic episodes.
Women like Webster, who was arrested in Lexington following the 1844 journey to Maysville and subsequently convicted and sentenced to two years in jail, are less well-known.
- In 1852, she purchased a farm in Trimble County, Indiana, which was located across the Ohio River from Madison, Indiana.
- Her life was threatened by mobs on more than one time, and she was arrested and imprisoned once more.
- A judge in Indiana, where she had taken refuge, declined to extradite her back to Kentucky to face justice for her crimes.
- The show also includes a portrait of Lucretia Coffin Mott, a Quaker minister who was so opposed to slavery that she boycotted all things made with slave labor in the 1830s, according to the museum.
- The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society was created by her in 1833, and she led a team of female anti-slavery activists to the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England, where women were not permitted to participate due to their gender discrimination.
- And then there’s Ellen Craft, the enslaved daughter of a biracial slave and their white owner, who is a significant character in the story.
- Craft was presented to the mistress’ daughter as a wedding gift when she was 11 years old.
It was in 1848 that they came up with a plan of escape that needed Ellen to disguise as a white guy with an injured arm that prevented him from writing and bandages around his mouth that prevented him from speaking.
It was successful.
Both were quickly highlighted in public lectures given by abolitionists who were attempting to raise public awareness of the abolitionist cause.
With three of their children, they emigrated to the United States in 1868 and established an agricultural school in Georgia for freed slaves.
Morlan Gallery at Transylvania University, as well as Georgetown College, have both hosted exhibitions of the work.
People active in the Underground Railroad were referred to as “warriors” by Wilkinson because they had discovered a new method to fight, and she added the word “shadows” since much of their activity was carried out in secret.
The original version of this story was published on February 28, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.
8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad
Delia Ann Webster aided the family’s escape from slavery in Lexington by crossing the Ohio River at Maysville with a little slave child hiding beneath the seat of her carriage and his slave parents, who were coated in flour, riding above her. Sally Webster is one of many women, both black and white, who performed crucial but often overlooked roles in the Underground Railroad, safeguarding Southern slaves and bringing many of them to the promise of freedom in northern states. W.T. Young Library’s Warriors in the Shadows: Women of the Underground Railroad exhibit, which runs through March, depicts some of their tales, including Webster’s.
- In Wilkinson’s words, “this is really significant to me since I adored those ladies for their great battling spirit.” “A lot of people are unaware of the existence of this region.
- She returned frequently for relatives and strangers alike.
- Due to the warden’s fondness for her, she was freed from prison after less than two months.
- Soon after, slaves in the neighborhood began to vanish without a trace, and Webster was identified as a leading suspect.
- A second accusation emanating from the 1844 Lexington escape led to her indictment in 1854 on an additional count.
- She appears to have relocated to Iowa following the Civil War, where she died in 1902, according to historical records.
- In response to her convictions, which included women’s rights and religious reform, she was regularly threatened with physical harm.
In the United States, she dedicated her life to the advancement of women’s rights and was instrumental in the establishment of Swarthmore College in 1864.
Craft looked so much like her white half-siblings that she was frequently mistaken for them, which did not sit well with the mistress of the house.
She met and married William Craft, another slave, a few years later, while she was still a little girl.
He worked as a personal servant for the individual in question.
After traveling by rail and ferry, they landed in Philadelphia on Christmas Day.
In 1850, however, the Fugitive Slave Law was established, and the couple fled to England, where they had five children and wrote a book about their experience escaping slavery.
While serving on the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission some years ago, Wilkinson began working on the display.
At the Young Library in 2006, there was a scaled-down replica on display.
“”They had to conceal themselves as well,” she explained, “in order to safeguard their families.” These people are combatants who are hidden among the slaves, according to my interpretation of their actions.” Among her many accomplishments include the founding and direction of the University of Kentucky’s African American Studies and Research Program, the Black Women’s Conference, as well as the creation of the African American Heritage Trail in Lexington, which she has garnered several accolades for.
The original version of this story was published on February 28, 2013 at 12:50 p.m. local time.
2. John Brown
Delia Ann Webster assisted the family in escaping slavery in Lexington by crossing the Ohio River at Maysville with a little slave child hidden beneath the seat of her carriage and his slave parents, who were coated in flour, riding above her. A large number of women, both black and white, performed significant but often overlooked roles in the Underground Railroad, safeguarding slaves in the South and guiding them to the promise of freedom in the North. Some of these experiences, including Webster’s, are represented in Warriors in the Shadows: Women of the Underground Railroad, an exhibit on display at the W.T.
- In Wilkinson’s words, “This is really significant to me because I adored those ladies and their great battling spirit.” “This is a topic that is rarely discussed.
- Her leadership of hundreds of slaves north continued despite a horrific head wound she received at the hands of an overseer that caused seizures, severe headaches, and narcoleptic episodes.
- Women like Webster, who was caught in Lexington following the 1844 journey to Maysville and convicted and sentenced to two years in jail, are less well-known.
- In 1852, she purchased a property in Trimble County, Indiana, which was located across the Ohio River from Madison, Ind.
- Mobs accosted her on more than one occasion, and she was arrested and incarcerated twice more as a result of their actions.
- Her extradition to Kentucky was denied by a judge in Indiana, where she had sought refuge after being arrested in Kentucky.
- The show also includes the work of Lucretia Coffin Mott, a Quaker minister who was so opposed to slavery that she shunned any things made with slave labor in the 1830s.
The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society was created by her in 1833, and she led a team of female anti-slavery activists to the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England, where women were not allowed to participate due to their gender discrimination.
And then there’s Ellen Craft, the enslaved daughter of a biracial slave and their white owner, who is a character in her own right.
Craft was presented to the mistress’s daughter as a wedding gift when she was 11 years old.
In 1848, they planned an escape strategy that required Ellen to masquerade as a white man with a broken arm that prevented him from writing and bandages over his mouth that prevented him from speaking.
It was effective.
Both were quickly presented in public lectures given by abolitionists who were attempting to raise public awareness about the abolition of slavery.
With three of their children, they emigrated to the United States in 1868 and founded an agricultural school in Georgia for freed slaves.
It has been on exhibit in the Morlan Gallery at Transylvania University as well as at Georgetown College.
Wilkinson used the term “fighter” for individuals participating in the Underground Railroad because they had discovered a new way to fight, and she added the word “shadows” since most of their activity was done in secret.
The original version of this story was published on February 28, 2013 at 12:50 p.m. ET.
3. Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she experienced repeated violent beatings, one of which involving a two-pound lead weight, which left her with seizures and migraines for the rest of her life. Tubman fled bondage in 1849, following the North Star on a 100-mile walk into Pennsylvania, fearing she would be sold and separated from her family. She died in the process. She went on to become the most well-known “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, participating in around 13 rescue missions back into Maryland and rescuing at least 70 enslaved individuals, including several of her siblings.
As a scout, spy, and healer for the Union Army, Tubman maintained her anti-slavery activities during the Civil War, and is believed to have been the first woman in the United States to lead troops into battle.
When Harriet Tubman Led a Civil War Raid, You Should Pay Attention
4. Thomas Garrett
‘Thomas Garrett’ is a fictional character created by author Thomas Garrett. The New York Public Library is a public library in New York City. The Quaker “stationmaster” Thomas Garrett, who claimed to have assisted over 2,750 escaped slaves before the commencement of the Civil War, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, and Tubman frequently stopped there on her route up north. Garret not only gave his guests with a place to stay but also with money, clothing & food. He even personally led them to a more secure area on occasion, arm in arm.
Despite this, he persisted in his efforts.
He also stated that “if any of you know of any poor slave who needs assistance, please send him to me, as I now publicly pledge myself to double my diligence and never miss an opportunity to assist a slave to obtain freedom.”
5. William Still
Mister Garrett is a fictitious character created by author Thomas Garrett. The New York Public Library is a public library located in New York City. The Quaker “stationmaster” Thomas Garrett, who claimed to have assisted over 2,750 escaped slaves before the commencement of the Civil War, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, and Tubman frequently stopped there on her trip north. As well as a place to stay, Garrett offered his guests with money, clothing, and food, and he occasionally physically led them arm-in-arm to a more secure area.
However, he was unafraid to continue.
6. Levi Coffin
Charles T. Webber’s painting The Underground Railroad depicts fleeing slaves Levi Coffin, his wife Catherine, and Hannah Haydock providing assistance to the group of fugitive slaves. Getty Images/Bettina Archive/Getty Images Levi Coffin, often known as the “president of the Underground Railroad,” is said to have been an abolitionist when he was seven years old after witnessing a column of chained slaves people being taken to an auction house. Following a humble beginning delivering food to fugitives holed up on his family’s North Carolina plantation, he rose through the ranks to become a successful trader and prolific “stationmaster,” first in Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, and subsequently in Cincinnati, Kentucky.
In addition to hosting anti-slavery lectures and abolitionist sewing club meetings, Coffin, like his fellow Quaker Thomas Garrett, stood steadfast when hauled before a court of law.
7. Elijah Anderson
An image of Levi Coffin, his wife Catherine, and Hannah Haydock supporting a group of escape slaves appears in The Underground Railroad, a painting by Charles T. Webber. Getty Images/Betty Mann Archive When Levi Coffin was seven years old, he is said to have watched a column of chained enslaved persons being driven to auction, prompting him to become an abolitionist. He is known as the “president of the Underground Railroad.” Following a humble beginning delivering food to fugitives holed up on his family’s North Carolina plantation, he rose through the ranks to become a successful trader and prolific “stationmaster,” first in Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, and subsequently in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Operating openly, Coffin even organized anti-slavery lectures and abolitionist sewing club gatherings.
His writings said that “the mandates of humanity were in direct conflict with the law of the land,” and that “we rejected the law.”
8. Thaddeus Stevens
Mr. Thaddeus Stevens is an American lawyer and senator. Bettmann Archive courtesy of Getty Images; Matthew Brady/Bettmann Archive Thaddeus Stevens, a representative from Pennsylvania, was outspoken in his opposition to slavery. The 14th and 15th amendments, which guaranteed African-American citizens equal protection under the law and the right to vote, respectively, were among his many accomplishments, and he also advocated for a radical reconstruction of the South, which included the redistribution of land from white plantation owners to former enslaved people.
Despite this, it wasn’t until 2002 that his Underground Railroad activities were brought to light, when archeologists uncovered a hidden hiding hole in the courtyard of his Lancaster house.
(Since then, documentary proof has been discovered demonstrating that Stevens housed runaways.) Other important political leaders, including as poet and orator Frederick Douglass and Secretary of State William H. Seward, also served as Underground Railroad “stationmasters” during the era.
How Harriet Tubman and William Still Helped the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad, a network of people who assisted enslaved persons in escaping to the North, was only as strong as the people who were willing to put their own lives in danger to do so. Among those most closely associated with the Underground Railroad were Harriet Tubman, one of the most well-known “conductors,” and William Still, who is generally referred to as the “Father of the Underground Railroad.”
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and guided others to freedom
Tubman, who was born into slavery in Maryland under the name Araminta Harriet Ross, was able to escape to freedom via the use of the Underground Railroad. Throughout her childhood, she was subjected to constant physical assault and torture as a result of her enslavement. In one of the most serious instances, she was struck in the head with an object weighing two pounds, resulting in her suffering from seizures and narcoleptic episodes for the rest of her life. John Tubman was a free black man when she married him in 1844, but nothing is known about their connection other than the fact that she adopted his last name.
- Even though she began the voyage with her brothers, she eventually completed the 90-mile journey on her own in 1849.
- As a result, she crossed the border again in 1850, this time to accompany her niece’s family to Pennsylvania.
- Instead, she was in charge of a gang of fugitive bond agents.
- Her parents and siblings were among those she was able to save.
- Tubman, on the other hand, found a way around the law and directed her Underground Railroad to Canada, where slavery was illegal (there is evidence that one of her destinations on an 1851 voyage was at the house of abolitionist Frederick Douglass).
- “”I was a conductor on the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say things that other conductors are unable to express,” she stated with a sense of accomplishment.
“I never had a problem with my train going off the tracks or losing a passenger.” Continue reading Harriet Tubman: A Timeline of Her Life, Underground Railroad Service, and Activism for more information.
William Still helped more than 800 enslaved people escape
Meanwhile, William Still was born in Burlington County, New Jersey, a free state, into a life of liberty and opportunity. The purchase of his freedom by his father, Levi Steel, occurred while his mother, Sidney, was on the run from slavery. In his early years, he came to the aid of a friend who was being pursued by enslaved catchers. He was still a child at the time. The Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery hired him in 1844 to work as a janitor and clerk at their Philadelphia offices.
Around this time, he began assisting fleeing enslaved persons by providing them with temporary lodging in the years leading up to the Civil War.
It is claimed that he escorted 800 enslaved persons to freedom over the course of his 14-year career on the route, all while maintaining meticulous records of their journeys.
More about Harriet Tubman’s life of service after the Underground Railroad can be found at this link.
Tubman made regular stops at Still’s station
Tubman was a frequent visitor at Still’s station, since she made a regular stop in Philadelphia on her way to New York. He is also said to have contributed monetarily to several of Tubman’s journeys. Her visits clearly left an effect on him, as evidenced by the inclusion of a section about her in his book, which followed a letter from Thomas Garrett about her ushering in arriving visitors. As Stillwright put it in his book, “Harriet Tubman had become their “Moses,” but not in the same way that Andrew Johnson had been their “Moses of the brown people.” “She had obediently gone down into Egypt and, through her own heroics, had delivered these six bondmen to safety.
But in terms of courage, shrewdness, and selfless efforts to rescue her fellow-men, she was without peer.
“While great anxieties were entertained for her safety, she appeared to be completely free of personal dread,” he went on to say.
will portray William Still, in the upcoming film Harriet. The film will explore the life and spirit of Tubman, and the role that Still had in guiding so many people on the road to freedom.
This Michigan woman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad
Published on July 14, 2014 at 11:14 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Laura Smith Haviland is a name that may not immediately come to mind when thinking of the Underground Railroad. She was from Michigan, and she was instrumental in the emancipation of many slaves from the South. Michigan was a critical station on the Underground Railroad’s journey west to freedom. In the years leading up to and during the Civil War, many Michiganders assisted slaves attempting to flee to freedom in Canada by crossing the border in Port Huron or Detroit.
- The 1840s and 1850s saw Haviland traveling between Michigan, Ohio and Canada to aid slaves in their escape attempts, instruct African American pupils, and deliver anti-slavery lectures in public forums.
- In addition to serving as head of the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Michigan, Tiya Miles will be a keynote speaker at the National Underground Railroad Conference, which will be held next week in Detroit.
- “Laura Haviland was a great lady, and she is someone who faced terrible challenges that you and I – I don’t think we could ever comprehend,” Miles added.
- Her fellow abolitionists were quite critical of her, and she received a great deal of backlash.
- From July 16 to July 20, the National Park Service will hold its annual conference on the Underground Railroad in Detroit, which will feature presentations by experts in the field.
- * Listen to the entire interview in the player above.
- Think about making a donation to Michigan Radio right now.
|Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.” Tubman was born a slave in Maryland’s Dorchester County around 1820. At age five or six, she began to work as a house servant. Seven years later she was sent to work in the fields. While she was still in her early teens, she suffered an injury that would follow her for the rest of her life. Always ready to stand up for someone else, Tubman blocked a doorway to protect another field hand from an angry overseer. The overseer picked up and threw a two-pound weight at the field hand. It fell short, striking Tubman on the head. She never fully recovered from the blow, which subjected her to spells in which she would fall into a deep sleep.Around 1844 she married a free black named John Tubman and took his last name. (She was born Araminta Ross; she later changed her first name to Harriet, after her mother.) In 1849, in fear that she, along with the other slaves on the plantation, was to be sold, Tubman resolved to run away. She set out one night on foot. With some assistance from a friendly white woman, Tubman was on her way. She followed the North Star by night, making her way to Pennsylvania and soon after to Philadelphia, where she found work and saved her money. The following year she returned to Maryland and escorted her sister and her sister’s two children to freedom. She made the dangerous trip back to the South soon after to rescue her brother and two other men. On her third return, she went after her husband, only to find he had taken another wife. Undeterred, she found other slaves seeking freedom and escorted them to the North.Tubman returned to the South again and again. She devised clever techniques that helped make her “forays” successful, including using the master’s horse and buggy for the first leg of the journey; leaving on a Saturday night, since runaway notices couldn’t be placed in newspapers until Monday morning; turning about and heading south if she encountered possible slave hunters; and carrying a drug to use on a baby if its crying might put the fugitives in danger. Tubman even carried a gun which she used to threaten the fugitives if they became too tired or decided to turn back, telling them, “You’ll be free or die.”By 1856, Tubman’s capture would have brought a $40,000 reward from the South. On one occasion, she overheard some men reading her wanted poster, which stated that she was illiterate. She promptly pulled out a book and feigned reading it. The ploy was enough to fool the men.Tubman had made the perilous trip to slave country 19 times by 1860, including one especially challenging journey in which she rescued her 70-year-old parents. Of the famed heroine, who became known as “Moses,” Frederick Douglass said, “Excepting John Brown – of sacred memory – I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people than.” And John Brown, who conferred with “General Tubman” about his plans to raid Harpers Ferry, once said that she was “one of the bravest persons on this continent.”Becoming friends with the leading abolitionists of the day, Tubman took part in antislavery meetings. On the way to such a meeting in Boston in 1860, in an incident in Troy, New York, she helped a fugitive slave who had been captured.During the Civil War Harriet Tubman worked for the Union as a cook, a nurse, and even a spy. After the war she settled in Auburn, New York, where she would spend the rest of her long life. She died in 1913.Image Credit: Moorland-Spingarn Research Center|
Harriet Tubman Biography
She was known as the “Moses of her people” because she was enslaved and then fled to become a “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, where she assisted others in gaining their freedom. Aside from being a scout, spy, and guerilla fighter for the Union Army during the Civil War, Tubman also worked as a medic for the army. She is widely regarded as the first African-American woman to serve in the United States armed forces. Tubman’s precise birthdate is uncertain, however it is believed to have occurred between 1820 and 1822 in Dorchester County, Maryland, according to some estimations.
- She had eight siblings, all of whom survived.
- Early indications of her opposition to slavery and its abuses appeared when she was twelve years old and intervened to prevent her owner from striking an enslaved man who attempted to flee.
- However, despite the fact that slaves were not permitted to marry, Tubman entered into a marriage partnership with John Tubman, a free black man, in 1844.
- Tubman did not construct the Underground Railroad, contrary to popular belief; rather, it was built in the late eighteenth century by both black and white abolitionists.
- The man she married refused to accompany her, and by 1851, he had married a free black lady from the South.
- As a result of her achievement, slaveowners have offered a $40,000 reward for her arrest or murder.
- She also took part in various anti-slavery campaigns, including assisting John Brown in his failed attack on the Harpers Ferry arsenal in Virginia in 1859, which she helped organize.
As a spy and scout for the Union army, Tubman frequently disguised herself as an elderly woman.
Tubman assisted a large number of these people in obtaining food, housing, and even employment in the North.
During her time as a nurse, Tubman administered herbal cures to black and white troops who were dying of sickness or illness.
Anthony, looked after her aging parents, and collaborated with white writer Sarah Bradford on her autobiography, which she hoped would be a source of income.
She lived in Auburn, New York, and cared for the elderly in her house.
In 1895, as Davis’s widow (he died in 1888), she was ultimately given a $8 per month military pension, followed by a $20 pension in 1899 for her service in the army.
In 1896, she donated land near her home to the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, which is still in operation today. Tuberculosis was discovered in 1913 and Tubman was interred at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York, with full military honors.
Pathways to Freedom
|People||Museums/ Historical Sites||Events||Primary Source Documents|
She was known as the “Moses of her people” because she was enslaved and then fled to become a “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, where she assisted other slaves in gaining their liberation. For the Union Army during the Civil War, Tubman also performed duties as a scout, spies, guerilla soldier, and nurse. The first African American woman to serve in the military, she is widely regarded as having made history. It is uncertain when Tubman was born, although it is believed to have occurred between 1820 and 1822 in Dorchester County, Maryland.
- She had eight siblings, all of whom were born in the South.
- When she was twelve years old, she demonstrated her opposition to slavery and its injustices by interfering to prevent her owner from beating an enslaved man who attempted to flee.
- Tubman married John Tubman, a free black man, in 1844, despite the fact that slaves were not allowed to marry in the United States.
- Tubman did not start the Underground Railroad, contrary to popular belief; it was built in the late eighteenth century by both black and white abolitionists.
- The guy she married refused to accompany her, and by 1851, he had married a free black lady from another state.
- Her accomplishments prompted slaveowners to offer a $40,000 bounty for her arrest or death, which she accepted.
- Among her other anti-slavery activities was her support for John Brown during his failed attack on the Harpers Ferry arsenal in 1859, which took place in Virginia.
As a spy and scout for the Union army, Tubman often disguised herself as an elderly woman to avoid detection.
Tubman assisted a large number of these people in obtaining food, housing, and even employment in the Northern United States of America.
Tubman worked as a nurse, dispensing herbal cures to black and white troops who were dying of sickness or disease.
Anthony, looked after her aging parents, and collaborated with white writer Sarah Bradford on her autobiography, which she hoped would be a potential source of income.
The Davises adopted a daughter in 1874 when they moved to Auburn, New York, where she was caring for the elderly.
The Harriet Tubman House for the Aged, located close to her home, was founded in 1896 by her. Tubman passed away in 1913 and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York, where he had been a resident.
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.
- These stations would be identified by a lantern that was lighted and hung outside.
A Dangerous Path to Freedom
Traveling through the Underground Railroad to seek their freedom was a lengthy and risky trek for escaped slaves. Runaway slaves were forced to travel long distances, sometimes on foot, in a short amount of time in order to escape. They accomplished this while surviving on little or no food and with little protection from the slave hunters who were rushing after them in the night. Slave owners were not the only ones who sought for and apprehended fleeing slaves. For the purpose of encouraging people to aid in the capture of these slaves, their owners would post reward posters offering monetary compensation for assisting in the capture of their property.
- Numerous arrested fugitive slaves were beaten, branded, imprisoned, sold back into slavery, or sometimes killed once they were apprehended.
- They would have to fend off creatures that wanted to kill and devour them while trekking for lengthy periods of time in the wilderness, as well as cross dangerous terrain and endure extreme temperatures.
- The Fleeing Slave Law of 1850 permitted and promoted the arrest of fugitive slaves since they were regarded as stolen property rather than mistreated human beings under the law at the time.
- They would not be able to achieve safety and freedom until they crossed the border into Canada.
- Aside from that, there were Underground Railroad routes that ran south, on their way to Mexico and the Caribbean.
- He was kidnapped from his northern abode, arrested, and prosecuted in Boston, Massachusetts, under the provisions of this legislation.
- After the trial, Burns was returned to the harshness of the southern states, from which he had thought he had fled.
American Memory and America’s Library are two names for the Library of Congress’ American Memory and America’s Library collections.
He did not escape via the Underground Railroad, but rather on a regular railroad.
Since he was a fugitive slave who did not have any “free papers,” he had to borrow a seaman’s protection certificate, which indicated that a seaman was a citizen of the United States, in order to prove that he was free.
Unfortunately, not all fugitive slaves were successful in their quest for freedom.
Harriet Tubman, Henry Bibb, Anthony Burns, Addison White, Josiah Henson, and John Parker were just a few of the people who managed to escape slavery using the Underground Railroad system.
He shipped himself from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a box that measured three feet long, two and a half feet deep, and two feet in diameter. When he was finally let out of the crate, he burst out singing.
Train conductors on the Underground Railroad were free persons who provided assistance to escaped slaves moving via the Underground Railroad system. Runaway slaves were assisted by conductors, who provided them with safe transportation to and from train stations. They were able to accomplish this under the cover of darkness, with slave hunters on their tails. Many of these stations would be in the comfort of their own homes or places of work, which was convenient. They were in severe danger as a result of their actions in hiding fleeing slaves; nonetheless, they continued because they believed in a cause bigger than themselves, which was the liberation thousands of oppressed human beings.
- They represented a diverse range of ethnicities, vocations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Due to the widespread belief that slaves were considered property, the freeing of slaves was perceived as a theft of slave owners’ personal belongings.
- Captain Jonathan Walker was apprehended off the coast of Florida while attempting to convey slaves from the United States to freedom in the Bahamas.
- 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!
- She never lost sight of any of them during the journey.
- He went on to write a novel.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It took every ounce of moral strength I have to keep my emotions under control as I said goodbye to my small family.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- The moment has come for me to follow through on my commitment.
- 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.
The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a network of tunnels and passageways that transport people and goods from one place to another. Charles T. Webber’s painting, around 1893. The Library of Congress provided permission to use this image. The highly anticipated filmHarrietwill be released in theaters across the world in November by Focus Features. In its promotional materials for the film, the production firm refers to Harriet Tubman as “one of America’s greatest heroines.” Further, according to the website, her “courage, creativity, and perseverance emancipated hundreds of slaves and altered the course of human history.” In an interview on the film’s present relevance, Kasi Lemmons, the film’s cowriter and director, reminded the audience how “vital it is to remember what solitary people were able to do during dangerous times.” Without a question, Harriet Tubman deserves recognition, and a movie about her has been long delayed.
- Harriet, on the other hand, was not working alone.
- In addition to Harriet Tubman, many other African American women—young and elderly; free and enslaved; alone, pregnant, and with family; living in the South, the North, and the Midwest—risked their lives in order to achieve independence.
- What was the identity of these women?
- According to the historical documents that have survived, a number of circumstances affected the decision of African American women to leave slavery.
- In the vast majority of Underground Railroad testimonials, African American women are described as leaving with their children, husbands, and other family members.
15 self-liberated persons emerged at the Union Literary Institute (ULI), an integrated institution created for the instruction of black pupils in the Greenville settlement of East Central Indiana, the region I investigate, in the 1840s or 1850s, and they were all from the United States of America.
- All of the members of one family were enslaved by a single man and constituted his whole human property.
- This specific woman appears to have finally gone to Canada, but Canada was not the only promised place for African-American women seeking freedom in the United States during this period.
- Yet some people picked sites that were isolated or protected but that were handy for them, such as Native American settlements, the Great Dismal Swamp, or faraway Mexico, for example.
- They seldom make mention of the contributions of women or people of color.
- Siebert relied mostly on the recollections of white males throughout their research.
- “There were a few diligent administrators, but only a few,” Coffin sarcastically observed of African-American participation in the Underground Railroad.
- These self-liberated women needed to be keen and intelligent in their decision-making because they were fully aware that certain individuals, both white and black, men and women, operated as slave capturers, and they needed to make that decision quickly.
The experience of Nathan Coggeshall, a Quaker in Grant County, Indiana, who stated that “as a young, unmarried man, he had sometimes shared a bed with a fugitive slave his family was harboring,” suggests that this may be a dangerous situation.
As a result, when women did seek aid, their first port of call was to confer with free African Americans who happened to be passing by.
They provided refuge, produced food, attended to the ill, stitched and provided clothing, and generated funds for the cause all inside these informal settings.
Runaway apparel was made by rural women who met frequently in sewing circles to create clothing for other women who had fled away.
Additionally, African American women dressed in men’s attire or attempting to pass for white ladies were typical sights.
Mary Ann Shadd recruited assistance for runaways through her newspaper, theProvincial Freeman, which was the first newspaper produced by an African American woman, and through lectures around Canada, which she delivered in her own home.
Members of the New York Ladies Literary Society raised funds by holding a fundraiser at the black church.
African American washerwomen and domestic service workers from all throughout the Northeast contributed to the cause, with some giving as little as a single penny in certain cases.
African American women’s conceptions of freedom were shaped by their experiences in space, movement, and location.
Farms, swamps, canals, mountains, caverns, hills, valleys, rivers, cornfields, and barns were among the geographical features found in this region.
In the footsteps of Harriet Tubman, several African American women journeyed into places of unfreedom, putting their lives at risk in the process of bringing enslaved people to freedom.
Annis was taken by surprise when she met face-to-face with an enslaver.
In addition, an old African American woman in present-day West Virginia accompanied enslaved persons in their journey over the Ohio River to freedom.
When it became necessary, African American women turned to violence and armed resistance as a strategy in their pursuit for freedom and equality.
Susan and Margaret Wilkerson, two little sisters from Jefferson County, Tennessee, made their way out of the county with money that their grandmother, Milly Wilkerson, had allegedly helped them acquire.
Wilkerson’s home in Randolph County, Indiana, Mrs.
With the knowledge that the odds of a successful escape increased dramatically when communities grouped together for self-defense, friends and neighbors rushed to the Wilersons’ help as soon as they heard of their situation.
Wilkerson’s efforts to keep her granddaughters from being recaptured, the girls’ enslaver filed a lawsuit against her and others in 1839, accusing them of “unlawfully, intentionally, violently, and wilfully hiding and harboring a runaway.” The charges were later withdrawn by the county court.
Wilkerson’s position as a free black woman, on the other hand, remained tenuous, and her granddaughters’ freedom was no exception.
According to historian Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, “freedom was not a fixed concept; rather, it was an experience.” When individuals were forced to make the difficult decision to abandon loved ones who were trapped in captivity, the lived experiences of emancipation did not come with a Hollywood-style happily-ever-after conclusion.
The genuine thing has been witnessed, and I don’t want to see it again on stage or in a theater.” During the antebellum period, African American women, who were undoubtedly the most vulnerable group in the country, utilized all means at their disposal to escape slavery, liberate family members, aid in the self-liberation of others, and maintain whatever measure of freedom they had attained.
- Black women’s voices and activities, on the other hand, have been almost totally removed from Underground Railroad academia, media stories, archives, and historical sites.
- The cumulative efforts of ordinary, yet tenacious African American women have received less attention as a result of our adoration for Harriet Tubman and other historical figures.
- In addition to working as an editorial assistant at the Journal of American History, Jazma Sutton is a Ph.D.
- Her dissertation investigates the beginnings and growth of rural free black communities in Indiana, as well as the gendered experiences of freedom and the roles played by free and self-liberated black women in the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.
- Ebenezer Tucker’s History of Randolph County, Indiana with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers: to Which Are Appended Maps of its Several Townships, published in Chicago in 1882, is a good source for information about the county.
describe Midwestern Quakers as “a great and good people.” The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom(New York, 1898), 91; James Oliver Horton, “Freedom’s Yoke: Gender Conventions Among Antebellum Free Blacks,” in Patrick Rafferty, ed., The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom(New York, 2005), 386; Fergus M.
Griffler,Front Line of Freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley(Lexington, 2004), 95; Cheryl Janifer LaRoche,Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance(Urbana, 2014), 2.