What Are The Capitals Of The Underground Railroad?

What was the Underground Railroad and who ran it?

  • What Was the Underground Railroad? Who Ran the Underground Railroad? The Underground Railroad was a network of people, African American as well as white, offering shelter and aid to escaped enslaved people from the South. It developed as a convergence of several different clandestine efforts.

What cities did the Underground Railroad go through?

In the decades leading up to the American Civil War, settlements along the Detroit and Niagara Rivers were important terminals of the Underground Railroad. By 1861, some 30,000 freedom seekers resided in what is now Ontario, having escaped slave states like Kentucky and Virginia.

Who were major leaders of the Underground Railroad?

8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad

  • Isaac Hopper. Abolitionist Isaac Hopper.
  • John Brown. Abolitionist John Brown, c.
  • Harriet Tubman.
  • Thomas Garrett.
  • William Still.
  • Levi Coffin.
  • Elijah Anderson.
  • Thaddeus Stevens.

Who was the head of the Underground Railroad?

Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), a renowned leader in the Underground Railroad movement, established the Home for the Aged in 1908. Born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman gained her freedom in 1849 when she escaped to Philadelphia.

What states was the Underground Railroad in?

Most of the enslaved people helped by the Underground Railroad escaped border states such as Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland. In the deep South, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made capturing escaped enslaved people a lucrative business, and there were fewer hiding places for them.

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 Underground Railroad routes were there?

There were four main routes that the enslaved could follow: North along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to the northern United States and Canada; South to Florida and refuge with the Seminole Indians and to the Bahamas; West along the Gulf of Mexico and into Mexico; and East along the seaboard into Canada.

Where did Harriet Tubman start the Underground Railroad?

Born into slavery in Maryland, Harriet Tubman escaped to freedom in the North in 1849 to become the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. Tubman risked her life to lead hundreds of family members and other slaves from the plantation system to freedom on this elaborate secret network of safe houses.

Was Indiana part of the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad in Indiana was part of a larger, unofficial, and loosely-connected network of groups and individuals who aided and facilitated the escape of runaway slaves from the southern United States. It is not known how many fugitive slaves escaped through Indiana on their journey to Michigan and Canada.

Who financed the Underground Railroad?

5: Buying Freedom Meanwhile, so-called “stockholders” raised money for the Underground Railroad, funding anti-slavery societies that provided ex-slaves with food, clothing, money, lodging and job-placement services. At times, abolitionists would simply buy an enslaved person’s freedom, as they did with Sojourner Truth.

Was there ever a real underground railroad?

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. The Underground Railroad of history was simply a loose network of safe houses and top secret routes to states where slavery was banned.

How old would Harriet Tubman be today?

Harriet Tubman’s exact age would be 201 years 10 months 28 days old if alive. Total 73,747 days. Harriet Tubman was a social life and political activist known for her difficult life and plenty of work directed on promoting the ideas of slavery abolishment.

What states did Harriet Tubman live in?

Harriet Tubman was born around 1820 on a plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland. Her parents, Harriet (“Rit”) Green and Benjamin Ross, named her Araminta Ross and called her “Minty.”

The Underground Railroad in the Capital District

The following is an excerpt from The Freedom Seeker, Vol. I, Issue I, Winter 2003-2004. Stephen Myers, head of the Underground Railroad in Albany, was interviewed by Paul Stewart, URHPCR President (1830s-50s) (Image courtesy of the Albany Public Library, taken from William Henry Johnson’s Autobiography, published in 1900) Throughout the nineteenth century, Albany was a thriving port city. During the city’s most active Underground Railroad days, the riverside was filled by timber and other enterprises, while Market Street (our modern Broadway) and Pearl Street, as well as adjacent cross streets, were inhabited by numerous retail stores.

It was made possible for individuals, including fugitives from slavery, to travel from port to port and city to city thanks to the expansion of commerce along the Hudson and Erie Canal system, as well as new modes of transportation such as the steamboat and the train.

And the Underground Railroad was exactly that: a network of people who provided help to fugitive slaves in the early and mid-19th centuries before to the Civil War, when they were fleeing slavery (1861.1865).

They journeyed to freedom by every means possible.

William Henry Johnson, abolitionist educator and administrator in the area, as well as a member of the UGRR.

Supporters of slavery, on the other hand, viewed it as a moral and economic imperative for the continuation of the slave economy in general.

The Federal Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850, despite the fact that slavery was abolished in the state of New York in 1827, maintained slavery’s legal presence in the free states of the north, obliging those states to respect the rights of southern plantation masters to own people as “chattel” property.

Stephen Myers, a journalist and local leader of the abolitionist movement who over two decades assisted thousands of people fleeing slavery through the region, William Henry Johnson, a tireless abolitionist who moved to the area in 1851, and the Mott sisters, Abigail and Lydia Mott, members of the local Quaker community, were among those who aided “freedom seekers.” Because to fires and urban expansion, few, if any, structures used by abolitionists and freedom seekers now survive in Albany, making it impossible to imagine their activities in the city.

The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of our city’s built environment, publishes The Freedom Seeker.

UGRR of the Capital Region, a non-profit educational group devoted to preserving the historical record of the Underground Railroad in our city and region, publishes this newsletter three times a year.

The Underground Railroad [ushistory.org]

The National Park Service (NPS) Through the Underground Railroad, Lewis Hayden was able to elude enslavement and later found work as a “conductor” from his home in Massachusetts. Speakers and organizers are required for any cause. Any mass movement requires the presence of visionary men and women. However, simply spreading knowledge and mobilizing people is not enough. It takes people who take action to bring about revolutionary change – individuals who chip away at the things that stand in the way, little by little, until they are victorious.

  1. Instead of sitting around and waiting for laws to change or slavery to come crashing down around them, railroad advocates assisted individual fleeing slaves in finding the light of freedom.
  2. Slaves were relocated from one “station” to another by abolitionists during the Civil War.
  3. In order to escape being apprehended, whites would frequently pose as the fugitives’ masters.
  4. In one particularly dramatic instance, Henry “Box” Brown arranged for a buddy to lock him up in a wooden box with only a few cookies and a bottle of water for company.
  5. This map of the eastern United States depicts some of the paths that slaves took on their way to freedom.
  6. The majority of the time, slaves traveled northward on their own, searching for the signal that indicated the location of the next safe haven.
  7. The railroad employed almost 3,200 individuals between the years 1830 and the conclusion of the Civil War, according to historical records.

Harriet Tubman was perhaps the most notable “conductor” of the Underground Railroad during her lifetime.

Tubman traveled into slave territory on a total of 19 distinct occasions throughout the 1850s.

Any slave who had second thoughts, she threatened to kill with the gun she kept on her hip at the risk of his life.

When the Civil War broke out, she put her railroad experience to use as a spy for the Union, which she did successfully for the Union.

This was even worse than their distaste of Abolitionist speech and literature, which was already bad enough.

According to them, this was a straightforward instance of stolen goods. Once again, a brick was laid in the building of Southern secession when Northern cities rallied with liberated slaves and refused to compensate them for their losses.

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.

See also:  Underground Railroad White Female Conductors Who Helped? (Perfect answer)

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

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

Harriet Tubman

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

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

Frederick Douglass

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

Agent,” according to the document.

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

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

Who Ran the Underground Railroad?

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

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

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

John Brown

Abolitionist John Brown worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was at this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, which was dedicated to assisting fleeing enslaved individuals in their journey to Canada. Abolitionist John Brown would go on to play a variety of roles during his life. His most well-known duty was conducting an assault on Harper’s Ferry in order to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people at gunpoint. Ultimately, Brown’s forces were beaten, and he was executed for treason in 1859.

  1. The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved lady and her young daughter.
  2. Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.
  3. After being apprehended in 1844 while transporting a boatload of freed slaves from the Caribbean to the United States, Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was sentenced to prison for life.
  4. John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to assist in the rescue of enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their families as they made their way north.
  5. He managed to elude capture twice.

End of the Line

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

MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.


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

Underground Railroad in New York

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

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

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

The Underground Railroad (1820-1861) •

The smuggling of fugitives during the winter season Charles T. Webber’s novel The Underground Railroad was published in 1893. Images that are in the public domain Underground Railroad was developed to assist oppressed persons in their journey from slavery to liberty. The railroad network was made up of dozens of hidden routes and safe houses that began in slaveholding states and extended all the way to the Canadian border, which was the only place where fugitives could be certain of their freedom.

  • As part of the Underground Railroad, slaves were smuggled onto ships that transported them to ports in the northern United States or to countries outside of the United States.
  • Though the number of persons who fled through the Underground Railroad between 1820 and 1861 varies greatly depending on who you ask, the most commonly accepted figure is roughly 100,000.
  • The railroad employed conductors, among them William Still of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was likely the most well-known of the group.
  • Slave-hiding spots were called stations, and stationmasters were individuals who hid slaves in their houses.
  • The Underground Railroad functioned as a number of interconnected networks.
  • Those responsible for leading the fugitive slaves north did so in stages.
  • The “freight” would be transferred on to the next conductor once it reached another stop, and so on until the full journey had been completed.

When the Underground Railroad was successful, it engendered a great deal of hostility among slaveholders and their friends.

The law was misused to a tremendous extent.

Due to the fact that African Americans were not permitted to testify or have a jury present during a trial, they were frequently unable to defend themselves.

However, the Fugitive Slave Act had the opposite effect, increasing Northern opposition to slavery and hastening the Civil War.

A large number of those who escaped became human witnesses to the slave system, with many of them traveling on the lecture circuit to explain to Northerners what life was like as a slave in the slave system.

It was the success of the Underground Railroad in both situations that contributed to the abolition of slavery.

A simple payment would go a long way toward ensuring that this is available to everyone. Give up a beverage and contribute the money you would have spent on it to us in exchange for the knowledge you have just learnt, and feel good about your contribution to making it available to everyone!

Cite this article in APA format:

Waggoner, C., and Waggoner, C. (2007, December 03). The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes (1820-1861). BlackPast.org.

Source of the author’s information:

“The Underground Railroad,” by William Still (Chicago, Johnson Publishing Company, 1970) Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2004); J. Blaine Hudson, Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2006); David W. Blight, Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center,

Post navigation

The people, governance processes, and partnership relationships that keep the company running smoothly. With the help of GuideStar Pro, you may establish relationships with essential people who manage and lead charitable organizations. To get started, sign up for a low-commitment monthly plan.

  • Analyze a range of financial measures that have already been calculated
  • Make use of visually appealing interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare the financials of nonprofits to those of comparable organizations.

Do you want to learn more about how to improve your nonprofit research and gain more insights? More information on GuideStar Pro may be found here. With the help of GuideStar Pro, you may establish relationships with essential people who manage and lead charitable organizations. To get started, sign up for a low-commitment monthly plan.

  • Analyze a range of financial measures that have already been calculated
  • Make use of visually appealing interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare the financials of nonprofits to those of comparable organizations.

Do you want to learn more about how to improve your nonprofit research and gain greater insights? More information on GuideStar Pro may be found here.

Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc

As of the 25th of May, 2021, the board of directors SOURCE: Self-reported by the organization’s board of directors

Ms. Brittany Beyus

Planned Parenthood’s current term is 2021-2021. co-chair of the board of directors

Mr. Ron Gardner

Officer for Diversity in the Schenectady City Government Term is from 2021 to 2021. Matt KirkHartgen Archaeological Associates, Inc. Matt KirkHartgen Archaeological Associates, Inc. Brittany Beyus is a model and actress. Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization that provides reproductive health services. Yolanda Caldwell is a model and actress. Titus Enterprises is a privately held corporation. Sam Fein is a County Legislator in the state of California. David Hochfelder is a writer and editor based in New York City.

  1. Steven O’Connor is an American actor and director.
  2. Albany is a city in New York State.
  3. Executive Librarian who has retired Paul Stewart is an American actor and director who is best known for his role in the film The Aviator.
  4. Ron Gardner is a well-known author and philanthropist.
  5. Kai Earle MarionC S Companies is a division of Kai Earle MarionC S Companies.
  6. Activist in the community Sara Anderson is a woman who works in the fashion industry.
  7. Lisbeth Calandrino is a model and actress.
  8. Matt Millea is a writer and musician from the United Kingdom.

Latisha Owens-Gonzalez is a model and actress. Albany Housing Authority is a public housing authority in Albany, New York. Ethel Walker was a woman who lived in the United States. Walker Enterprises, Unlimited, LLC is a limited liability company.

Board leadership practices

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Organizational self-reporting This section was developed in collaboration with BoardSource, a national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, according to GuideStar.

Board orientation and education
  • The board of directors conducts a formal orientation for incoming board members. Does the board of directors require all board members to sign a written agreement outlining their respective duties and responsibilities, as well as their expectations of one another? Yes
See also:  When Was The Underground Railroad? (The answer is found)
CEO oversight
  • Has the board of directors done a formal, written evaluation of the chief executive in the last calendar year? No
Ethics and transparency

  • Do you know if the board of directors and senior management have reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy, prepared and signed disclosure forms in the last year? Yes
Board composition
  • Is it the board’s policy to guarantee an inclusive board member recruiting process that results in a diverse range of perspectives and leadership abilities? Yes
Board performance
  • Has the board done a formal, documented self-assessment of its performance within the last three years? If so, please describe the process. Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; most recent update on May 25, 2021 In what capacities do people labor and lead organizations that provide services to our various communities? GuideStar collaborated on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center to provide you the best possible information.


The following is how the organization’s leader is identified: Raceethnicity White/Caucasian/European Gender identity is a personal choice. Not a transgender person, but a female (cisgender) Sexual orientation is a personal preference. Person with a disability or a person who is heterosexual or straightDisability statusPerson without a disability

Equity strategies

This section was created in collaboration with Equity in the Center, an organization that strives to alter ideas, practices, and systems in order to enhance racial equity.Learn moreData was gathered from a variety of sources.

  • Interviews, roundtables, and external evaluations with/by community stakeholders are some of the non-traditional methods we use to get feedback on our programs and trainings.

Policies and procedures are important.

  • We employ a vetting process to discover vendors and partners who are committed to racial fairness in the same way that we are. We are looking for persons from a variety of racial and ethnic origins to serve on our board of directors and as executive director/CEO. Our board of directors includes members of the community who serve as either members of the board or as members of a community advisory board. The company’s whole workforce, from the board of directors to the lowest-level employees, is involved in racial equity work, and we ensure that everyone understands their duties in building a culture in which one’s race identification has no bearing on one’s performance inside the organization.

The Ultimate Guide to Underground Railroad Sites in Maryland

In order to discover vendors and partners that share our commitment to racial fairness, we employ a rigorous vetting process. For our organization’s board of directors and executive director/CEO roles, we are looking for individuals from a diverse range of ethnic and racial backgrounds; Our board of directors includes members of the community who serve as either members of the board or members of a community advisory board. We involve everyone in our racial equality work, from the board of directors to the lowest levels of employees, and we make certain that everyone understands their duties in establishing a culture in which one’s race identification has no bearing on how they perform inside the business.

Central Maryland

Against the backdrop of Baltimore’s bustling city streets and the waterfront docks at Fells Point, a substantial free black population labored and interacted with the slaves. For freedom seekers, this was the ideal location to blend in, conceal themselves, or labor with other African-Americans. Black seamen known as blackjacks operated at Baltimore and Annapolis, where they could conceal freedom seekers in cargo or deliver letters to family members in distant ports. Museums and historic places tell the story of freedom seekers who fled from cities, ports, neighboring fields, and plantations, among other locations.

Southern Maryland

In Southern Maryland, the rolling landscape is famed for its old tobacco plantations, where a huge enslaved population worked to sustain the opulent lifestyle of their masters. Despite this, some people were able to flee persecution. During the Civil War, a few African-Americans who had escaped slavery enlisted in the United States Colored Troops. The Southern Maryland peninsulas are surrounded by water, and having access to the Chesapeake and its rivers provided more chances for escape and recreation.

However, the danger of being apprehended was high, and several fugitives were apprehended. Visit past plantations and historic locations to learn more about these people and their tales. Come and see what the Network to Freedom in Southern Maryland is all about.

Capital and Western Regions

The origins of Joseph Henson’s life may be traced to a region near our nation’s capitol, and his narrative, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to create her abolitionist book, “Uncle Tom.” A large number of enslaved persons managed to escape from affluent landowners in the rural districts around the metropolis. Some of them became assimilated into the free black community in Washington, D.C. Others took to the streets on foot. Thrilling escape attempts and, on occasion, captures were the result.

Take a look at the Network to Freedom in the Capital and Western Regions.

Related Links

Maryland: The World’s Most Powerful Underground Railroad Storytelling Destination, according to the National Park Service. The Freedom Fighters of Maryland Exodus from slavery along the Underground Railroad in Maryland Sites, programs, tours, and research facilities that are part of the Maryland Network to Freedom Maryland’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Guide (PDF, Mail Order) is available online.

The Little-Known History of the Underground Railroad in New York

Cyrus Gates House, located in Broome County, New York, was formerly a major station on the Underground Railroad’s route through the country. Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons There was a time when New York City wasn’t the liberal Yankee bastion that it is now. When it came to abolitionists and abolitionist politics in the decades preceding up to the Civil War, the city was everything but an epicenter of abolitionism. Banking and shipping interests in the city were tightly related to the cotton and sugar businesses, both of which relied on slave labor to produce their products.

However, even at that time, the Underground Railroad, a network of hidden safe houses and escape routes used by fugitive slaves seeking freedom in the North, passed through the city and into the surrounding countryside.

In New York, however, the full extent of the Underground Railroad’s reach has remained largely unknown, owing to the city’s anti-abolitionist passion.

“This was a community that was strongly pro-Southern, and the Underground Railroad was working in much greater secrecy here than in many other parts of the North, so it was much more difficult to track down the Underground Railroad.”

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad

runaway slaves and antislavery campaigners who disobeyed the law to aid them in their quest for freedom are the subjects of this gripping documentary. Eric Foner, more than any other researcher, has had a significant impact on our knowledge of American history. The Pulitzer Prize–winning historian has reconfigured the national tale of American slavery and liberation once more, this time with the help of astounding material that has come to light through his research. Foner’s latest book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, describes how New York was a vital way station on the Underground Railroad’s journey from the Upper South to Pennsylvania and on to upstate New York, the New England states and Canada.

  • Their narrative represents a phase in the history of resistance to slavery that has gotten only sporadic attention from historians up to this point.
  • The existence of the Record of Fugitives, which was collected by abolitionist newspaperman Sydney Howard Gay in New York City, was unknown to researchers until a student informed Foner of its existence.
  • A runaway long forgotten, James Jones of Alexandria, according to Gay’s account, “had not been treated cruelly but was bored of being a slave,” according to the records.
  • Foner reports that many fugitives ran away because they were being physically abused as much as they did out of a yearning for freedom, using terms such as “huge violence,” “badly treated,” “rough times,” and “hard master” to describe their experiences.
  • During the late 1840s, he had risen to the position of the city’s foremost lawyer in runaway slave cases, frequently donating his services without charge, “at tremendous peril to his social and professional status,” according to Gay.
  • Agent,” a title that would become synonymous with the Underground Railroad.
  • He was an illiterate African-American.
  • A number of letters and writs of habeas corpus bearing his name appear later on, as well as some of the most important court cases emerging from the disputed Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
  • “He was the important person on the streets of New York, bringing in fugitives, combing the docks, looking for individuals at the train station,” Foner said.

that he had ever been the liberator of 3,000 individuals from bondage.” The author, who used theRecordas a jumping off point to delve deeper into New York’s fugitive slave network, also traces the origins of the New York Vigilance Committee, a small group of white abolitionists and free blacks who formed in 1835 and would go on to form the core of the city’s underground network until the eve of the Civil War.

The New York Vigilance Committee was a small group of white abolitionists and For the duration of its existence, Foner writes, “it drove runaway slaves to the forefront of abolitionist awareness in New York and earned sympathy from many people beyond the movement’s ranks.” It brought the intertwined concerns of kidnapping and fugitive slaves into the wider public consciousness.” The publication of Gateway to Freedom takes the total number of volumes authored by Foner on antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction America to two dozen.

  • His previous book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was published in 2012.
  • What was the inspiration for this book?
  • Everything started with one document, the Record of Fugitives, which was accidentally pointed up to me by a Columbia University student who was writing a senior thesis on Sydney Howard Gay and his journalistic career and happened to mention it to me.
  • She was in the manuscript library at Columbia when she mentioned it.
  • It was essentially unknown due to the fact that it had not been catalogued in any manner.
  • What was the atmosphere like in New York at the time?
  • As a result of their tight relationships with cotton plantation owners, this city’s merchants effectively controlled the cotton trade in the region.

The shipbuilding industry, insurance firms, and banks all had a role in the financialization of slavery.

They came to conduct business, but they also came to enjoy themselves.

The free black community and the very tiny band of abolitionists did exist, but it was a challenging setting in which to do their important job.

Routes were available in Ohio and Kentucky.

It was part of a larger network that provided assistance to a large number of fugitives.

It is incorrect to think of the Underground Railroad as a fixed collection of paths.

It wasn’t as if there were a succession of stations and people could just go from one to the next.

It was even more unorganized – or at least less organized – than before.

And after they moved farther north, to Albany and Syracuse, they were in the heart of anti-slavery area, and the terrain became much more amenable to their way of life.

People advertised in the newspaper about assisting escaped slaves, which was a radically different milieu from that of New York City at the time.

The phrase “Underground Railroad” should be interpreted relatively literally, at least toward the conclusion of the book.

Frederick Douglas had just recently boarded a train in Baltimore and traveled to New York.

Ship captains demanded money from slaves in exchange for hiding them and transporting them to the North.

The book also looks at the broader influence that escaped slaves had on national politics in the nineteenth century.

The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was a particularly severe piece of legislation that drew a great deal of controversy in the northern states.

So that’s something else I wanted to emphasize: not only the story of these individuals, but also the way in which their acts had a significant impact on national politics and the outbreak of the Civil War. Activism History of African Americans Videos about American History that are recommended

Historic Albany house is part of the Underground Railroad

The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, located on Livingston Avenue, previously Lumbar Street, in Albany, served as a safe haven for freedom seekers during the American Civil War. “In the era leading up to the Civil War,” said Paul Stewart, co-founder of the Underground Railroad History Project, Stephen Myers and his wife Harriet, as well as their four children, were “African American activists who lived in the period leading up to the Civil War.” The Myers home was found by Paul and Mary Liz Stewart, a husband and wife pair who were conducting research on the Underground Railroad in the Capital District.

  • It was via this project that they co-founded the Underground Railroad History Project and bought the Myers Residence from Albany County for $1,500 in 2007.
  • The residence is already being used as an educational tool by groups such as the Young Abolitionists Club, which performs re-enactments, as well as members of the local community, among other things.
  • “I believe it is unique that I am able to teach my 8-year-old.” After raising $800,000 in an effort to preserve the property’s heritage, Paul and Mary began the restoration of the three-story, 10-room Greek revival mansion that had been threatened with demolition.
  • She went on to say that it will take more than a million dollars to completely repair the façade, and that the inside will require substantial work as well.
See also:  Where Is The Underground Railroad By Colson Whitehead Set? (Solved)

‘We find that so many people with whom we interact make the assumption that if one was black before the Civil War, either that black person was enslaved or that black person was free, but they didn’t have much,” Mary explained, “and so we’re attempting to counter the stereotypical images and say there’s more to the story.” The house is currently accepting donations to assist in financing the complete restoration of the structure in order to continue telling that tale.

To make a gift or for additional information, please visit this page.

The Underground Railroad on the Potomac – Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (U.S. National Park Service)

The Potomac canal, which has been used as a thoroughfare for generations, played a vital role in the emancipation efforts of individuals fleeing slavery. Jerry Pickney is a copywriter. ‘ I arrived in Washington after crossing the Potomac River at Alexandria, where I made friends with a colored family with whom I stayed for eight days. I then followed the Montgomery road (sic), but, in my haste to get away (illegible) and because it was overcast, I lost my way and ended myself back along the Potomac River, where I spent the night and the next day traveling on the canal towpath.

With a heart full of gratitude to God, I crossed the line into Pennsylvania on July 19, about two hours before daybreak, believing that God had indeed granted me freedom and that there was now ‘no one who could molest me or make me afraid.’ I had been a slave for over a year and had no intention of returning.

The Underground Railroad

In reality, the Underground Railroad was neither a “underground” nor a “railroad,” but rather a loose network of people and locations that assisted enslaved Africans in their journey to freedom. In the years between the American Revolution and the Civil War, over 100,000 enslaved people managed to break free from the terrible bonds of slavery. The Underground Railroad has been referred to as “America’s first civil rights movement,” as well as “the first social justice movement in this nation to bring people of all colors together.”

The Railroad and the River

The corridor selected by Congress for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is often connected with George Washington’s journeys, with the protection of rivers and particular sites, and with the American Civil War, as well as with other historical events. The Underground Railroad, for example, is one of the corridor’s lesser-known topics, but it is no less essential. The Trail route contains portions of the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania that were formerly known as “free” and “slave” states during a period when the United States was entangled in the practice of chattel slavery, according to historical records.

Many of the Potomac riverscape’s features were concealed from view, thus the numerous streams, points, and lookouts provided a window of opportunity for the oppressed to gain their freedom.

However, research has revealed that the slaves utilized any and all means necessary to liberate themselves, with the Potomac River playing a role in their efforts: Horseback riders and wagon drivers may cross the Potomac on horseback or by wagon since it is both deep enough for boats and shallow enough in some spots.

Escape on the Pearl

The most well-known and well-documented escape attempt from the nation’s capital happened on April 15, 1848, when 77 enslaved people left their lodgings in Washington City, Georgetown, and Alexandria, according to historical records. The Pearl, a 54-ton bay-craft schooner, was waiting to assist them on their journey to freedom. With The Pearl and its freedom seekers docked at a secluded spot along the southwest wharf, the plan was to sail The Pearl and its freedom seekers down the Potomac River to the Chesapeake Bay, then up the bay to the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal and on to Philadelphia, where they would be greeted by a rousing welcome.

  • After being noticed and marked as unusual by the captain of a steamboat bound for Washington’s port, who then reported the movement of the schooner, the investigation began.
  • When the storm hit, the Pearl was forced to take shelter in a little cove known as Cornfield Harbor, after traveling more than 100 miles in the midst of the storm.
  • When the enslavers returned to the nation’s capital and discovered that their “slaves” had escaped, they were furious.
  • Within hours, the Pearl was discovered near where it had been anchored and was captured by the wrathful posse.
  • The Pearl is only one example of how the Potomac River was used as a path to liberation by the Underground Railroad during the American Revolution.

Peter Ripley, p. 58). It is John Brown’s attack on the Kennedy Farmhouse that marks a watershed moment in the enslaved African’s battle for liberation. The raid begins at the Kennedy Farmhouse and ends at Harpers Ferry.

Historic Sites along the Potomac

The Pearl is only one example of how the Potomac River was used as a path to liberation by the Underground Railroad during the American Revolution. Because of its geographic position and the skillful leadership of its founders, Washington, D.C. operated one of the most active networks during the 1830s and into the next decade (C. Peter Ripley, p. 58). It is John Brown’s attack on the Kennedy Farmhouse that marks a watershed moment in the enslaved African’s battle for liberation. The raid begins at the Kennedy Farmhouse and ends at Harpers Ferry.

  • The Sotterley Plantation* and Camp Stanton* in southern Maryland
  • The Alexandria Freedman’s Cemetery*, Bruins Slave Jail*, and Gadsby’s Tavern* in Alexandria, Virginia
  • The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site*, Asbury Methodist Church*, and Blanche K. Bruce burial site* in Woodlawn Cemetery, Montana
  • The Zion United Methodist Church and Female Union Band Society cemeteries in Washington, D.C.
  • The Arlington House* in Arlington, Virginia

The presence of an asterisk indicates that the place has been recognized by the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Additional Resources

The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program is a federally funded initiative. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is located in Alexandria, Egypt. Walking along the Underground Railroad in Montgomery County, Maryland: An Underground Railroad Adventure in Maryland Southern Maryland Studies Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to research and education in southern Maryland. Thomas Balch Library is located in the heart of downtown.

Stories from the Underground Railroad, 1855-56

William Still was an African-American abolitionist who risked his life on several occasions in order to aid slaves from their captivity. After reading these extracts, readers will have the opportunity to read some of the letters Still received from abolitionists and former slaves. They offer light on issues like as family separation, the financial expenses of escaping to freedom, and the logistical challenges faced by those on the Underground Railroad. Appellation on behalf of a destitute slave in Petersburg, Virginia, written by John H.

STILL, MY DEAR FRIEND: —I’m writing to let you know that Miss Mary Wever has arrived in this city in good health.


I believe they will tie the knot as soon as they are able to get ready.

Hill will begin putting the items together the next day.

It is not my responsibility to inform you of his situation because Miss Wever has already informed you of it in detail.

Tell my uncle to travel to Richmond and inquire as to the location of this individual.

He doesn’t have a lot of money.

We shall, on the other hand, raise all of the money that is needed to ensure his safe arrival.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Bustill writes a letter to the editor (U.G.R.R.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, March 24, 1956.

These people got here this morning about 8:45 a.m.

I would appreciate it if you could email me any information that you think would be of interest to them.

This is our first instance, and I am hopeful that it will turn out to be a complete success.

This Road was chosen because it allowed us to gain time; it is predicted that the owners would arrive in town this afternoon, and by using this Road, we gained five hours of valuable time, which we may need in the future.


Depot) to the editor.

When responding, use the term “goods” in your response.

Bustill, who lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, about three weeks ago.

Jones in Elmira, and the next day they were out looking for the package again; it was delivered safely to Elmira, according to a letter I received from Jones, and everything is in order.

The date was September 28, 1856.

SIR:— I take the opportunity of writing to you a few lines about my children because I am so anxious to obtain them and I would appreciate it if you could kindly do everything you can to help me.

Joseph G.

Nash, a sister-in-law of Dr.

You may find her by asking for Dr.

And I have faith in you to attempt whatever you believe would be the most effective method.

Yours Respectfully, Jefferson Pipkins is a fictional character created by author Jefferson Pipkins.

I currently reside in Yorkville, which is close to Toronto Canada West.

Still has received my wife’s heartfelt condolences.

WELCOME, OLD FRIEND STILL:—I am writing to you on behalf of Mrs.

She hails from the city of Washington.

She is making a pit stop in our city and expresses a strong desire to hear back from her children.

Biglow, of Washington City.

As I’m sure you’re aware, she is quite concerned about her children.

She is interested in learning whether Mr.

She would appreciate it if you will write to Mr.

She extends her heartfelt greetings to you and your loved ones.

Please address your letter to me, dear brother, and I will see that it is sent to her on her behalf.

Watkins went for Ithaca, New York, and other destinations in that section of the state.

Watkins, and other notables; Gerritt Smith was also there.

We have a great deal of admiration for her.

The FBI has apprehended 31 fugitives in the previous twenty-seven days; however, we are confident that you have apprehended many more than that.

I am, of course, yours truly, J.W.

He is the author of the book J.W.

Loguen: A Novel, ed.

The Underground Railroad: A Record(Philadelphia: PorterCoates, 1872), pages 41, 43, 378, 137, and 158. William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record(Philadelphia: PorterCoates, 1872), pages 41, 43, 378, 137, and 158. Google Books has a copy of this book.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *