What Is A Quaker Underground Railroad? (Solved)

The Quaker campaign to end slavery can be traced back to the late 1600s, and many played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad. In 1776, Quakers were prohibited from owning slaves, and 14 years later they petitioned the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery.

What is a Quaker in slavery?

Quakers were among the first white people to denounce slavery in the American colonies and Europe, and the Society of Friends became the first organization to take a collective stand against both slavery and the slave trade, later spearheading the international and ecumenical campaigns against slavery.

Were Quakers part of the Underground Railroad?

Quakers played a huge role in the formation of the Underground Railroad, with George Washington complaining as early as 1786 that a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes, have attempted to liberate” a neighbor’s slave.

How many slaves did the Quakers free?

Newby and ten other Quaker slaveholders then freed forty slaves —a direct violation of the 1741 law. Even though North Carolina was helping its new nation fight the American Revolution in 1776, the legislature took notice of the Quaker action.

What were underground railroad helpers called?

The free individuals who helped runaway slaves travel toward freedom were called conductors, and the fugitive slaves were referred to as cargo. The safe houses used as hiding places along the lines of the Underground Railroad were called stations.

Did Quakers pay taxes?

Most Quakers were opposed to taxes designated specifically for military purposes. Though the official position of the Society of Friends was against any payment of war taxes. A number of Quakers even refused the “mixed taxes.” Up to 500 Quakers were disowned for paying war taxes or joining the army.

How did the Quakers treat the natives?

The Quakers treated the Indians as spiritual equals but cultural inferiors who must learn European ways or perish. They stressed allotment of tribal lands and the creation of individual farms.

Was Thomas Clarkson a Quaker?

The twelve founding members included nine Quakers, and three pioneering Anglicans: Clarkson, Granville Sharp, and Philip Sansom. They were sympathetic to the religious revival that had predominantly nonconformist origins, but which sought wider non-denominational support for a “Great Awakening” amongst believers.

What does the Quakers believe?

Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody and that each human being is of unique worth. This is why Quakers value all people equally, and oppose anything that may harm or threaten them. Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality.

What was the goal of the Quakers?

Quakers are followers of a religious movement that began as an offshoot of Christianity in 17th century England. The movement emphasizes equal, inward access to God for all people.

When did Quakers stop owning slaves?

The Quaker campaign to end slavery can be traced back to the late 1600s, and many played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad. In 1776, Quakers were prohibited from owning slaves, and 14 years later they petitioned the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery.

What are the 4 founding principles of Quakerism?

This acronym— Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship —captures core Quaker principles, called testimonies, and can serve as a guide to a meaningful life.

What states was the Underground Railroad in?

These were called “stations,” “safe houses,” and “depots.” The people operating them were called “stationmasters.” There were many well-used routes stretching west through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa. Others headed north through Pennsylvania and into New England or through Detroit on their way to Canada.

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.

What was the code for the Underground Railroad?

The code words often used on the Underground Railroad were: “ tracks” (routes fixed by abolitionist sympathizers); “stations” or “depots” (hiding places); “conductors” (guides on the Underground Railroad); “agents” (sympathizers who helped the slaves connect to the Railroad); “station masters” (those who hid slaves in

Underground Railroad

An informal network of secret passageways and safe homes used by fleeing slaves in the United States of America on their trip north to “Free States” or Canada has been known as the Underground Railroad since the 1840s, when the name was first used. In addition to twenty-nine states, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean were included in the territory. Along with many others, Quakers played an important role in the event. It was referred to as a “Underground Railroad” because it was kept hidden, and as a “Railroad” because it indicated the route taken by fleeing slaves on their way to freedom.

“Stockholders” were those who made contributions of money or products to aid the cause.

“Conductors” were people who planned the routes and who frequently assisted and accompanied the slaves in their quest for freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Stations were typically between 10 and 20 miles apart, and the travelers either walked between them or hid in covered wagons or carts with false bottoms while traveling between stations.

The exact date when the Underground Railroad got its inception is unknown.

According to Washington’s letter to Robert Morris, a slave had escaped from one of his neighbours, and “a society of Quakers, organized for such reasons, had sought to liberate him.acting in a manner abhorrent to justice.in my judgment highly impolitic with respect to the State.” Over 3,000 persons were employed by the Underground Railroad by 1850, according to historical records.

African Americans such as Harriet Tubman (a former slave who made 19 journeys to help first her own family and then other slaves) made the most significant contributions, but many others were also involved, including members of Methodist and other evangelical groups, as well as Quakers and other religious groups.

  1. Among the other Underground Railroad Quaker strongholds were Salem, Iowa; Newport; Alum Creek; Cass County; Farmington; and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
  2. Thomas Garrett (1789 – 1871), a Quaker, is credited with assisting almost 2,700 slaves in their escape from slavery and was known as the “station master” of the final Underground Railroad station, which was located in Wilmington, Delaware.
  3. Quaker Levi Coffin (1798 – 1877), who lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, was known as the “President of the Underground Railroad” because of his work on the Underground Railroad.
  4. Some Quakers, however, did not believe that acting outside the law was justified, despite their empathy for the slaves’ condition.
  5. By the middle of the nineteenth century, it is believed that over 50,000 slaves had escaped from the slave states of the South through the use of the Underground Railroad.
  6. It is possible that federal marshals who failed to apprehend an accused runaway slave may be fined $1,000.

The Underground Railroad did not come to an end as a result of the Fugitive Slave Act. With the abolition of slavery at the conclusion of the American Civil War, it came to a logical conclusion (1861-65).

8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad

Isaac Hopper, an abolitionist, is shown in this image from the Kean Collection/Getty Images. As early as 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with a “organization of Quakers, founded for such reasons,” which had sought to free a neighbor’s slave. Quakers were instrumental in the establishment of the Underground Railroad. Slavery was opposed in especially in Philadelphia, where Isaac Hopper, a Quaker who converted to Christianity, created what has been described as “the first working cell of the abolitionist underground.” Hopper not only protected escaped slave hunters in his own house, but he also constructed a network of safe havens and recruited a web of spies in order to get insight into their plans.

Hopper, a friend of Joseph Bonaparte, the exiled brother of the former French emperor, went to New York City in 1829 and established himself as a successful businessman.

READ MORE: The Underground Railroad and Its Operation

2. John Brown

John Brown, an abolitionist, about 1846 GraphicaArtis/Getty Images courtesy of Similar to his father, John Brown actively participated in the Underground Railroad by hosting runaways at his home and warehouse and organizing an anti-slave catcher militia following the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which he inherited from his father. The next year, he joined several of his sons in the so-called “Bleeding Kansas” war, leading one attack that resulted in the deaths of five pro-slavery settlers in 1856.

Brown’s radicalization continued to grow, and his ultimate act occurred in October 1859, when he and 21 supporters seized the government arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an effort to incite a large-scale slave uprising.

3. Harriet Tubman

John Brown, an abolitionist, about 1846. Image via Getty Images courtesy of GraphicaArtis Following the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, John Brown, like his father before him, actively participated in the Underground Railroad, sheltering runaways at his home and warehouse and forming an anti-slave catcher militia. The next year, he and many of his sons took part in the so-called “Bleeding Kansas” war, leading one raid that ended in the death of five pro-slavery settlers. The next month, in December 1858, Brown raided three Missouri plantations, freeing 11 enslaved individuals, after which he and his fugitive companions embarked on a roughly 1,500-mile trip across the continent to Canada.

The next December, Brown was apprehended and convicted, and he was executed.

4. Thomas Garrett

‘Thomas Garrett’ is a fictional character created by author Thomas Garrett. The New York Public Library is a public library in New York City. The Quaker “stationmaster” Thomas Garrett, who claimed to have aided approximately 2,750 fugitive slaves before the outbreak of the Civil War, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, and Tubman frequently stopped there on her way up north. Garret not only provided his guests with a place to stay but also with money, clothing & food. He also personally escorted them to a more secure location on occasion, arm in arm.

Despite this, he persisted in his efforts.

He also stated that “if any of you know of any poor slave who needs assistance, please send him to me, as I now publicly pledge myself to double my diligence and never miss an opportunity to assist a slave to obtain freedom.”

5. William Still

William Still is a well-known author and poet. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive/Getty Images Many runaways traveled from Wilmington, the final Underground Railroad station in the slave state of Delaware, to the office of William Still in adjacent Philadelphia, which was the last stop on their journey. The Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which provided food and clothing, coordinated escapes, raised funds, and otherwise served as a one-stop social services shop for hundreds of fugitive slaves each year, was chaired by Still, who was a free-born African American.

Still ultimately produced a book in which he chronicled the personal histories of his guests, which offered valuable insight into the operation of the Underground Railroad as a whole.

His assistance to Osborne Anderson, the only African-American member of John Brown’s company to survive the Harpers Ferry raid, was another occasion when he was called upon.

6. Levi Coffin

Charles T. Webber’s painting The Underground Railroad depicts fleeing slaves Levi Coffin, his wife Catherine, and Hannah Haydock providing assistance to the group of fugitive slaves. Getty Images/Bettina Archive/Getty Images Levi Coffin, often known as the “president of the Underground Railroad,” is said to have been an abolitionist when he was seven years old after witnessing a column of chained slaves people being taken to an auction house. Following a humble beginning delivering food to fugitives holed up on his family’s North Carolina plantation, he rose through the ranks to become a successful trader and prolific “stationmaster,” first in Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, and subsequently in Cincinnati, Kentucky.

See also:  What States Did The Underground Railroad Go Through? (Professionals recommend)

In addition to hosting anti-slavery lectures and abolitionist sewing club meetings, Coffin, like his fellow Quaker Thomas Garrett, stood steadfast when hauled before a court of law.

His writings state that “the dictates of humanity came in direct conflict with the law of the land,” and that “we rejected the law.”

7. Elijah Anderson

The Ohio River, which formed the border between slave and free states, was referred to as the River Jordan in abolitionist circles because it represented the border between slave and free states. Madison, Indiana, was an especially appealing crossing point for enslaved persons on the run, because to an Underground Railroad cell established there by blacksmith Elijah Anderson and several other members of the town’s Black middle class in the 1850s. With his fair skin, Anderson might have passed for a white slave owner on his repeated travels into Kentucky, where would purportedly pick up 20 to 30 enslaved persons at a time and whisk them away to freedom, sometimes accompanying them as far as the Coffins’ mansion in Newport.

An anti-slavery mob devastated Madison in 1846, almost drowning an agent of the Underground Railroad, prompting Anderson to flee upriver to Lawrenceburg, Indiana, where he eventually settled.

8. Thaddeus Stevens

Mr. Thaddeus Stevens is an American lawyer and senator. Bettmann Archive courtesy of Getty Images; Matthew Brady/Bettmann Archive Thaddeus Stevens, a representative from Pennsylvania, was outspoken in his opposition to slavery. The 14th and 15th amendments, which guaranteed African-American citizens equal protection under the law and the right to vote, respectively, were among his many accomplishments, and he also advocated for a radical reconstruction of the South, which included the redistribution of land from white plantation owners to former enslaved people.

Despite this, it wasn’t until 2002 that his Underground Railroad activities were brought to light, when archeologists uncovered a hidden hiding hole in the courtyard of his Lancaster house.

Seward, also served as Underground Railroad “stationmasters” during the era.

Quakers and the Underground Railroad

I have always been fascinated by American history, which is one of the reasons why I decided to work as a history guide at Tyler Arboretum. Fortunately for me, my spouse Joel has done the same. We have spent several vacations traveling to different places and learning about our country’s history. As a professional librarian, there is nothing I enjoy more than the process of obtaining knowledge. Also, I have a personal connection to the religious movement known as Quakerism. Despite the fact that I do not identify as a Quaker, my father’s ancestors were, and I have spent a significant amount of time investigating that branch of my family line.

  • I found it intriguing to discover more about the Painter family and how their Quaker beliefs influenced their actions and contributions to our history, even though Tyler Arboretum is mostly known for its amazing collection of plants (as it should be).
  • Quakers believe that God exists within each and every human being.
  • In 1775, Quakers in Philadelphia created the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, which became known as the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage.
  • Quakers who continued to keep slaves were either “read out” or ejected from the meetinghouse for their actions.
  • Escaped slaves had been making their way to the Free states for quite some time, with assistance from Quakers, free blacks, and others along the route.
  • Former slaves were once regarded free once they were able to go to a free state.
  • Under the Fugitive Slave Act, slave hunters were permitted to enter Free States in order to chase down escaped slaves.

Anyone found guilty of assisting fugitives by supplying them with food, lodging, or any other form of help might face a $1,000 fine and a term of 6 months in jail if convicted.

This, combined with the fact that it was close to Delaware and Maryland, resulted in a thriving Underground Railroad in the area.

Eighty-two of them were Quakers, while thirty-one were free blacks.

Eusebius was married to Sarah Painter, daughter of Enos and Hannah Painter and sister to Minshall and Jacob.

Elizabeth Barnard and Sarah Painter are two of the most important figures in the history of literature.

Because of the strong assistance provided by Quakers in these locations, these routes were thought to be quite secure at the time.

The Honeycomb A.M.E.

Located on Barren Road, close to Tyler Arboretum, this church serves the local community.

Several strands of Jacob and Minshall Painter’s lives were intertwined with the Underground Railroad.

A known “conductor” is even mentioned by Minshall Painter in his journal as sending an escaped slave to Lachford Hall, according to Minshall Painter’s diary.

Because the Underground Railroad was illegal, and the penalties for participation were severe, the persons engaged were generally reluctant to record information that may be used against them, putting their lives and their efforts at risk.

Are you interested in the history of the Quakers? Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library is a worthwhile stop. a link to the page’s load

Quakers in the abolition movement – Wikipedia

Abolitionists in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America, including members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), played a significant part in the abolitionist movement. In the American colonies and Europe, Quakers were among the first white people to denounce slavery, and the Society of Friends was the first organization to take a collective stand against both slavery and the slave trade, later spearheading the international and ecumenical campaigns against slavery in the nineteenth century.


Slavery in Barbados was initially questioned by Quaker colonists in the 1670s, and it was only in 1688 that slavery was publicly rejected. It was in that year that four German settlers (including the Lutheran Francis Daniel Pastorius and three Quakers) made a complaint from the settlement of Germantown, which was near to Philadelphia in the newly created American colony of Pennsylvania. The actions of William Southeby, John Hepburn, Ralph Sandiford, and Benjamin Lay ushered in nearly a century of vigorous debate about the morality of slavery among Pennsylvanian Quakers, which resulted in anti-slavery writing and direct action from several Quakers, including William Southeby, John Hepburn, Ralph Sandiford, and Benjamin Lay.

Slavery was opposed by a new generation of Quakers, including John Woolman, Anthony Benezet, David Cooper, and others, who urged that Quaker society break its connections with the slave trade.

The London Yearly Meetingsfollowed suit, declaring a’strong minute’ condemning slave trading in 1761, as a result of the slave trade.

Quakers on both sides of the Atlantic would be divided by the American Revolution.

United Kingdom

Throughout the United Kingdom, Quakers would be at the forefront of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, which, despite a number of setbacks, would be responsible for forcing the abolition of the British slave trade in 1807 and the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire by 1838, among other accomplishments.

United States

Quakers would have less success if they tried to establish themselves in the United States. Often, it was simpler for Quakers to express their opposition to the slave trade and slave ownership in general terms than it was for them to express their opposition to the system of slavery as it expressed itself in their own local communities. As individuals spoke out against slavery after the United States gained freedom, local Quaker meetings were frequently split on how to respond to slavery; vocal Quaker abolitionists were occasionally harshly condemned by their fellow Quakers.

  • The wording of a “minute taken at ‘that Quarterly Meeting held at Providence Meeting-house on the first day of the Sixth month, 1715′” may be found in The Friend, Vol.
  • The text is as follows: “A serious concern was brought before the meeting regarding some Friends who were still engaged in the practice of importing, purchasing, and selling negroe slaves; after some time spent in discussion, it was decided to sign the document.
  • Wright, Nico.
  • Blunsten signed the document on behalf of the meeting.
  • For example, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which was established in 1775 and comprised mostly of Quakers; seven of the Society’s 10 founding white members were Quakers, and seventeen of the twenty-four people who attended the Society’s four sessions were Quakers.

While state laws prohibited slaveowners from legally freeing their slaves, North Carolina’s Quakers frequently entrusted their slaves to local meetings in order to de factofree their slaves; this practice existed from 1808 to 1829, after which trusteeship declined and many Quakers left the state to free their slaves in “free states.” The Underground Railroad was also heavily influenced by Quakers, who played an important role.

  1. When Levi Coffin was a boy in North Carolina, he helped runaway slaves who had gotten away from their masters.
  2. Many households provided assistance to slaves as they traveled through the Underground Railroad system.
  3. The Bundy family managed a station that carried groups of slaves from Belmont, Kentucky, to Salem, Ohio, during the Civil War.
  4. When some Quakers were persecuted by slave owners in the nineteenth century, they were compelled to relocate to the western United States in order to prevent further persecution.
  5. Zephaniah Kingsley was a colorful Quaker and slave dealer who backed slavery when it was done benevolently.
  6. He was also a big supporter of letting free blacks to enter the country, claiming that they helped to make a country stronger.

However, once Florida became an independent United States territory in 1821, Kingsley was compelled to go to Haiti, where he acquired a farm and established a plantation school for children (today in the Dominican Republic).


  • Kristen Block is the author of this piece (2012). Ordinary Lives in the Early Caribbean: Religion, Colonial Competition, and the Politics of Profit is a book on everyday life in the early Caribbean. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA, ISBN 9780820338675
  • Brown University Press, Athens, GA, ISBN 9780820338675
  • Christopher Leslie is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (2006). British Abolitionism’s Moral Capital: Its Origins and Development. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, ISBN 9780807830345
  • Carey, Brycchan (2012). From Peace to Freedom: Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, 1658-1761 is a book on the history of antislavery rhetoric in America. Brycchan Carey and Geoffrey Plank, eds., New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300180770
  • Carey, Brycchanand Geoffrey Plank (2014). Abolitionists and Quakers go hand in hand. The University of Illinois Press, Champaign, Illinois, ISBN 9780252038266. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) additional text: authors list (link)
  • CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Davis, David Brion is a fictional character created by author David Brion in the 1990s (1966). The Issue of Slavery in Western Culture is a complex one. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, ISBN 9780195056396
  • Drake, Thomas E. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, ISBN 9780195056396 (1950). Slavery and the Quakers in the United States. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Frost, J. William (1980). The Quaker Roots of Anti-Slavery Movement Norwood Editions, Norwood, Pennsylvania
  • Gragg, Larry (2009). The Quaker Community on Barbados: Challenging the Planter Class’s Cultural Traditions The University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, ISBN 9780826218476
  • Jordan, Ryan P. (2007). Slavery and the Meetinghouse: The Quakers and the Abolitionist Dilemma, 1820-1865 is a collection of essays on slavery and the meetinghouse. Donna McDaniel’s book, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, ISBN 9780253348609, is available online. Vanessa Julye’s full name is Vanessa Julye (2009). Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice (Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice) 9781888305791
  • Jackson, Maurice
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Quaker Press (2009). This is the voice of Anthony Benezet, the Father of Atlantic Abolitionism, and it must be heard: The University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA, ISBN 9780812221268
  • James, Sydney V., ed (1963). A People Among Peoples: Quaker Benevolence in Eighteenth-Century America is a book about the Quakers who lived in the eighteenth century. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Nash, Gary, and Jean Soderlund (1991). Emancipation in Pennsylvania and Its Aftermath: A Study in Gradual Liberation. The Oxford University Press is located in Oxford, England. Soderlund, Jean (CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Soderlund, Jean (CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • (1985). Friends and Slavery: A Conflicted Imagination Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997.
See also:  How Many Slaves Escaped From The Underground Railroad? (TOP 5 Tips)

External links

  • Quakers and the Abolition of Slavery
  • Quakers and the Abolition of Slavery Resources and Information about Quakers and Slavery
  • The Underground Railroad and the Society of Friends
  • Meetings and publications on the anti-slavery movement, including Quakers and Slavery
  • Conferences and publications on the anti-slavery movement Africans in America/Part 3: The Founding of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society
  • MSN Encarta: The Abolitionist Movement

Quaker Accounts of the Underground Railroad in the Region of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Christopher Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library, compiled this list. See also the website for the exhibit, QuakersSlavery. Regarding the Underground Railroad: Some Thoughts The “considerations” that follow are meant to put the study of the Underground Railroad in its proper historical perspective.

  • Slavery was opposed in a variety of ways, with the primary goal being the abolition of the practice. Because it involved a relatively small number of individuals, the Underground Railroad was not the primary goal of the anti-slavery movement—the primary goal was the abolition of slavery as a system
  • Those who worked on the Underground Railroad were well aware that it was the fugitives themselves who had taken the initiative and assumed the majority of the risks associated with escaping
  • In writing about the Underground Railroad, the role of free and “self-emancipated” African American communities in assisting fleeing enslaved individuals, defending fugitives in the North, and avoiding the capture and slavery of free African-Americans has frequently been downplayed or minimized. A greater amount of investigation is required
  • The legal component of the Underground Railroad is critical. Abolitionism and its supporters employed anti-kidnapping and “personal liberty” legislation not just to prevent the slavery of free people, but also to impede the return of runaway slaves. The participation of white persons on the Underground Railroad created fundamental problems regarding the balance between the legal obligations of citizens and the moral and religious responsibilities of individuals to follow their consciences and/or obey the will of God. The amount of organization on the Underground Railroad varied depending on the time period and location. A small number of “agents” and “station masters” were active in well-traveled routes, sometimes supporting hundreds of fugitives over the course of many years. Another person or group of people may be involved in a single occurrence, at the most. Some fugitives, possibly many, managed to escape with little or no assistance from the Underground Railroad
  • Anti-slavery and abolitionist militants were frequently split on the tactics and purposes of abolitionist struggle. Abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass were both active in the movement, although they disagreed on the need of political activity. Quakers, who were anti-slavery by long held conviction and practice, were divided on the subject of collaborating with non-Quakers in reform groups. Some, such as Thomas Garrett and Lucretia Mott, were involved in abolitionist groups on a regular basis. Those who did not join the organized abolitionist movement included active Underground Railroad operatives such as Samuel Moore of Bucks County and John Jackson of Darby, Delaware County, who stayed outside of the organization. Secret hiding places for fleeing slaves, which were frequently mentioned in local tradition, appear to have played a minor role in the Underground Railroad. While escaped slave tales and the accounts of Underground Railroad conductors mention sheltering in cellars, attics, barns, and fields, secret chambers, if they existed at all, appear to have played a significant role in the twentieth century mythology of the Underground Railroad.

Documents and Readings

  • Dr. Edwin Fussell has written on the Underground Railroad in Chester County, Pennsylvania
  • William T. Kelley has written about the Underground Railroad on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware
  • And others have written about the Underground Railroad in other parts of the country. In this collection, you will find documents relating to abolitionism, the Underground Railroad, kidnapping, and Quakers in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
  • George S. Truman’s The Sharon Female Academy in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
  • And Chester County (Pennsylvania) documents relating to abolitionism, the Underground Railroad, kidnapping, and Quakers.

Faith In Action: Quakers and the Underground Railroad

  • Dr. Edwin Fussell has written about the Underground Railroad in Chester County, Pennsylvania
  • William T. Kelley has written about the Underground Railroad on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware
  • And others have written on the Underground Railroad in other parts of the world. In this collection, you will find documents relating to abolitionism, the Underground Railroad, kidnapping, and Quakers in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
  • George S. Truman’s The Sharon Female Academy in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
  • And Chester County (Pennsylvania) documents.

Preparation for Activity

  • Dr. Edwin Fussell has written about the Underground Railroad in Chester County, Pennsylvania
  • William T. Kelley has written about the Underground Railroad on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware
  • And others have written about the Underground Railroad in other places. Among the documents are those on abolitionism, the Underground Railroad, kidnapping, and Quakers
  • George S. Truman’s The Sharon Female Academy in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
  • And the Chester County (Pennsylvania) Documents on abolitionism, the Underground Railroad, kidnapping, and Quakers
  • And others.

Description of Activity

The relationship between the Quakers and the Underground Railroad is explained to the youth. Begin by inquiring of the participants about their knowledge of the Underground Railroad. Inform participants that Quakers played a significant role in the operation of the Underground Railroad, a system through which persons who were enslaved were assisted in their escape to the northern states and Canada during the American Civil War. The abolitionist movement – the effort to put an end to slavery – had its start with the ministry of the Quakers, who preached abolition throughout the United States and territories throughout the early nineteenth century.

The routes begin in the southern states of the United States and conclude in Canada or the northern states.

National Geographic produced the documentary The Underground Railroad: The Journey.

  • Despite the fact that Quakers were among the earliest members of the abolitionist movement and were engaged in the Underground Railroad throughout the country’s early history, many Quakers were also slave traffickers and owners during the country’s early history. Does this come as a surprise to you? According to the interactive site, the majority of slaves were urged to continue their journey into Canada. Why? Does this come as a surprise to you? Tell me about anything else you took away from the interactive site. What happened to Thomas Garrett, the Quaker who was jailed for assisting fugitive slaves in his quest for freedom? What happened to the fugitive slaves that were apprehended? Do you still believe that persons who assisted the Underground Railroad were courageous, despite the fact that the punishment for a white Quaker who assisted an African American slave was far less severe than the punishment for the slave himself? War, according to many Quakers, is sinful. In Africa, a large number of slaves perished as a result of battle. What, in your opinion, was the impact of this on Quaker attitudes on slavery? What impact did religious convictions play in persuading many Quakers to oppose slavery?

Download the whole Building Bridges (Word)(PDF) document to modify or print at your leisure.

Quaker Abolitionists

Mark’s Contribution Andrew Huddle’s official website With permission from the Tar Heel Junior Historian, this article has been reprinted. The fall of 1996. NC Museum of History, Tar Heel Junior Historian Association, Tar Heel Junior Historian Association Anyone who had the courage to preach an abolitionist gospel in the South during the antebellum period would have faced serious consequences. After all was said and done, the Reverend Adam Crooks, a young Wesleyan Methodist missionary, arrived in North Carolina during the later months of 1847 to serve to a small circuit of antislavery churches.

Crooks was surprised to discover a surprising number of individuals who shared his thoughts about the “peculiar institution” after arriving in Jamestown, Guilford County.

Crooks provided the following unique perspective in one of his first comments to theTrue Wesleyan, the journal of his denomination: “There is far more antislavery fervor in this region of North Carolina than I had anticipated.” This is in large part due to the efforts of the Society of Friends.

  1. It is also interesting that I am mistaken for a Quaker when I am free to go anywhere I like.
  2. and even the Friends themselves assumed I was one of them.
  3. During the time of Crooks’s mission, Quakerism in North Carolina was on the decline.
  4. By the late 1840s, the denomination had suffered greatly as a result of this protracted fight.

Others changed their religious affiliations entirely. In spite of this, the Friends of North Carolina had a significant influence on the discussion over slavery during the antebellum period, and their exploits represent an important chapter in the history of that time period.

Quakers and the Issue of Slavery

The fact that North Carolina’s Quakers did not have a disagreement on slavery during the early years is noteworthy. In reality, antislavery feeling among Quakers developed gradually over a long period of time. Slavery was not banned by Quaker philosophy, despite the fact that issues of conscience periodically arose in the community. A New Jersey Quaker called John Woolman, on the other hand, took up the antislavery cause in the 1750s and went throughout the country to preach against the ills of slavery.

  • Woolman thought that slavery fostered a callousness toward humanity that was demeaning to both the slaveholder and the captive, and he advised slaveholders to cease their relationship with slavery as soon as possible.
  • Many of these Quakers came with a strong antipathy of slavery in their hearts.
  • Local gatherings were increasingly tense as a result of the buying and selling of persons.
  • It may come as a surprise to learn that the most important issue confronting North Carolina Friends was the manumission, or freeing, of their own slaves.

Quaker Dilemma: Manumission in North Carolina

It was not until 1741 that a colonial ordinance was passed prohibiting the manumission of slaves, save as a prize for excellent, or meritorious, service to the government. County courts had the ability to determine the merits of service in each individual instance, and if freedom was granted, freed slaves were given six months to leave the state before they were forced to return. In exchange for their service in the American Revolution, many former slaves were emancipated. As the topic of slavery became more contentious, many Quaker slaveholders found themselves in a difficult situation.

  1. However, it was against the law for them to release their slaves just because they wished to or because they believed they should.
  2. Newby’s petition triggered a spirited discussion that returned in meetings for over two years after it was first presented to the board.
  3. When Newby and 10 other Quaker slaveholders realized they were in breach of the 1741 statute, they released forty slaves.
  4. Officials were outraged and accused the Quakers of seeking to instigate a slave revolt in order to gain control of the country.

This action marked the beginning of a lengthy series of legal fights between the state of North Carolina and the Quaker community in the state. These fights lasted long into the nineteenth century and caused significant suffering among the Quakers.

Quaker Efforts at Freeing Slaves

It was in 1808 that the North Carolina Yearly Meeting took action to alleviate the difficulties of its slaveholding members. The Yearly Meeting took advantage of a 1796 legislation that permitted organizations to purchase and sell property, and empowered its members to transfer ownership of their slaves to the Yearly Meeting itself. When the Society of Friends acquired about eight hundred slaves in 1814, it was one of the state’s greatest slaveholders, ranking second only to the Southern Baptist Convention.

  1. They were often given greater freedom than they had been used to having as plantation slaves, which was a significant improvement.
  2. The committee made certain that the revenues from their labors went to a fund to care for them and eventually relocate them to free regions in the North and West.
  3. The North Carolina Manumission Society, which was founded in 1816, was one such lobbying organization.
  4. Members of the group, known as Manumissionists, fought for the gradual liberation of slaves.
  5. They also sent representatives to national antislavery conventions and advocated for more black educational opportunities.
  6. Undoubtedly, the Underground Railroad was the most well-known of the Quaker antislavery activities of the nineteenth century.
  7. Escaped slaves were reported to have slept outside the New Garden Meetinghouse in Guilford County, North Carolina, until they could start their journey at night to avoid detection.
  8. Other antislavery organizations discovered the central Piedmont to be a good field for planting their views, no doubt as a result of the impact of the Quakers.
See also:  What Was The Relationship Between The Individuals And Who Were Part Of The Underground Railroad? (The answer is found)

Hoosier National Forest – Underground Railroad: Lick Creek Church

Quakers and the Underground Railroad in IndianaQuakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian movement that began in the late 17th century. Most Quakers viewed slavery as a disgraceful institution that not only affected the enslaved but also the life of the slave owners and their treatment of other human beings.In the 19th century, Quakers in the southern United States faced persecution because of their social and moral views about the institution of slavery. This eventually led to their pilgrimage to the Midwest.Quakers in Indiana, specifically the region that encompasses today’s Hoosier National Forest, migrated from Guilford, Chatham, and Orange County, North Carolina. Persecution and increasingly restrictive laws in North Carolina caused this mass exodus. North Carolina law no longer allowed manumission of one’s slaves without a $1,000 fee and then the freed individual had to leave the state immediately.These restrictive laws prompted Quakers to create a trusteeship system to free (manumit) their slaves. This system allowed for slaveholding Quakers to entrust an enslaved individual to another Quaker until that person could be freed and relocated out of the state. Often these trustees and other Quakers who wanted to escape the laws fled to Indiana.Once in Indiana, African Americans were not always warmly welcomed to the state. Quakers played a vital role in facilitating their settlement and helped other fugitive slaves reach freedom through the Underground Railroad in the region.A notable Underground Railroad station in the region was the Quaker settlement of Chambersburg. Close to the Kentucky border, Quaker conductors would guide freedom seekers through Chambersburg and often to the Lick Creek settlement or beyond.Sources:“The Underground Railroad in Indiana,”Cheryl LaRoche,Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: the Geography of ResistanceUS Forest Service, “Underground Railroad in Indiana: Lick Creek, Hoosier National Forest,”This information about the Underground Railroad is part of a geo-located multi-forest interpretive program. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service Washington Office Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources program leadership with any questions or to make changes.SGV – Recreation Data and Information Coordinator.

At a Glance

Information Center: The U.S. Forest Service has created this multi-Forest interpretive program to highlight people and places along the historic Underground Railroad. Some of these sites are “virtual” locations and are intended to provoke thoughts and conversation but may not have anything physical present on the ground.These locations are generally relevant to the topics presented on the webpage.Please use caution when traveling to these remote locations and consult your local Forest Service office for more details.All of the sites highlighted in this program can be seen by visitingand searching within the magnifying glass for “Underground Railroad.”

Quaker Heritage and the Underground Railroad

Forest-covered and game-rich, Richmond, Indiana was dubbed “The Land of Promise” by Quakers from North Carolina who were looking for a new home free from the moral ties that bind them to the institution of slavery. After welcome other Quakers to his paradise in 1806, the first settler, Jeremiah Cox, set about “building up a moral community” in his new home. As numerous groups of people sought the peaceful and wealthy lifestyle of the Friends, his influence impacted Richmond and the surrounding area.

More manufacturers opted to establish in Richmond as a result of the city’s proximity to rail transit, and by the late nineteenth century, the city of 20,000 residents was home to no fewer than 47 millionaires.

The effect of Quakers on rail transportation was not confined to steam engines.

Over 2,000 slaves who paused at the Levi Coffin Home on their way to freedom in what is now Fountain City, north of Richmond, were protected by secret tunnels constructed within the structure.

The LeviCatharine Coffin Interpretive Center, located next door to the Levi Coffin Mansion, opened its doors in 2016. Self-guided tours are available at the Interpretive Center, which includes an introduction movie and exhibits on the history of slavery and abolitionism in the United States.

Quaker Hill & The Underground Railroad

For much of the early 19th century, Quaker Hill served as a focal point for the ever-increasing antagonism that existed between slave states in the South and free states in the North. Because the Mason-Dixon border was only a few miles away in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Wilmington quickly became a staging area for fugitive slaves seeking freedom, serving as the final stop on their journey to freedom. As political and social tensions increased in the years leading up to the Civil War, a secret network of freedom fighters spread across the nascent nation with the goal of assisting slaves in their attempts to elude capture and transportation.

  1. Thomas Garrett, who was born on August 21, 1789, in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, was one of the most famous individuals in the history of the Underground Railroad.
  2. His actions have been hailed as Delaware’s greatest humanitarian, and he is credited with assisting more than 2,700 slaves in their escape to freedom during a forty-year span.
  3. He was born to a white Quaker family who, when he was a boy, took in escaped slaves in their Delaware County farmhouse.
  4. Garrett tracked out and apprehended the perpetrators, rescuing a friend of his family.
  5. Garrett re-located to Quaker Hill and established himself as a somewhat successful hardware shop there.

Whether he chose his location because of his abolitionist ambitions or because his move to the border state of Delaware put him in the position of assisting fugitives almost on a daily basis, Garrett quickly gained notoriety in anti-slavery circles as a great “station master” of the Underground Railroad.

The residence of Thomas Garrett was a popular destination for runaways, who were frequently assisted by support networks in the free black and white anti-slavery societies.

A free black man called William Still had swiftly risen to become a great freedom fighter and “station master” in the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Offices, where Garrett was able to hide hundreds of people.

Still, he managed to track down one exhausted fugitive who turned out to be his own long-lost brother.

The unfortunate fact is that Garret was obliged to destroy his letter with Still because of fear of being discovered at a period when the Fugitive Slave Laws enforced by the government imposed harsh penalties on anybody who assisted southerners in escaping with their “stolen property.” As part of the Hawkins family’s flight from Maryland in 1848, Thomas Garrett and abolitionist colleague John Hunn were prosecuted and convicted of their crimes.

Both guys were punished to the point where they were on the verge of going bankrupt.

Eyewitness stories describe the special regret of a slave-holding jury from southern Delaware who stood to shake Garrett’s hand and apologize at the conclusion of his eloquent speech, according to the sources.

Garrett was carried through the streets of Wilmington on the shoulders of his followers in 1870, when the 15th Amendment granted African-Americans the right to vote.

Garrett’s funeral, which was attended by a large number of black residents of the city, included a procession of Garrett’s coffin, which was carried from shoulder to shoulder up to his final resting place in the cemetery at the Wilmington Friends Meeting House, located at 5th and West Streets in Quaker Hill.

Visit the Whispers of Angels website for additional information on the nationally-televised documentary about Delaware’s participation in the Underground Railroad.

Aboard the Underground Railroad-Friends Meeting House

Friends Meeting House is a place where people get together to meet and socialize. Featured image courtesy of the Wilmington Monthly Meeting The Friends Meeting House in Wilmington was built between 1815 and 1817, according to historical records. Members of the Wilmington Meeting House were involved in the Underground Railroad, as were members of many other Quaker churches. Delaware established a statute in 1787 forbidding the importing and exportation of slaves. It was the first state to do so.

Delaware had a border with the free state of Pennsylvania, and as a result, Wilmington served as the last stop before freedom for many slaves who were able to escape with the help of the Underground Railroad.

Thomas Garrett Copy of original photo in the collections of the Historical Society of Delaware, courtesy of Quaker Hill Historic Preservation Society.

Thomas Garrett, one of the most prominent abolitionists of the 19th century, lived in Wilmington and attended the Friends Meeting House on the Square. Garrett was responsible for aiding almost 2,700 slaves who were attempting to flee their masters through the Underground Railroad. In 1848, he was found guilty of breaching the Fugitive Slave Law and sentenced to a heavy fine and the forfeiture of all his possessions. He was laid to rest at the burial grounds close to the building where he was born.

Burris, a conductor on the Underground Railroad and a free African American, for which he had been sentenced to slavery.

Every Sunday, at 10:00 a.m., visitors are invited to attend worship with us.

For further information, call (302) 652-4491, visit the website, or send an email to [email protected].

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