What Are Some Interesting Facts About The Underground Railroad? (Perfect answer)

7 Facts About the Underground Railroad

  • The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad.
  • People used train-themed codewords on the Underground Railroad.
  • The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made it harder for enslaved people to escape.
  • Harriet Tubman helped many people escape on the Underground Railroad.

What made the Underground Railroad so successful?

  • 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.

How did Underground Railroad get its name?

(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.

Did the Underground Railroad have food?

Welcome to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie’s personal website We do no that most runaways across the Americas survived on a diet of foraged plants, berries, herbs, and small game like rabbits and squirrels, fish and oysters. Below is a simple African American Maryland recipe made from a foraged plant.

How long did the Underground Railroad take?

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

Did Underground Railroad have trains?

Nope! Despite its name, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad in the way Amtrak or commuter rail is. It wasn’t even a real railroad. It was a metaphoric one, where “conductors,” that is basically escaped slaves and intrepid abolitionists, would lead runaway slaves from one “station,” or save house to the next.

Who was the most famous person on the Underground Railroad?

HARRIET TUBMAN – The Best-Known Figure in UGR History Harriet Tubman is perhaps the best-known figure related to the underground railroad. She made by some accounts 19 or more rescue trips to the south and helped more than 300 people escape slavery.

Who made the Underground Railroad?

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

How was the Underground Railroad successful?

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

Where did the Underground Railroad end?

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.

Is The Underground Railroad on Netflix?

Unfortunately, The Underground Railroad is not currently on Netflix and most likely, the series will not come to the streaming giant any time soon.

How does Underground Railroad end?

In the end, Royal is killed and a grief-stricken Cora is caught again by Ridgeway. Ridgeway forces Cora to take him to an Underground Railroad station, but as they climb down the entrance’s rope ladder she pulls Ridgeway off and they fall to the ground.

When was The Underground Railroad most active?

Established in the early 1800s and aided by people involved in the Abolitionist Movement, the underground railroad helped thousands of slaves escape bondage. By one estimate, 100,000 slaves escaped from bondage in the South between 1810 and 1850.

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.

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.

What role did the Underground Railroad play?

The Underground Railroad provided hiding places, food, and often transportation for the fugitives who were trying to escape slavery. Along the way, people also provided directions for the safest way to get further north on the dangerous journey to freedom.

Interesting Facts about the Underground Railroad : Harriet Tubman

  • The Subterranean Railroad (UR) was neither underground nor a railroad in the traditional sense. It was referred to as “underground” due to its secrecy, and as “railroad” because to the fact that it was a new mode of transportation.
  • The UR was a loosely organized network with several routes. Until 1850, the majority of routes headed to the northern United States and, later, to Canada. Those who headed south to Mexico or the Caribbean were the exception.
  • It is estimated that around 100,000 slaves fled utilizing the UR network, according to historians.
  • The majority of activities taken by persons who assisted slaves in escaping were spontaneous acts of compassion. They included ladies, men, children, and people of many races. A significant number of them were Quakers and Methodists.
  • Railroad lingua franca was developed as a secret code and was used by agents, station masters, conductors, operators, shareholders, and anyone else involved in the slave rescue effort to communicate. Slaves used coded songs to communicate.
  • In the Underground Railroad community, Levi Coffin was referred to as the “President of the Underground Railroad,” and his residence was referred to as “The Grand Station of the Underground Railroad.”
  • The University of Rochester’s history dates back to the 1780s, and the organization became identified as such in the 1830s. It reached its zenith in the 1850s and came to an end in 1863 with the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln.
  • This organization has existed since the 1780s and was first referred to as such in 1830. The Civil War peaked in the 1850s and concluded in 1863 with the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln.
  • The Underground Railroad stations were equipped with concealed hideouts, including as passageways, basements, cellars, and hidden compartments in cabinets, where slaves could be kept secure.
  • The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made it more difficult for slaves to flee their masters’ jurisdiction. Although they were in a free state, slaves might be restored to their masters under the terms of the legislation. Canada was chosen as the final destination.
  • According to the Fugitive Slave Act, anybody who is discovered assisting a slave escape or providing sanctuary might be sentenced to 6 months in prison or fined $1,000, or both.

Leaders of the African American Civil Rights Movement

Facts about the subterranean railroad Facts about the Underground Railroad (Category:Facts)

10 Things To Know About The Underground Railroad

Are you ready for some incredible tales and secrets? For Black History Month, we’ll be exploring the history of the Underground Railroad, which takes place in February. In order to get the month started off right, here are ten intriguing facts about this magnificent escape route that propelled the oppressed into freedom:

  1. The word “Underground Railroad” was first used in 1831, and it was a reference to a railroad that ran underground.

For decades, enslaved men and women have been able to flee their captors. Slavery had begun in the American colonies in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia, and the desire to flee and be free had been prevalent from the beginning of the institute’s existence to the current day. The network of safe houses, signals, and codes, on the other hand, began to take off in the nineteenth century. In 1831, the phrase “Underground Railroad” was first used to refer to a railroad that ran beneath the surface of the ground.

  1. Davids’s former master claimed that a “underground railroad” was responsible for getting him to freedom so quickly.
  2. reported the existence of a “underground railroad” that ran all the way from New York City to Boston, in the free state of Massachusetts, and back again.
  3. Quakers, on the other hand, have been running escape routes for decades.
  4. Quakers made up the vast majority of those who assisted fugitive slaves, deriving their motivation for their efforts from their religious convictions as well as their dedication to fighting for human rights.
  5. Quakers were very vocal in their support for abolition, rising to become some of the most influential figures in the early abolition movement.
  6. Laws in the 18th and 19th centuries compelled these clandestine activities in the name of freedom.
  7. As a result, in the eyes of the law, the men and women who decided to flee their captivity were considered criminals, and anybody who assisted them in their escape was also considered a criminal.

The Fugitive Slave Acts made it much more difficult for people to flee their homes and seek freedom.

Free states objected and issued counterlaws within their own jurisdictions, but the Supreme Court refused to recognize and invalidated these actions.

This law outraged many in the northern states and contributed to the success of the Underground Railroad in the final decade of the nineteenth century.

Making the option to run was a risky and ultimately fatal move.

It frequently included the danger of severe pain or death if discovered.

Despite the fact that the Underground Railroad assisted in the trip to escape, the route was still deadly.

Extremely enraged owners and slave catchers, as well as those searching for financial gain, wild animals, and a slew of other challenges, added to the risks of the trek.

” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” src=” alt=”” srcset=” 600w,150w,300w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px”> ” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” src=” alt=”” When Eliza takes the momentous decision to flee to freedom, this etching from the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” depicts the moment.

  1. They referred to the secret lines in terms of railroad terminology.
  2. No, there wasn’t a genuine train running beneath the city.
  3. The “conductors” were in charge of guiding the evacuees.
  4. 6.
  5. The conductors come from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  6. Some were wealthy, while others were impoverished.
  7. Both white people and African Americans were employed by the Underground Railroad operation during its peak period.

The conductors were unfamiliar with the specifics of the full journey.


On the Underground Railroad, small things such as songs, chants, and poetry, as well as quilts and washing patterns on the wash line as well as tree markings, rock heaps, gestures, and a variety of other small features, came to symbolize the Underground Railroad.


Because of the Fugitive Slave Laws, many fugitive slaves were forced to go all the way to Canada because they could no longer be assured safety in free states.

Routes on the Underground Railroad were documented as running west through Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa, and occasionally as far as Canada, according to the documentation.

Even though many fugitives were successful in establishing themselves and thriving in the northern, free states, their freedom was tragically still at danger, whereas Canada provided more permanent independence.

” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” data-small-file=”” src=””h=392 alt=”” srcset=” h=392 676w,h=87 150w,h=174 300w,h=446 768w,1024w h=392 676w,h=87 150w,h=174 300w,h=446 768w,1024w Sizes are as follows: (max-width: 676px) 100vw, 676px “> The following is an example of a formalized formalized formalized The Underground Railroad’s known paths are depicted on this map.

  • Harriet Tubman was one of the most well-known conductors in history.
  • Harriet Tubman was one of the most well-known, as well as one who had a large bounty placed on her head by enraged slave hunters.
  • Her life and narrative will be explored in greater depth in the near future.
  • The Underground Railroad came to an end as a result of the Civil War.
  • Thousands of enslaved people gained their freedom as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was enforced by advancing Union soldiers.

To avoid being captured by free states or Canada, the fugitives fled to Union troops, where they began to form new towns and live their own lives. Miss Sarah, your historian, is here to help you.

Kids History: Underground Railroad

Civil War is a historical event that occurred in the United States. During the American Civil War, the phrase “Underground Railroad” was used to describe a network of persons, residences, and hiding places that slaves in the southern United States used to flee to freedom in the northern United States and Canada. Is it possible that there was a railroad? The Underground Railroad wasn’t truly a railroad in the traditional sense. It was the moniker given to the method by which individuals managed to flee.

  • Conductors and stations are two types of conductors.
  • Conductors were those who were in charge of escorting slaves along the path.
  • Even those who volunteered their time and resources by donating money and food were referred to as shareholders.
  • Who was employed by the railroad?
  • Some of the Underground Railroad’s conductors were former slaves, such as Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery by way of the Underground Railroad and subsequently returned to assist other slaves in their escape.
  • They frequently offered safe havens in their houses, as well as food and other supplies to those in need.
  • B.
See also:  What Star Did They Use On The Underground Railroad? (Question)

What mode of transportation did the people use if there was no railroad?

Slaves would frequently go on foot during the night.

The distance between stations was generally between 10 and 20 miles.

Was it a potentially hazardous situation?

There were those trying to help slaves escape, as well as those who were attempting to aid them.

In what time period did the Underground Railroad operate?

It reached its zenith in the 1850s, just before the American Civil War.

How many people were able to flee?

Over 100,000 slaves are said to have fled over the railroad’s history, with 30,000 escaping during the peak years before the Civil War, according to some estimates.

This resulted in a rule requiring that fugitive slaves who were discovered in free states be returned to their masters in the south.

Slaves were now had to be carried all the way to Canada in order to avoid being kidnapped once more by the British.

The abolitionist movement began with the Quakers in the 17th century, who believed that slavery was incompatible with Christian principles.

Ducksters’ Lewis Hayden House is located in the town of Lewis Hayden. The Lewis Hayden House functioned as a station on the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War. Information on the Underground Railroad that is both interesting and educational

  • Slave proprietors wished to be free. Harriet Tubman, a well-known train conductor, was apprehended and imprisoned. They offered a $40,000 reward for information leading to her capture. That was a significant amount of money at the time
  • Levi Coffin, a Quaker who is claimed to have assisted around 3,000 slaves in gaining their freedom, was a hero of the Underground Railroad. The most usual path for individuals to escape was up north into the northern United States or Canada, although some slaves in the deep south made their way to Mexico or Florida
  • Canada was known to slaves as the “Promised Land” because of its promise of freedom. The Mississippi River was originally known as the “River Jordan” in the Bible
  • Fleeing slaves were sometimes referred to as passengers or freight on railroads, in accordance with railroad nomenclature


  • This page is the subject of a ten-question quiz
  • Listen to an audio recording of this page being read: You are unable to listen to the audio element because your browser does not support it
  • Learn about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad by reading this article.

HistoryCivil WarHistoryCivil War Works Cited

Underground Railroad

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

Quaker Abolitionists

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

What Was the Underground Railroad?

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

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

How the Underground Railroad Worked

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

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

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

Fugitive Slave Acts

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

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

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

Harriet Tubman

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

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

Frederick Douglass

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

Agent,” according to the document.

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

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

Who Ran the Underground Railroad?

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

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

Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitive enslaved individuals no matter where he was.

John Brown

Ordinary individuals, farmers and business owners, as well as pastors, were the majority of those who operated the Underground Railroad. Several millionaires, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who campaigned for president twice, were involved. For the first time in his life, Smith purchased and freed a whole family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, was one of the earliest recorded individuals to assist fleeing enslaved persons. Beginning in 1813, when he was 15 years old, he began his career.

They eventually began to make their way closer to him and eventually reached him.

End of the Line

Operation of the Underground Railroad came to an end in 1863, during the American Civil War. In actuality, its work was shifted aboveground as part of the Union’s overall campaign against the Confederate States of America. Once again, Harriet Tubman made a crucial contribution by organizing intelligence operations and serving as a commanding officer in Union Army efforts to rescue the liberated enslaved people who had been freed. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.


Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad? ‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented.

Underground Railroad Facts

Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad and the American Revolution. It was a pleasure to meet Fergus Bordewich. Road to Freedom: The Story of Harriet Tubman Catherine Clinton is a former First Lady of the United States of America who served as Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton. Was it really the Underground Railroad’s operators who were responsible? Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is an American businessman and philanthropist who founded the Gates Foundation in 1993.

The Little-Known History of the Underground Railroad in the City of New York magazine published by the Smithsonian Institution The Underground Railroad’s Allure is Dangerous! New Yorker magazine has published an article about this.

Interesting Underground Railroad Facts:
Slavery existed in the United States even before it was established as a country.
Slavery evolved from the practice of indentured servitude. Prior to slavery, an individual who wished to come to the New World who did not have the funds would work for someone until their debt was paid off. Slavery became the new trend in 1700 when it became legal to own someone instead of the practice of indentured servitude.
Slavery was a brutal way of life. Blacks were mistreated, overworked, underpaid (if paid at all), physically and brutally beaten and sometimes even killed. Their lives were at the mercy of their ‘owners’.
The Underground Railroad passed through 14 Northern States and into Canada.
Most of those involved in the Underground Railroad’s system were members of the free black community as well as abolitionists, church leaders and philanthropists.
One of the most famous members of the Underground Railroad was Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave. She helped to free more than 300 slaves.
Quakers in the North, who believed that slavery was wrong, also helped escaping slaves to freedom.
Most travel from one safe house to the next was done at night and on foot.
If caught, slaves trying to escape were sent back to their owners.
If ‘conductors’ (those helping to free the slaves) of the Underground Railroad were caught they were at risk of being hung.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made it law that if slaves were caught, even in the North where slavery was illegal, they would still have to be returned to their owners in the South.
Well known figures in the Underground Railroad include Harriet Tubman (an escaped slave), Frederick Douglass (an escaped slave, activist, and underground leader in New York), Levi Coffin (a Quaker and the unofficial ‘President of the Underground Railroad), and John Fairfield (abolitionist raised in a slave-holding family).
Sometimes slavery fugitives were given clothing to wear so that they would not draw attention to their ‘slave’ work clothing. This was important especially if they were traveling by way of boat instead of in the dark of night.
Along the Ohio River a reverse Underground Railroad began. Free blacks were kidnapped and kept in hideouts until they could be shipped down South and sold to slaveholders.
Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, meant to free all slaves in the United States. Unfortunately this proclamation only freed a small percentage of the country’s slaves.
In 1865 slavery was abolished with the 13 thAmendment to the United States Constitution.
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Slaves Attempting to Evade Captivity on the Underground Railroad

Underground Railroad Introduction

The Underground Railroad was a name used to refer to a network of routes and hiding places that were used by African slaves to flee slavery in the southern United States during the nineteenth century. It also refers to the persons who assisted fugitive slaves attempting to flee over these routes. This network of passageways was neither subterranean nor connected to railways. The explanation to why the Underground Railroad was named the Underground Railroad is found in the fact that “underground” denotes its secret and “railroad” indicates a form of transportation, in this case, the conveyance of slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad.

The number of slaves who were able to escape through this secret path, as well as the names of the Underground Railroad’s key players and the location of the Underground Railroad, are all detailed on this page.

Amazon.com has a fantastic collection of books about the Underground Railroad, which you can find by clicking here.

Interesting Underground Railroad Facts

  • In order to flee slavery, experts estimate that roughly 100,000 slaves utilized the Underground Railroad. The majority of slaves who used the Underground Railroad escaped to northern states in the United States and Canada. A little-known truth is that some slaves were able to flee to the Caribbean and Mexico during the American Revolution. Despite the fact that an organized system of routes and hiding places to help escaped slaves in their quest for freedom existed as early as the 1780s, it was not until the 1830s that it was formally recognized as the Underground Railroad. It was at its peak in the 1850s, and it was customary for the escape routes to be traversed on foot and at night in order to avoid being discovered. Traveling from one refuge to the next, which were normally 10 to 20 miles apart, was the norm for the runaway slaves. Occasionally, they would remain at a single hideout for several days until it appeared safe to move on to the next hideout. The people involved in the Underground Railroad used railroad jargon to refer to the various roles played by those involved in the escape network, such as conductors, station masters, and operators. This was created to aid in the preservation of secret. Slaves who managed to escape were referred to as passengers or cargo
  • Harriet Tubman was the most well-known “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, having assisted several slaves in their journey to freedom. She was pleased with herself since she had never lost a “passenger.” A number of other notable figures involved in the Underground Railroad network included Frederick Douglass, Levi Coffin, Thomas Garrett, William Lloyd Garrison, and William Still
  • A large number of people, both black and white, worked as conductors on the Underground Railroad, guiding escaped slaves along escape routes and providing safe haven. Many conductors, such as Harriet Tubman, were themselves fugitives from slavery who, if apprehended, faced re-enslavement or even death. Numerous members of this hidden network were Quakers who believed slavery was un-Christian and felt bound to assist their fellow human beings
  • Levi Coffin was a key member of this network and was referred to as “President of the Underground Railroad.” The “Grand Station” of the Underground Railroad was named after him because of the large number of slaves who passed through his home
  • The hideouts along the escape routes often had hidden compartments or areas where slaves could hide
  • The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed for the return of slaves who had escaped to free states in the north to their slave masters in the south
  • Because of this, the majority of escaped slaves fled to Canada, where they would be secure. The Fugitive Slave Act made life for Underground Railroad operatives more perilous. In accordance with this statute, helping an escaped slave was declared an offense punishable by a prison sentence of up to 6 months or by fines of up to one thousand dollars.


About 100,000 slaves, according to experts, utilized the Underground Railroad to flee slavery. The majority of slaves who used the Underground Railroad escaped to northern states in the United States and Canada. The fact that some slaves were able to escape to the Caribbean and Mexico is a little-known historical truth. In the 1780s, an organized system of routes and hideouts to help escaped slaves in their journey to freedom was established. It was not until the 1830s, however, that the Underground Railroad became known as the Underground Railroad.

Traveling from one refuge to the next, which were usually 10 to 20 miles apart, was the norm for the runaway slaves.

The people involved in the Underground Railroad used railroad jargon to refer to the various roles played by those involved in the escape network, which included conductors, station masters, and operators, among others.

They were referred to as passengers or cargo; Harriet Tubman was the most well-known “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, having assisted several slaves in their attempts to escape to freedom.

A number of other notable figures involved in the Underground Railroad network included Frederick Douglass, Levi Coffin, Thomas Garrett, William Lloyd Garrison, and William Still; a large number of people, both black and white, worked as conductors on the Underground Railroad, guiding escaped slaves along escape routes and providing safe haven for them.

Numerous members of this hidden network were Quakers who believed slavery was un-Christian and felt bound to assist their fellow human beings; Levi Coffin was a prominent member of this network and was referred to as “President of the Underground Railroad.” Because of the large number of slaves who passed through his home, it was referred to as the “Grand Station of the Underground Railroad.” The hideouts along the escape routes often had hidden compartments or areas where slaves could hide.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed for the return of slaves who had escaped to free states in the north to their slave masters in the south; Because of this, the majority of escaped slaves fled to Canada, where they would be secure.

The Fugitive Slave Act made life for Underground Railroad members more perilous. In accordance with this statute, helping an escaped slave was declared an offense punishable by a prison sentence of up to six months or by fines of up to one thousand dollars.

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


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

Slaves Freed

Estimates range between 6,000 and 10,000.

Prominent Figures

Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. William Still is a well-known author and poet. Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. John Fairfield is a well-known author.

Related Reading:

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.

The Underground Railroad Gets Its Name

Owen Brown, the father of radical abolitionist John Brown, was a member of the Underground Railroad in the state of New York during the Civil War. An unconfirmed narrative suggests that “Mammy Sally” designated the house where Abraham Lincoln’s future wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, grew up and served as a safe house where fugitives could receive food, but the account is doubtful. Routes of the Underground Railroad It was not until the early 1830s that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was first used.

Fugitives going by water or on genuine trains were occasionally provided with clothing so that they wouldn’t give themselves away by wearing their worn-out job attire.

Many of them continued on to Canada, where they could not be lawfully reclaimed by their rightful owners.

The slave or slaves were forced to flee from their masters, which was frequently done at night. It was imperative that the runaways maintain their eyes on the North Star at all times; only by keeping that star in front of them could they be certain that they were on their trip north.

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 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.

Following her capture, Lucy was carried back to Ohio County, Virginia, and punished, but she was released at some time when Union soldiers took control of the region. 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.

Underground Railroad Facts for Kids

Introduction: The Underground Railroad is the term given to a covert network that began in the early nineteenth century with the goal of assisting freed African slaves in their attempts to escape slavery. People from a range of backgrounds led the campaign, including white abolitionists, free blacks, freed slaves, and escaped slaves, among others. The movement was neither subterranean nor did it have any connection to the railroad. Actually, the name was a symbolic phrase that indicated the secrecy with which the movement operated as well as the convoluted pathways used by runaway slaves and their abettors in order to flee from southern slave states to northern free states or Canada.

  1. They were dissatisfied with the circumstances in which they were held and the manner in which they were treated by their ruthless white masters.
  2. Some slaves took it a step farther and managed to get away from their captors.
  3. Once they were out of the slave states, the fleeing slaves didn’t have much to worry about.
  4. The bulk of slaves opted to go to Canada, where slavery was prohibited, in order to avoid being seized by slave catchers who were on the lookout for them even in free states.
  5. The perpetrators of this movement utilized a variety of railway terms to characterize the many components of the system they were attempting to bring down.
  6. A slave who had gotten a ticket was referred to as ‘having purchased a ticket.’ A single conductor was in charge of carrying passengers from one station to another, after which the passengers were passed over to the next conductor in the line of duty.
  7. In order to avoid detection, fugitives and their conductors traveled exclusively at night, walking an average of 30 kilometers each night to reach a station where they could rest and conceal themselves during the day.
  8. Notable Leaders of the Movement: Harriet Tubman was one of the most famous and active leaders of the movement during its early years.
  9. After 13 journeys to the south, she was able to help more than 70 slaves be freed.
  10. The Civil War was triggered by the issue of slavery, which pitted the Union against the Confederacy.
  11. Slavery was proclaimed illegal by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution at the conclusion of the American Civil War.

Despite the fact that a large majority of escaped slaves decided to settle in Canadian territory, their experiences there were not particularly positive. Although slavery had been abolished in the country, racial inequality was still widespread in the community.

Myths About the Underground Railroad

When it comes to teaching African-American Studies today, one of the great delights is the satisfaction that comes from being able to restore to the historical record “lost” events and the persons whose sacrifices and bravery enabled those events to take place, never to be lost again. Among our ancestors’ long and dreadful history of human bondage is the Underground Railroad, which has garnered more recent attention from teachers, students, museum curators, and the tourism industry than any other institution from the black past.

  1. Nevertheless, in the effort to convey the narrative of this magnificent institution, fiction and lore have occasionally taken precedence over historical truth.
  2. The sacrifices and valor of our forefathers and foremothers, as well as their allies, are made all the more noble, heroic, and striking as a result.
  3. I think this is a common misconception among students.
  4. As described by Wilbur H.
  5. Running slaves, frequently in groups of up to several families, were said to have been directed at night on their desperate journey to freedom by the traditional “Drinking Gourd,” which was the slaves’ secret name for the North Star.
See also:  What Do Underground Railroad Workers Get Paid? (Professionals recommend)

The Railroad in Lore

Following is a brief list of some of the most frequent myths regarding the Underground Railroad, which includes the following examples: 1. It was administered by well-intentioned white abolitionists, many of whom were Quakers. 2. The Underground Railroad was active throughout the southern United States. Most runaway slaves who managed to make their way north took refuge in secret quarters hidden in attics or cellars, while many more managed to escape through tunnels. Fourteenth, slaves made so-called “freedom quilts,” which they displayed outside their homes’ windows to signal fugitives to the whereabouts of safe houses and safe ways north to freedom.


When slaves heard the spiritual “Steal Away,” they knew Harriet Tubman was on her way to town, or that an ideal opportunity to run was approaching.

scholars like Larry Gara, who wrote The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad and Blight, among other works, have worked tirelessly to address all of these problems, and I’ll outline the proper answers based on their work, and the work of others, at the conclusion of this piece.

First, a brief overview of the Underground Railroad’s history:

A Meme Is Born

As Blight correctly points out, the railroad has proven to be one of the most “enduring and popular strands in the fabric of America’s national historical memory.” Since the end of the nineteenth century, many Americans, particularly in New England and the Midwest, have either made up legends about the deeds of their ancestors or simply repeated stories that they have heard about their forebears.

It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before diving into those tales, though.

Tice Davids was a Kentucky slave who managed to escape to Ohio in 1831, and it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was invented as a result of his successful escape.

According to Blight, he is believed to have said that Davids had vanished as though “the nigger must have gone off on an underground railroad.” This is a fantastic narrative — one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor — but it is improbable, given that train lines were non-existent at the time.

  • The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., who was tortured and forced to testify that he had been taken north, where “the railroad extended underground all the way to Boston,” according to one report from 1839, was captured.
  • constructed from Mason and Dixon’s to the Canada line, upon which fugitives from slavery might come pouring into this province” is the first time the term appears.
  • 14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by others who claim that abolitionist Charles T.
  • Torrey.

Myth Battles Counter-Myth

Historically, the appeal of romance and fantasy in stories of the Underground Railroad can be traced back to the latter decades of the nineteenth century, when the South was winning the battle of popular memory over what the Civil War was all about — burying Lost Cause mythology deep in the national psyche and eventually propelling the racist Woodrow Wilson into the White House. Many white Northerners attempted to retain a heroic version of their history in the face of a dominant Southern interpretation of the significance of the Civil War, and they found a handy weapon in the stories of the Underground Railroad to accomplish this goal.

Immediately following the fall of Reconstruction in 1876, which was frequently attributed to purportedly uneducated or corrupt black people, the story of the struggle for independence was transformed into a tale of noble, selfless white efforts on behalf of a poor and nameless “inferior” race.

Siebert questioned practically everyone who was still alive who had any recollection of the network and even flew to Canada to interview former slaves who had traced their own pathways from the South to freedom as part of his investigation.

In the words of David Blight, Siebert “crafted a popular tale of largely white conductors assisting nameless blacks on their journey to freedom.”

Truth Reveals Unheralded Heroism

That’s a little amount of history; what about those urban legends? The answers are as follows: It cannot be overstated that the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement itself were possibly the first examples in American history of a truly multiracial alliance, and the role played by the Quakers in its success cannot be overstated. Despite this, it was primarily controlled by free Northern African Americans, particularly in its early years, with the most notable exception being the famous Philadelphian William Still, who served as its president.

  1. The Underground Railroad was made possible by the efforts of white and black activists such as Levi Coffin, Thomas Garrett, Calvin Fairbank, Charles Torrey, Harriet Tubman and Still, all of whom were true heroes.
  2. Because of the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, the railroad’s growth did not take place until after that year.
  3. After all, it was against the law to help slaves in their attempts to emancipate themselves.
  4. Being an abolitionist or a conductor on the Underground Railroad, according to the historian Donald Yacovone, “was about as popular and hazardous as being a member of the Communist Party in 1955,” he said in an email to me.
  5. The Underground Railroad was predominantly a phenomena of the Northern United States.
  6. For the most part, fugitive slaves were left on their own until they were able to cross the Ohio River or the Mason-Dixon Line and thereby reach a Free State.
  7. For fugitives in the North, well-established routes and conductors existed, as did some informal networks that could transport fugitives from places such as the abolitionists’ office or houses in Philadelphia to other locations north and west.

(where slavery remained legal until 1862), as well as in a few locations throughout the Upper South, some organized support was available.


I’m afraid there aren’t many.

Furthermore, few dwellings in the North were equipped with secret corridors or hidden rooms where slaves might be hidden.

What about freedom quilts?

The only time a slave family had the resources to sew a quilt was to shelter themselves from the cold, not to relay information about alleged passages on the Underground Railroad that they had never visited.

As we will discover in a future column, the danger of treachery about individual escapes and collective rebellions was much too large for escape plans to be publicly shared.5.

No one has a definitive answer.

According to Elizabeth Pierce, an administrator at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the figure might be as high as 100,000, but that appears to be an overstatement.

We may put these numbers into context by noting that there were 3.9 million slaves and only 488,070 free Negroes in 1860 (with more than half of them still living in the South), whereas there were 434,495 free Negroes in 1850 (with more than half still living in the South).

The fact that only 101 fleeing slaves ever produced book-length “slave narratives” describing their servitude until the conclusion of the Civil War is also significant to keep in mind while thinking about this topic.

However, just a few of them made it to safety.

How did the fugitive get away?

John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, as summarized by Blight, “80 percent of these fugitives were young guys in their teens and twenties who absconded alone on the majority of occasions.

Because of their household and child-rearing duties, young slave women were significantly less likely to flee than older slave women.

Lyford in 1896 reported that he could not recall “any fugitives ever being transported by anyone, they always had to pilot their own canoe with the little help that they received,” suggesting that “the greatest number of fugitives were self-emancipating individuals who, upon reaching a point in their lives when they could no longer tolerate their captive status, finally just took off for what had been a long and difficult journey.” 7.

What is “Steal Away”?

They used them to communicate secretly with one another in double-voiced discussions that neither the master nor the overseer could comprehend.

However, for reasons of safety, privacy, security, and protection, the vast majority of slaves who escaped did so alone and covertly, rather than risking their own safety by notifying a large number of individuals outside of their families about their plans, for fear of betraying their masters’ trust.

Just consider the following for a moment: If fleeing slavery had been thus planned and maintained on a systematic basis, slavery would most likely have been abolished long before the American Civil War, don’t you think?

According to Blight, “Much of what we call the Underground Railroad was actually operated clandestinely by African Americans themselves through urban vigilance committees and rescue squads that were often led by free blacks.” The “Underground Railroad” was a marvelously improvised, metaphorical construct run by courageous heroes, the vast majority of whom were black.

Gara’s study revealed that “running away was a terrible and risky idea for slaves,” according to Blight, and that the total numbers of slaves who risked their lives, or even those who succeeded in escaping, were “not huge.” There were thousands of heroic slaves who were helped by the organization, each of whom should be remembered as heroes of African-American history, but there were not nearly as many as we often believe, and certainly not nearly enough.

Approximately fifty-five of the 100 Amazing Facts will be published on the website African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. On The Root, you may find all 100 facts.

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