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.
Why was it called the Underground Railroad?
- Underground Railroad was used for slaves who evidently, grew tired of the way the southern whites treated them. Though, the name says that it’s an “Underground Railroad” it was given that name because of the way escaped slaves had to be carried out secretly.
Is the Underground Railroad in New York?
Today, you can visit New York’s Underground Railroad system from Brooklyn to Buffalo and everywhere in between, discovering the stories behind America’s bravest abolitionists along the way.
Where was the Underground Railroad in New York State?
As Foner details in his new book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, New York was a crucial way station from the Upper South through Pennsylvania and onward to upstate New York, New England and 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.
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.
Why did slaves go to New York?
During the American Revolutionary War, the British troops occupied New York City in 1776. The Philipsburg Proclamation promised freedom to slaves who left rebel masters, and thousands moved to the city for refuge with the British. By 1780, 10,000 black people lived in New York.
Which city built the first underground railroad?
The London Underground, which opened in 1863, was the world’s first underground railway system. More than 30,000 passengers tried out the Tube on the opening day and it was hailed by the Times as “the great engineering triumph of the day”. Pictured – William Gladstone on an inspection of the first underground line.
What parts of New York were part of the Underground Railroad?
Underground Railroad sites in New York
- North Star Underground Railroad Museum, Ausable Chasm.
- Harriet Tubman National Historical Site, Auburn.
- Plymouth Church, Brooklyn.
- Gerrit Smith Estate National Park, Petersboro.
- Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, Niagara Falls.
Where did most slaves who utilized the Underground Railroad come from?
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.
What directions did slaves often take when escaping?
Sometimes they traveled with people escaping all the way from the South, where they had been enslaveed, to the North or to Canada, where they would be free. Sometimes the conductors traveled only a short distance and then handed those escaping to another helper.
Which historic residence in Albany was a crucial stop along the Underground Railroad?
One important site noted in the video is the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, which was discovered just outside the region’s historic district. Located at 194 Livingston Avenue in Albany, New York, the townhouse served as a stop on the Underground Railroad and as an anti-slavery meeting place.
How many slaves were saved by the Underground Railroad?
According to some estimates, between 1810 and 1850, the Underground Railroad helped to guide one hundred thousand enslaved people to freedom.
Can you take a tour of the Underground Railroad?
Schedule Your Visit Our adjusted hours of operations are Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm (EST). Learn more about what you can see and do at the visitor center, and explore the stories of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad!
The Underground Railroad Route
Students will learn how to distinguish between slave states and free states during the time of the Underground Railroad, as well as the difficulties of escaping and choosing the path they would have chosen. Geography, Human Geography, and Physical Geography are the subjects covered. Students should be able to distinguish between slave and free states throughout the time of the Underground Railroad. Each pupil should be given a copy of the map titled “Routes to Freedom.” Inform pupils that the Underground Railroad aided enslaved individuals as they traveled from the South to the North during the American Civil War.
Afterwards, instruct pupils to locate each slave state on the map as you pronounce its name:
- sMontana This state does not display on the map since it is not included in the list. Make use of a wall map of the United States to instruct children on where Montana is located.) North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia are among the states represented.
Explain to pupils that enslaved individuals did not have access to maps, compasses, or GPS systems throughout their time in slavery. The majority of enslaved individuals were never permitted to get an education, and as a result, they were unable to read or write. Consider the following question: How do you suppose enslaved people knew they were heading in the correct direction? Students should be informed that enslaved individuals resorted to guides on the Underground Railroad, as well as memory, visuals, and spoken communication to survive.
- Talk about the difficulties you’ve encountered on your path.
- Instruct pupils to examine the map and make note of any physical characteristics of the region that made the voyage challenging.
- In order to demonstrate proper shading techniques, students should go to Alabama, then northeast via Maine and into Canada to see how the Applachian Mountains are shaded.
- Ask:Can you think of anything else that made the travel difficult?
- In the winter, being cold and outdoors
- Not having enough food
- Being exhausted yet unable to relax
- Having to swim or traverse bodies of water
- Having to travel great distances
- Evading or avoiding people or animals
3. Ask pupils to identify the route they would have chosen if they were in their shoes. Students should be divided into small groups. Ask each group to look at the map and choose the route they would have gone to freedom if they had been able to do so. Students should choose their selections based on the states, rivers, and mountain ranges that they would have to cover on their journey. Ask each group to describe the path they would have followed and why they would have done so.
Students should discuss what they believe to be the most difficult obstacles to fleeing enslaved people, such as distance, weather, mountains, wildlife, bodies of water, or densely inhabited places, among other things. Inquire as to how their chosen method might have assisted enslaved individuals in avoiding the difficulties they were faced with.
Students will be able to:
- The student will be able to identify slave states and free states during the time period when the Underground Railroad was active
- Describe the difficulties encountered throughout the voyage
- Indicate the path they would have followed, and explain their reasons.
- Common Core Standard 1: How to interpret and share information via the use of maps and other geographic representations, geospatial technology, and spatial thinking
- Standard 17: How to use geography to understand and interpret the past.
What You’ll Need
- Highlighters, paper, pencils, and pens, as well as a wall map of the United States
- Internet access is optional
- Technological setup includes one computer per classroom and a projector.
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Naomi Friedman holds a Master’s degree in political science.
Christina Riska Simmons is a model and actress.
Jessica Wallace-Weaver is a certified educational consultant.
- Based on the National Geographic Xpeditions lesson “Finding Your Way: The Underground Railroad,” this activity was created. Permissions Granted to Users Users’ permissions are detailed in our Terms of Service, which you can see by clicking here. Alternatively, if you have any issues regarding how to reference something from our website in your project or classroom presentation, please speak with your instructor. They will be the most knowledgeable about the selected format. When you contact them, you will need to provide them with the page title, URL, and the date on which you visited the item.
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See how abolitionists in the United States, like as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Thomas Garrett, assisted enslaved people in their attempts to escape to freedom. Learn about the abolitionist movement in the United States, as well as the importance of the Underground Railroad in this historical period. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. is a publishing company that publishes encyclopedias. View all of the videos related to this topic. When escaped slaves from the South were secretly assisted by sympathetic Northerners, in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Acts, to reach safe havens in the North or Canada, this was referred to as the Underground Railroad in the United States.
Even though it was neither underground nor a railroad, it was given this name because its actions had to be carried out in secret, either via the use of darkness or disguise, and because railroad words were employed in relation to the system’s operation.
In all directions, the network of channels stretched over 14 northern states and into “the promised land” of Canada, where fugitive-slave hunters were unable to track them down or capture them.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, obtained firsthand experience of escaped slaves via her association with the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she lived for a time during the Civil War.
The existence of the Underground Railroad, despite the fact that it was only a small minority of Northerners who took part in it, did much to arouse Northern sympathy for the plight of slaves during the antebellum period, while also convincing many Southerners that the North as a whole would never peacefully allow the institution of slavery to remain unchallenged.
When was the first time a sitting president of the United States appeared on television? Return to the past for the really American responses. Amy Tikkanen has made the most current revisions and updates to this page.
Underground Railroad – Ohio History Central
According to Ohio History Central This snapshot depicts the “Freedom Stairway,” which consists of one hundred stairs going from the Ohio River to the John Rankin House in Ripley, which served as a station on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Presbyterian clergyman and educator John Rankin (1793-1886) spent most of his time working for the abolitionist anti-slavery struggle. The home features various secret rooms, some of which were used to hide freedom fighters. An illuminated sign was erected in front of the home to signal that it was safe for anyone seeking freedom to approach it.
- An underground railroad system of safe homes and hiding places that assisted freedom seekers on their journeys to freedom in Canada, Mexico, and other countries outside of the United States was known as the Underground Railroad (UR).
- Although it is unknown when the Underground Railroad had its start, members of the Society of Friends, often known as the Quakers, were actively supporting freedom seekers as early as the 1780s, according to historical records.
- As early as the late 1700s, slavery was outlawed in the vast majority of Northern states.
- African Americans were forced to flee the United States in order to genuinely achieve their freedom.
- Despite the fact that slavery was outlawed in Ohio, some individuals were still opposed to the abolition of the institution.
- Many of these individuals were adamantly opposed to the Underground Railroad.
- Other people attempted to restore freedom seekers to their rightful owners in the aim of receiving prizes for their efforts.
Over three thousand slaves were rescued from their captors and granted freedom in Canada thanks to the efforts of Levi Coffin, a Cincinnati man who lived in the late 1840s and early 1850s.
His house was perched on a three hundred-foot-high hill with a panoramic view of the Ohio River.
He gave the freedom seekers with sanctuary and kept them hidden until it was safe for them to proceed farther north in their quest for independence.
These individuals, as well as a large number of others, put their lives in danger to aid African Americans in their journey to freedom.
They typically chose to live in communities where there were other African Americans.
A total of eight communities along the Lake Erie shoreline served as embarkation locations for the freedom seekers’ journey to Canada, including Ashtabula, Painesville, Cleveland, Sandusky, Toledo, Huron, Lorain, Conneaut, and Conneaut.
It is still unknown exactly how the Underground Railroad came to be known by that moniker.
In 1831, a freedom seeker called Tice Davids fled from his slave owners in Kentucky, where he had been held since birth.
Davids had arrived at the coast only a few minutes before him. Following the arrival of his boat, the holder was unable to locate Davids and concluded that he “must have gone off on a subterranean path.”
- “The Hippocrene Guide to the Underground Railroad,” by Charles L. Blockson, et al. Hippocrene Books, New York, NY, 1994
- Levi Coffin, Hippocrene Books, New York, NY, 1994. Levi Coffin’s recollections of his time as the rumored President of the Underground Railroad. Arno Press, New York, NY, 1968
- Dee, Christine, ed., Ohio’s War: The Civil War in Documents, New York, NY, 1968. Ohio: A Four-Volume Reference Library on the History of a Great State (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007)
- Fess, Simeon D., ed. Ohio: A Four-Volume Reference Library on the History of a Great State (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007). Gara, Larry, and Lewis Publishing Company, 1937
- Chicago, IL: Lewis Publishing Company. The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad is a documentary film about the Underground Railroad. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1961
- Ann Hagedorn, ed., Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1961. Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad is a book about the heroes of the Underground Railroad. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002
- Roseboom, Eugene H. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002
- The period from 1850 to 1873 is known as the Civil War Era. The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom (Columbus, OH: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1944)
- Siebert, Wibur H. “The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom.” RussellRussell, New York, 1898
- Siebert, Wilbur Henry, New York, 1898. Ohio was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Lesick, Lawrence Thomas
- Arthur W. McGraw, 1993
- McGraw, Arthur W. The Lane Rebels: Evangelicalism and Antislavery in Antebellum America is a book about the Lane family who were antislavery activists in the antebellum era. Roland M. Baumann’s book, The Scarecrow Press, was published in 1980 in Metuchen, NJ. The Rescue of the Oberlin-Wellington Train in 1858: A Reappraisal Oberlin, OH: Oberlin College Press, 2003
- Levi Coffin and William Still, editors. Fleeing for Freedom: Stories of the Underground Railroad is a collection of short stories about people fleeing for freedom. Ivan R. Dee Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, 2004.
The True History Behind Amazon Prime’s ‘Underground Railroad’
If you want to know what this country is all about, I always say, you have to ride the rails,” the train’s conductor tells Cora, the fictitious protagonist of Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novelThe Underground Railroad, as she walks into a boxcar destined for the North. As you race through, take a look about you to see the genuine face of America.” Cora’s vision is limited to “just blackness, mile after mile,” according to Whitehead, as she peers through the carriage’s slats. In the course of her traumatic escape from servitude, the adolescent eventually understands that the conductor’s remark was “a joke.
- Cora and Caesar, a young man enslaved on the same Georgia plantation as her, are on their way to liberation when they encounter a dark other world in which they use the railroad to go to freedom.
- ” The Underground Railroad,” a ten-part limited series premiering this week on Amazon Prime Video, is directed by Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins and is based on the renowned novel by Alfred North Whitehead.
- When it comes to portraying slavery, Jenkins takes a similar approach to Whitehead’s in the series’ source material.
- “And as a result, I believe their individuality has been preserved,” Jenkins says Felix.
- The consequences of their actions are being inflicted upon them.” Here’s all you need to know about the historical backdrop that informs both the novel and the streaming adaptation of “The Underground Railroad,” which will premiere on May 14th.
Did Colson Whitehead baseThe Underground Railroadon a true story?
“The reality of things,” in Whitehead’s own words, is what he aims to portray in his work, not “the facts.” His characters are entirely made up, and the story of the book, while based on historical facts, is told in an episodic style, as is the case with most episodic fiction. This book traces Cora’s trek to freedom, describing her lengthy trip from Georgia to the Carolinas, Tennessee and Indiana.) Each step of the journey presents a fresh set of hazards that are beyond Cora’s control, and many of the people she meets suffer horrible ends.) What distinguishes The Underground Railroad from previous works on the subject is its presentation of the titular network as a physical rather than a figurative transportation mechanism.
According to Whitehead, who spoke to NPR in 2016, this alteration was prompted by his “childhood belief” that the Underground Railroad was a “literal tunnel beneath the earth”—a misperception that is surprisingly widespread.
Webber Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons While the Underground Railroad was composed of “local networks of anti-slavery people,” both Black and white, according to Pulitzer Prize–winning historianEric Foner, the Underground Railroad actually consisted of “local networks of anti-slavery people, both Black and white, who assisted fugitives in various ways,” from raising funds for the abolitionist cause to taking cases to court to concealing runaways in safe houses.
Although the actual origins of the name are unknown, it was in widespread usage by the early 1840s.
Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, argues that the Underground Railroad should be referred to as the “Abolitionist Underground” rather than the “Underground Railroad” because the people who ran it “were not just ordinary, well-meaning Northern white citizens, activists, particularly in the free Black community,” she says.
As Foner points out, however, “the majority of the initiative, and the most of the danger, fell on the shoulders of African-Americans who were fleeing.” a portrait taken in 1894 of Harriet Jacobs, who managed to hide in an attic for nearly seven years after fleeing from slavery.
Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “Recognizable historical events and patterns,” according to Foner, are used by Whitehead in a way that is akin to that of the late Toni Morrison.
According to Sinha, these effects may be seen throughout Cora’s journey.
According to Foner, author of the 2015 bookGateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, “the more you know about this history, the more you can appreciate what Whitehead is doing in fusing the past and the present, or perhaps fusing the history of slavery with what happened after the end of slavery.”
What time period doesThe Underground Railroadcover?
Caesar (Aaron Pierre) and Cora (Thuso Mbedu) believe they’ve discovered a safe haven in South Carolina, but their new companions’ behaviors are based on a belief in white supremacy, as seen by their deeds. Kyle Kaplan is a producer at Amazon Studios. The Underground Railroad takes place around the year 1850, which coincides with the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act. Runaways who had landed in free states were targeted by severe regulations, and those who supported them were subjected to heavy punishments.
In spite of the fact that it was intended to hinder the Underground Railroad, according to Foner and Sinha, the legislation actually galvanized—and radicalized—the abolitionist cause.
“Every time the individual switches to a different condition, the novel restarts,” the author explains in his introduction.
” Cora’s journey to freedom is replete with allusions to pivotal moments in post-emancipation history, ranging from the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in the mid-20th century to white mob attacks on prosperous Black communities in places like Wilmington, North Carolina (targeted in 1898), and Tulsa, Oklahoma (targeted in 1898).
According to Spencer Crew, former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and emeritus director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, this “chronological jumble” serves as a reminder that “the abolition of slavery does not herald the abolition of racism and racial attacks.” This problem has survived in many forms, with similar effects on the African American community,” says the author.
What real-life events doesThe Underground Railroaddramatize?
In Whitehead’s envisioned South Carolina, abolitionists provide newly liberated people with education and work opportunities, at least on the surface of things. However, as Cora and Caesar quickly discover, their new companions’ conviction in white superiority is in stark contrast to their kind words. (Eugenicists and proponents of scientific racism frequently articulated opinions that were similar to those espoused by these fictitious characters in twentieth-century America.) An inebriated doctor, while conversing with a white barkeep who moonlights as an Underground Railroad conductor, discloses a plan for his African-American patients: I believe that with targeted sterilization, initially for the women, then later for both sexes, we might liberate them from their bonds without worry that they would slaughter us in our sleep.
- “Controlled sterilization, research into communicable diseases, the perfecting of new surgical techniques on the socially unfit—was it any wonder that the best medical talents in the country were flocking to South Carolina?” the doctor continues.
- The state joined the Union in 1859 and ended slavery inside its borders, but it specifically incorporated the exclusion of Black people from its borders into its state constitution, which was finally repealed in the 1920s.
- In this image from the mid-20th century, a Tuskegee patient is getting his blood taken.
- There is a ban on black people entering the state, and any who do so—including the numerous former slaves who lack the financial means to flee—are murdered in weekly public rituals.
- The plot of land, which is owned by a free Black man called John Valentine, is home to a thriving community of runaways and free Black people who appear to coexist harmoniously with white residents on the property.
- An enraged mob of white strangers destroys the farm on the eve of a final debate between the two sides, destroying it and slaughtering innocent onlookers.
- There is a region of blackness in this new condition.” Approximately 300 people were killed when white Tulsans demolished the thriving Black enclave of Greenwood in 1921.
- Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons According to an article published earlier this year by Tim Madigan for Smithsonianmagazine, a similar series of events took place in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, which was known locally as “Black Wall Street,” in June 1921.
- Madigan pointed out that the slaughter was far from an isolated incident: “In the years preceding up to 1921, white mobs murdered African Americans on hundreds of instances in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Duluth, Charleston, and other places,” according to the article.
In addition, Foner explains that “he’s presenting you the variety of options,” including “what freedom may actually entail, or are the constraints on freedom coming after slavery?” “It’s about. the legacy of slavery, and the way slavery has twisted the entire civilization,” says Foner of the film.
How doesThe Underground Railroadreflect the lived experience of slavery?
“How can I construct a psychologically plausible plantation?” Whitehead is said to have pondered himself while writing on the novel. According to theGuardian, the author decided to think about “people who have been tortured, brutalized, and dehumanized their whole lives” rather than depicting “a pop culture plantation where there’s one Uncle Tom and everyone is just incredibly nice to each other.” For the remainder of Whitehead’s statement, “Everyone will be battling for the one additional mouthful of food in the morning, fighting for the tiniest piece of property.” According to me, this makes sense: “If you put individuals together who have been raped and tortured, this is how they would behave.” Despite the fact that she was abandoned as a child by her mother, who appears to be the only enslaved person to successfully escape Ridgeway’s clutches, Cora lives in the Hob, a derelict building reserved for outcasts—”those who had been crippled by the overseers’ punishments,.
who had been broken by the labor in ways you could see and in ways you couldn’t see, who had lost their wits,” as Whitehead describes Cora is played by Mbedu (center).
With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima While attending a rare birthday party for an older enslaved man, Cora comes to the aid of an orphaned youngster who mistakenly spills some wine down the sleeve of their captor, prompting him to flee.
Cora agrees to accompany Caesar on his journey to freedom a few weeks later, having been driven beyond the threshold of endurance by her punishment and the bleakness of her ongoing life as a slave.
As a result, those who managed to flee faced the potential of severe punishment, he continues, “making it a perilous and risky option that individuals must choose with care.” By making Cora the central character of his novel, Whitehead addresses themes that especially plagued enslaved women, such as the fear of rape and the agony of carrying a child just to have the infant sold into captivity elsewhere.
The account of Cora’s sexual assault in the novel is heartbreakingly concise, with the words “The Hob ladies stitched her up” serving as the final word.
Although not every enslaved women was sexually assaulted or harassed, they were continuously under fear of being raped, mistreated, or harassed, according to the report.
With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima The novelist’s account of the Underground Railroad, according to Sinha, “gets to the core of how this venture was both tremendously courageous and terribly perilous.” She believes that conductors and runaways “may be deceived at any time, in situations that they had little control over.” Cora, on the other hand, succinctly captures the liminal state of escapees.
- “What a world it is.
- “Was she free of bondage or still caught in its web?” “Being free had nothing to do with shackles or how much room you had,” Cora says.
- The location seemed enormous despite its diminutive size.
- In his words, “If you have to talk about the penalty, I’d prefer to see it off-screen.” “It’s possible that I’ve been reading this for far too long, and as a result, I’m deeply wounded by it.
- view of it is that it feels a little bit superfluous to me.
- In his own words, “I recognized that my job was going to be coupling the brutality with its psychological effects—not shying away from the visual representation of these things, but focusing on what it meant to the people.” “Can you tell me how they’re fighting back?
History of the United States Based on a true story, this film Books Fiction about the American Civil War Racism SlaveryTelevision Videos That Should Be Watched
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.
List of Sites for the Underground Railroad Travel Itinerary
|KANSAS 1.John Brown Cabin -Osawatomie 2.Fort Scott National Historic Site- Bourbon County|
|IOWA1.Tabor Antislavery Historic District -Tabor2. George B. Hitchcock House -Lewis vicinity3.Henderson Lewelling House -Salem4.Jordan House -West Des Moines|
|WISCONSIN 1.Milton House -Milton|
|ILLINOIS 1.Owen Lovejoy House -Princeton 2.John Hossack House -Ottawa3.Dr. Richard Eells House -Quincy 4.Beecher Hall -Jacksonville5.Rutherford House- Oakland|
|MICHIGAN1.Dr. Nathan Thomas House -Schoolcraft2.SecondBaptist Church -Detroit|
|INDIANA 1.Bethel AME Church -Indianapolis 2.Levi Coffin House -Fountain City 3.Eleutherian College Classroom and Chapel Building -Lancaster4.Lyman and Asenath Hoyt House -Madison5.Madison Historic District -Madison|
|OHIO 1.Harriet Beecher Stowe House -Cincinnati2.JohnP. Parker House -Ripley3.John Rankin House -Ripley 4.Village of Mt. Pleasant Historic District -Mt. Pleasant 5.Wilson Bruce Evans House -Oberlin6.RushR. Sloane House -Sandusky7.Daniel Howell Hise House -Salem 8.Col. William Hubbard House -Ashtabula9. Reuben Benedict House -Marengo10.Samuel and SallyWilson House -Cincinnati11.James and Sophia ClemensFarmstead -Greenville12.Spring Hill -Massillon13.Putnam Historic District -Zanesville|
|PENNSYLVANIA 1.F. Julius LeMoyne House -Washington2.JohnBrown House -Chambersburg3.Bethel AME Zion Church -Reading 4.Oakdale -Chadds Ford5.White HorseFarm -Phoenixville6.Johnson House -Philadelphia|
|NEW YORK 1.Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, Residence and ThompsonAME Zion Church -Auburn 2.St. James AME Zion Church -Ithaca 3.Gerrit Smith Estate and Land Office -Peterboro 4.John Brown Farm and Gravesite -Lake Placid 5.Foster Memorial AME Zion Church -Tarrytown6.Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims -Brooklyn7.Asa and Caroline Wing House -Oswego8.Edwin W. and Charlotte Clarke House -Oswego9.John P. and Lydia Edwards House -Oswego10.Orson Ames House -Oswego11.Starr Clock Tinshop -Mexico|
|VERMONT 1.Rokeby -Ferrisburgh|
|MAINE 1.Harriet Beecher Stowe House -Brunswick2.Abyssinian Meeting House -Portland|
|MASSACHUSETTS 1.African American National Historic Site -Boston 2.WilliamLloyd Garrison House -Boston 3.William Ingersoll Bowditch House -Brookline4.The Wayside -Concord5.Liberty Farm -Worcester6.Nathan and Mary Johnson House -New Bedford7.Jackson Homestead -Newton8.Ross Farm (Hill Ross Farm)Northampton9.Dorsey-Jones House- Northampton10.Mount Auburn Cemetary -Cambridge|
|CONNECTICUT 1.Austin F. Williams Carriagehouse and House -Farmington|
|NEW JERSEY 1.The Grimes Homestead -Mountain Lakes2.PeterMott House -Lawnside Borough3.Bethel AME Church -Greenwich4.Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church and Mount ZionCemetery -Woolwich Township|
|DELAWARE 1.Appoquinimink Friends Meeting House -Odessa2.Friends Meeting House -Wilmington3.New Castle County Courthouse -New Castle|
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 1.Frederick Douglass National Historic Site 2.Mary Ann Shadd Cary House|
|MARYLAND 1.John Brown’s Headquarters -Sample’s Manor 2.Riley-Bolten House -North Bethesda|
|VIRGINIA 1.Bruin’s Slave Jail-Alexandria 2.Fort Monroe -Richmond3.Moncure Conway House -Falmouth4.Theodore Roosevelt Island- Rosslyn|
|WEST VIRGINIA1.Jefferson County Courthouse -Charles Town2.HarpersFerry National Historical Park -Harpers Ferry|
|FLORIDA 1.British Fort -Sumatra vicinity2.Ft.Mose Site -St. John’s County|
|COLORADO1.Barney L. Ford Building -Denver|
|NEBRASKA 1.Mayhew Cabin -Nebraska City|
|Kentucky 1.Camp Nelson -Jessamine County|
Main Map |Home
The Official Web Site for The State of New Jersey
In honor of Moses, the biblical hero who rescued the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, Harriet Tubman became known as “Moses,” and she became the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad during her lifetime. Tubman was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, but escaped to Pennsylvania in 1849, when the state of Maryland abolished slavery. Following her own emancipation from slavery, this abolitionist returned to Maryland and saved members of her own family as well as other people.
- Despite the fact that she repeatedly varied the paths she took to the North, Ms.
- This was crucial for a couple of different reasons.
- As a result, it is possible that their owners will not detect their missing until Monday morning.
- These two realities frequently provided Tubman and the escapees with enough time to gain a head start on their journey to their final goal in the free states of America.
- She eventually settled in South Carolina throughout the conflict.
Although she was never compensated for her work, she did get an official citation for her contribution to the war effort.
William Still was born a free man in Burlington County, New Jersey, and rose through the ranks to become a member of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and the director of the General Vigilance Committee of the city of Philadelphia. He was in charge of the committee’s money, which were utilized to aid Harriet Tubman’s rescue operations. He died in the same year. Still, a network of safe houses and contacts was formed that stretched from the upper South all the way to Canada. Still also penned William Still’s Underground Railroad, an abolitionist narrative of the liberation network in which he championed the hundreds of heroic fugitives he encountered as they made their way to the United States’ northern frontier.
Still had meant to use the information he had obtained from his interviews to aid other runaway slaves in locating their families, but he ultimately opted to publish the thorough information he had gathered in a book.
NJ Celebrates the Underground Railroad
From September 29 to October 13, 2002, the Harriet Tubman and William Still Underground Railroad Walk Across New Jersey: Celebrating New Jersey’s History and Heroes Every Step of the Way” commemorated a significant period in the state’s history and celebrated a freedom network that stretched from Cumberland to Hudson County. Secretary of State Regena Thomas and members of the Department of State’s staff retraced the 180-mile route taken by the Underground Railroad throughout the state of New Jersey on Saturday.
A last symbolic crossing from Jersey City to New York City took place at the site of the old World Trade Center, before participants visited the African Burial Ground and the Foley Square Monument, which were both built in memory of the victims of the September 11th attacks.
Underground Railroad in Iowa
Initially funded by the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom program in 2002, the Iowa Network to Freedom project, which investigated persons and locations involved with the Underground Railroad in Iowa, became the Iowa Freedom Trail Project in 2003. After a five-year period of grant funding, volunteers have continued to collect information from historical resources and compile it into a form containing general information, such as biographical data, resource references, associated properties, and researcher information, among other things, to be used by the public.
Those interested in learning more about the information can visit the Library and Archives Research Center at the State Historical Building in Des Moines.
- Individuals (by name)
- Individuals (by county)
- Places (by county)
- Research Files (by county)
- Inventory of Individuals (by name)
- Inventory of Places (by county)
- Inventory of Research Files
If you have any concerns concerning the Iowa Freedom Trail Project, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Researching Underground Railroad Activity
Since 2002, volunteers at the State Historical Society of Iowa have been doing research into the Underground Railroad’s presence in the state. The research and biographical form instructions can be found here. If you are interested in researching Underground Railroad activity in Iowa and have access to historical documents and primary sources, please review the instructions for submitting a research and biographical form to learn how you can contribute to the project.
- Instructions for the Research and Biographical Form
- Biographical Form
- Sample Biographical Form
- Biographical Form
Iowa and the Underground Railroad
Beginning in the late 1700s and continuing until the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, the Underground Railroad was a network of people who assisted runaway slaves in their attempts to escape slavery. It included both northern and southern states, spanning from Texas all the way up to Maine. The vast majority of runaway slaves fled to Canada from the Deep South, although a minor number journeyed further south to Mexico and the Caribbean. Due to the fact that slaves were considered property in the United States at the time, helping runaway slaves was deemed larceny under American law at the time.
- Prior to the American Revolution, slavery was lawful across the British Empire, including the United States.
- These principles would transform the lives of black people, and many of them fought in the American Revolution in the hope that these rights would be given to them as well.
- Vermont became the first state in the new United States of America to pass anti-slavery legislation after the British were defeated in the Revolutionary War in 1777.
- Apart from that, there were no laws in the newly created United States that forced civilians to return fugitive slaves to their owners.
- The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and Article IV, section 2 of the United States Constitution both stated similar views on the subject at the time.
- Taking it a step further, the Fleeing Slave Act of 1850 declared aiding and abetting fugitive slaves a federal felony punishable by penalties or jail.
- As the Underground Railroad network began to take shape, people began to fill a number of positions inside it.
Fugitive slaves were often referred to as passengers, cargo, fleece, or freight when they were on the run.
Others choose to play a more passive role.
The modes of transportation used varied from one region to the next, and were mostly determined by concealment and closeness to slave hunters.
In contrast to this, the majority of fleeing slaves travelled at night, particularly in towns with ambivalent sentiments regarding slavery.
In the middle of the night, conductors would walk or ride horses to the next station to transport them.
Because of its physical proximity between Missouri, a slave state to the south, and Illinois, a free state to the east, Iowa saw a substantial amount of Underground Railroad activity during this period.
That meant that when Iowa became a state in the Union in 1846, it would be a free state.
Most fugitive slaves crossed through Iowa on their route to other free states farther north or to Canada, where Britain would protect them from being arrested and returned to slavery.
Southeastern Iowa was also home to a large number of fugitive slaves from northern Missouri who were making their way to the Mississippi River and Illinois.
Numerous Iowans also became involved in the growing political opposition to the expansion of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska Territories, which culminated in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and granted Kansas and Nebraska the authority to determine their own slave-holding status.
You may get further information about the history of the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery movements in Iowa and other states by clicking here. Take a look at the resources listed below.
- The John Brown Freedom Trail (1859)
- Abolitionist Movement Primary Sources
- Underground Railroad Primary Sources
- Underground Railroad Sites in the Iowa Culture mobile app
Underground Railroad in Ohio
The monument shown above, which was erected by Cameron Armstrong on the campus of OberlinCollege and represents the beginnings of the Underground Railroad in Ohio, may be seen above. A critical crossroads on the Underground Railroad, Oberlin connected five separate paths that fleeing slaves may have traveled in order to escape. During the Civil War, no fugitive who lived in Oberlin was ever returned to bondage, and the town has been dubbed “The Town that Started the Civil War.” When Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, one of the stipulations prohibited slavery in any future state admitted to the Union that was located north of the Ohio River.
- Later, Congress amended the legislation to include a provision making it a federal criminal to help or hide fugitive slaves, which might result in harsh penalties or even imprisonment if the act was committed.
- Even in a free state like Ohio, living was made incredibly difficult as a result of this.
- This would be especially true in the lower half of the state, where inhabitants were more likely to have been previous residents of Virginia or Kentucky, or to have descended from ancestors who had lived in these states at some point in their lives.
- While speaking at local gatherings, anti-slavery activists may frequently transform them into a confrontational confrontation.
- In reality, most of the people on the network were only familiar with a few of the other users, which helped to keep everyone’s identities safe.
- Ohio, with around 3000 miles of pathways used by fleeing runaways, had the most active network of any other state, despite the fact that there were Underground Railroad networks throughout the country, including the Southern states.
- First and foremost, Ohio shared a border with two slave states: Virginia and Kentucky.
- Among all the states participating in these subterranean networks, Ohio was the one that was closest to Canada, with a distance of just roughly 250 miles or less between any point along the Ohio River and Lake Erie, where freedom might be found.
While the Pennsylvania Quakers were largely responsible for the inception of the abolitionist movement, the Ohio Quakers appeared to have been more directly involved in transporting escaping slaves on their way north and toward freedom, particularly those fleeing slaves from the Virginia plantations.
Prior to it, there was a scarcity of knowledge regarding railways in general.
There was no railroad, and there was no underground railroad with the Underground Railroad, of course.
The term railroad was utilized because the persons participating in the activities used phrases that were frequently associated with railways to describe different parts of their operations, leading to the name railroad being used.
- Slaves were referred to as “cargo” or “passengers.” Stations were used to refer to hiding locations or safe homes. Conductors were the guides who escorted the runaway slaves to freedom. Those who assisted slaves in their escape but did not guide them were referred to as agents. People who contributed financial resources to these endeavors were referred to as shareholders.
The use of the same terminology associated with railroads to describe the activities associated with the Underground Railroad became more widespread as physical railroads became more common. This allowed those actively involved in the Underground Railroad to communicate openly without fear of being turned over to the authorities by someone overhearing their conversation. At the time, these code phrases were not known outside of the network, which is understandable given their importance. The title “liberation train” or “the gospel train” was used in certain parts of the country, and in others it was referred to as “the freedom train.” By the 1850s, the name “Underground Railroad” had become the most often used in the state of Ohio.
A fugitive slave could not be assisted under state or federal law, and this was a criminal offense.
It was the plantation owner’s responsibility to apply further punishment to captured slaves when they were returned to the plantation and fields from where they had escaped.
Ohio Anti-Slavery Society
An organization known as the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society was founded by a group of people who shared a strong opposition to slavery. The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society was created in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1835, and was modeled after the framework of the American Anti-Slavery Society, which was founded in 1833 in New York City. When the society was founded, its members committed to work for the abolition of slavery and the adoption of legislation to safeguard African-Americans when they were released from the bonds of slavery.
People who opposed the abolitionists’ ideals were motivated mostly by fear, which was frequently shown in mob attacks on the abolitionists’ homes and workplaces.
When the conference was held in a barn outside of Granville, a mob erupted and attacked the abolitionists who had gathered in the barn.
In addition to bigotry, and because they were unable to accept that racism, they argued that runaway slaves from the southern states would take their employment here in Ohio.
Freedom Center in Cincinnati
The fact that the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located in Cincinnati is a blessing for the state of Ohio. This center serves as a clearinghouse for information regarding the Underground Railroad and organizes educational programs to raise awareness of issues impacting African-Americans, among other things. The Center first opened its doors in 2004. There are three buildings that make up the Freedom Center, and they represent the three foundations of freedom: courage, cooperation, and perseverance.
The Freedom Center is located at 50 East Freedom Way in Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 and can be reached at (513) 330-7500. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Ohio was divided on the question of slavery, and only a few localities could provide complete protection. Oberlin was one of the locations where fugitive slaves may feel safe while trying to flee. Oberlin, which is located in north central Ohio, became one of the primary staging areas for fugitive slaves fleeing to Canada. More villages in the south, including Columbus and Zanesville to the east,Mechanicsburg and Urbana to the west, came together to help, as did a number of other cities. For runaway slaves, there were even more little settlements in southern Ohio, which provided them with sanctuary in an incredibly perilous region.
The major entry point into Ohio was along the Ohio River, with the most notable location being a little town known as Ripley.
In search of a safe refuge where they could live with their families without the fear of being shackled in captivity, escaping slaves came across the United States of America. The only certain location was Canada (and, to a lesser extent, Mexico), although getting to these locations was far from straightforward. As soon as an escaped slave arrived on the borders of Canada, they discovered that living there was incredibly harsh, with little job and strict segregation. After escaping slaves made it to Canada, they would frequently return to Ohio, where they might join tiny enclaves of freed slaves that had already been established in remote places, where they could try to stay as inconspicuous as they possibly could.
ABOVE: The narrative of a slave was recounted at the New Boston Fair.
African-Americans helped make the Underground Railroad work
The fact that escaping slaves made the Underground Railroad feasible was the most significant component of the Underground Railroad’s history. If it hadn’t been for their daring, tenacity, and innovation, the railroad would have been nothing more than a footnote in the history of our nation’s development. It was necessary for the majority of runaway slaves not only to get away from their owner’s estate, but also from all of the areas between them and the Ohio River, as well as from all of the other entrance points between the slave and free states.
- Aside from avoiding their previous masters, they also had to dodge the slave-catchers who prowled the countryside in pursuit of fugitives.
- The runaway slaves had a tough voyage since they had to hide in the woods during the day and travel only at night.
- As soon as they passed over the Ohio River, they had to make contact with someone they had never met before, and they had to hope that they would be able to give them with refuge and assistance on their long voyage ahead of them.
- That occurred at a period when the Ohio River frequently froze over, making it possible for the runaways to cross the river without the need of a boat.
- The ice was frequently more like giant pieces of floating ice, which needed cautious footwork to make it safely across the river at night, just by looking at the river itself and not taking into consideration the extremely low temperatures.
Slaves who had already completed the trek to freedom would frequently return to assist others, putting their own safety and freedom at tremendous risk.
Paying the Price:
A fugitive slave from a Kentucky farm owned by John Bacon who was 17 years old at the time of his capture on September 13, 1858, by two slave hunters and two federal marshals in Oberlin, Ohio, was residing in Oberlin at the time of his arrest. Realizing that attempting to apprehend the young black man in the town of Oberlin would be difficult due to the well-known anti-slavery attitudes held by the town’s residents, they devised a plan to lure John Price away from the protection of Oberlin. On the pretext of digging potatoes for money, they persuaded Shakespeare Boynton, the son of a prominent Oberlin landowner, to accompany John Price to a farm west of Oberlin where he would be paid for his efforts.
The ruse was successful.
Anti-slavery activists in Oberlin were angry as soon as they saw what had happened and rallied together to try to save the slaves.
By late afternoon, more than 200 people from Oberlin and Wellington had gathered outside the Wadsworth Hotel, where Price was being kept captive.
There was a window with a little balcony that overlooked the town square in that room.
The sheriff wanted to make sure that all of the paperwork was in order.
Then, from the outside, someone set up a ladder near the room’s window, and a group of Oberlin locals climbed in via the window while another group entered through the door.
Price went on the Underground Railroad to Canada a few days later, but was never seen or heard from again after that.
In lieu of posting bond, they were sent to the Cuyahoga County Jail for almost one month, where they remain today.
The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue Case had a significant impact on the public’s opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act, which was one of the reasons that contributed to the American Civil War.
Smith, Richard Winsor, Simeon Bushnell, David Watson, William E.
Scott, Ansel W.
Peck, and James M.
Smith. Ralph Plumb, James Bartlett, John Watson, and Henry Evans are seated at the table. A technicality in their indictments caused two of the men, Jacob B. Shipherd and Orindatus S.B. Wall, to be released sooner than the others. As a result, they are not featured.