Underground Railroad conductors were free individuals who helped fugitive slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad. Conductors helped runaway slaves by providing them with safe passage to and from stations.
Who were some major conductors on the Underground Railroad?
- Harriet Tubman was the most famous conductor for the Underground Railroad. Born an enslaved woman named Araminta Ross, she took the name Harriet (Tubman was her married name) when, in 1849, she escaped a plantation in Maryland with two of her brothers.
What role did conductors and stations play in the Underground Railroad?
People known as “conductors” guided the fugitive enslaved people. Hiding places included private homes, churches and schoolhouses. These were called “stations,” “safe houses,” and “depots.” The people operating them were called “stationmasters.”
What did Harriet Tubman do as a conductor on the Underground Railroad?
Born into slavery in Maryland, Harriet Tubman escaped to freedom in the North in 1849 to become the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. Tubman risked her life to lead hundreds of family members and other slaves from the plantation system to freedom on this elaborate secret network of safe houses.
What did stationmasters do?
The station master is responsible for the management of other station employees and holds responsibility for safety and the efficient running of the station. The term was historically employed across stations of all sizes, leading to variation in the precise role.
Who was in charge of the Underground Railroad?
Levi Coffin Webber, shows Levi Coffin, his wife Catherine, and Hannah Haydock assisting a group of fugitive slaves. Known as the “president of the Underground Railroad,” Levi Coffin purportedly became an abolitionist at age 7 when he witnessed a column of chained enslaved people being driven to auction.
Were there really trains in the Underground Railroad?
The escape network was neither literally underground nor a railroad. ( Actual underground railroads did not exist until 1863.) It was known as a railroad, using rail terminology such as stations and conductors, because that was the transportation system in use at the time.
What’s Harriet Tubman’s real name?
The person we know as “Harriet Tubman” endured decades in bondage before becoming Harriet Tubman. Tubman was born under the name Araminta Ross sometime around 1820 (the exact date is unknown); her mother nicknamed her Minty.
Is Gertie Davis died?
Abolitionist author, Harriet Beecher Stowe rose to fame in 1851 with the publication of her best-selling book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which highlighted the evils of slavery, angered the slaveholding South, and inspired pro-slavery copy-cat works in defense of the institution of slavery.
Why does the author choose to call the individuals who worked on the Underground Railroad conductors?
Why does the author choose to call the individuals who worked on the Underground Railroad “conductors”? They were responsible for driving the trains that took slaves from slavery in the South to freedom in the North. They carried pistols on their hips that were known by people in the North as “conductors.”
What are runaway slaves?
In the United States, fugitive slaves or runaway slaves were terms used in the 18th and 19th century to describe enslaved people who fled slavery. Most slave law tried to control slave travel by requiring them to carry official passes if traveling without a master with them.
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
What did Frederick Douglass do?
Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery, before and during the Civil War.
9 Unsung Heroes of the Underground Railroad
With hundreds of people participating in the Underground Railroad’s operation, which spanned from the Deep South all the way to Canada, it’s hardly surprising that the network of underground pathways and safe homes known as the Underground Railroad was so large in scope. Some, like as Harriet Tubman, served as “conductors,” directing rescue efforts, while others, such as John Brown, served as “station masters,” welcoming fugitives into their houses and facilitating their safe journey to safety after their capture.
1. William Still
With hundreds of people participating in the Underground Railroad’s operation, which ran from the Deep South all the way to Canada, it’s not surprising that the network of clandestine pathways and safe homes known as the Underground Railroad was so large and complex. A few, like as Harriet Tubman, served as “conductors,” directing rescue operations; while others, such as John Brown, served as “station masters,” welcoming fugitives into their houses and facilitating their safe transit to safety.
2. John P. Parker
When you consider that the Underground Railroad, a gigantic network of hidden pathways and safe homes that spanned from the Deep South all the way to Canada, it seems reasonable that hundreds of individuals were involved in its functioning. Some, like as Harriet Tubman, served as “conductors,” directing rescue efforts, while others, such as John Brown, served as “station masters,” welcoming fugitives into their houses and facilitating their safe transit to freedom. Here are nine more brave individuals who risked their lives and limbs to assist others on their journey to freedom.
3. and 4. Harriet Bell Hayden and Lewis Hayden
Lewis Hayden, who was born enslaved in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1812, witnessed enslavers tear his family apart not once, but twice throughout his lifetime. His brothers were sold to a different enslaver at first, and then his wife and son were purchased by Kentucky senator Henry Clay and sold someplace in the Deep South, according to historical records. Hayden never saw them or heard from them again. In the early 1840s, he married an enslaved lady called Harriet Bell, adopted her son, and began preparing their escape from the plantation where they had been held.
- The couple had returned to the United States by 1846, when they had settled in Boston’s Beacon Hill district, where they had founded a clothes business.
- Despite the fact that slavery had been outlawed in Massachusetts since 1783, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 declared that enslaved persons who had escaped to free states might still be apprehended and returned to their enslavers in the southern United States.
- Among those who have received considerable notice are Ellen and William Craft, who gained notoriety for their perilous escape from slavery in Georgia, which required Ellen impersonating a white man and William as a Black servant.
- The bounty hunters didn’t take any chances and returned home empty-handed.
- In 1873, he was elected to the Massachusetts General Assembly, where he served until his death in 1904.
The estate of Harriet Tubman, who died in 1893, was bequeathed to Harvard Medical School for the aim of creating an annual scholarship for Black students, which is still in existence today.
5. Henrietta Bowers Duterte
His wife, Henrietta Bowers, was 35 when she married Francis A. Duterte, a Haitian-American undertaker who was also 35 at the time. It should have been a long and happy union because they both hailed from well-respected Philadelphia households and Francis’s mortuary was prosperous; in other words, it should have been a joyful union. However, by the end of the decade, Henrietta was on her own: Her children had all died while they were young, and Francis had also died unexpectedly. Instead of handing over the funeral company to a male, as would have been anticipated at the time, Henrietta took over and transformed it into a particularly secretive station on the Underground Railroad, in addition to maintaining the mortuary business.
It was nonetheless profitable, and Henrietta used the proceeds to support organizations that supported Philadelphia’s Black population, such as the First Colored Church and Stephen Smith’s Philadelphia Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons, which were both founded by Stephen Smith.
6. David Ruggles
David Ruggles, who was born free in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1810, traveled to New York City when he was 17 years old and founded a grocery store, which he operated with liberated African Americans. Ruggles soon expanded his business to include lending and selling abolitionist books, pamphlets, and newspapers as well, making him the first Black bookshop proprietor in the United States. Ruggles and other local abolitionists formed the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835, which was an inter-racial group that, like the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, assisted people in their attempts to elude slavery.
- Frederick Douglass, who had escaped slavery and arrived in New York in 1838, impoverished and starving, was one of these temporary visitors.
- David Ruggles saved his life, as he revealed in his autobiography published in 1845.
- Ruggles’s alertness, kindness, and tenacity,” he wrote.
- Ruggles gave the couple $5 shortly after their wedding and arranged for them to go by steamer to New Bedford, Massachusetts.
- Ruggles distributed countless anti-slavery publications during his years as an Underground Railroad station master, and he advocated for “practical abolitionism,” which is the idea that each individual should actively participate in the emancipation of African-Americans.
- Not that he was without adversaries: his business was burned down on two occasions, and he was violently attacked on other times.
Ruggles was able to restore some of his strength by hydrotherapy while he was there, and he subsequently founded his own hydrotherapy facility, where Douglass would frequently pay him a visit. Douglass was the one who prepared his obituary when he passed away at the age of 39.
7. and 8. Harriet Forten Purvis and Robert Purvis
At the age of 17, David Ruggles relocated to New York City, where he founded a grocery store that employed freed African Americans. Ruggles was born free in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1810. Ruggles soon expanded his business to include lending and selling abolitionist books, pamphlets, and newspapers, making him the first Black bookshop proprietor in the United States. To aid those fleeing slavery in New York City, Ruggles and other local abolitionists formed the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835.
- On top of that, he hid a large number of fugitives in his own home on Lispenard Street, where he provided legal assistance to Black Americans who had been sought by bounty hunters.
- The humanitarian hand of Mr.
- “I shall never forget Mr.
- Ruggles gave the newlyweds $5 shortly after the wedding and arranged for them to go to New Bedford, Massachusetts, aboard a steamer.
- Ruggles died in 1939.
- The Northampton Association of Education and Industry, located in Florence, Massachusetts, was an independent community that advocated for equal rights for everyone.
- Ruggles was able to restore some of his strength by hydrotherapy while he was there, and he went on to start his own hydrotherapy facility, where Douglass would frequently pay him a visit.
9. Samuel D. Burris
For more than a decade in the 1840s, Samuel D. Burris worked diligently to transport fugitives through his home state of Delaware and into Philadelphia, where he resided with his wife and children. Despite the fact that Burris was a free man, he might be imprisoned and sold into slavery if he was found assisting fugitives in Delaware—which is exactly what happened to him in 1847. Burris was detained while attempting to sneak a lady named Maria Matthews onto a boat, according to authorities. Because his bail was set at $5000 (equivalent to more than $157,000 today), he was compelled to spend months in jail while awaiting his trial.
Burris was found guilty on November 2, 1847, and he was sentenced to 10 more months in jail as well as a $500 fine.
A group of Philadelphia abolitionists raised $500 during Burris’ 10-month prison sentence and sent a Quaker named Isaac Flint to masquerade as a merchant and acquire Burris at an auction while Burris was serving his sentence.
In Still’s words, “he was not in the least conscious that he had fallen into the hands of friends, but on the contrary, he appeared to be under the assumption that his freedom had been taken away.” ‘The joyous news was whispered in Burris’s ear that everything was OK; that he had been purchased with abolition money in order to keep him from going south.’ The historian Robin Krawitz of Delaware State University told CNN that Burris continued to assist fugitives after his release, and enraged Delawareans petitioned the government to punish him even more severely after he was sentenced to prison.
Burris’ operations in Delaware were suspended when officials approved legislation that prescribed public flogging as a penalty for anyone caught a second time.
Instead, he relocated to San Francisco, where he obtained funds to assist newly liberated persons in establishing themselves in their newfound freedom.
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
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she experienced repeated violent beatings, one of which involving a two-pound lead weight, which left her with seizures and migraines for the rest of her life. Tubman fled bondage in 1849, following the North Star on a 100-mile walk into Pennsylvania, fearing she would be sold and separated from her family. She died in the process. She went on to become the most well-known “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, participating in around 13 rescue missions back into Maryland and rescuing at least 70 enslaved individuals, including several of her siblings.
As a scout, spy, and healer for the Union Army, Tubman maintained her anti-slavery activities during the Civil War, and is believed to have been the first woman in the United States to lead troops into battle. Tubman died in 1865. When Harriet Tubman Led a Civil War Raid, You Should Pay Attention
4. Thomas Garrett
‘Thomas Garrett’ is a fictional character created by author Thomas Garrett. The New York Public Library is a public library in New York City. The Quaker “stationmaster” Thomas Garrett, who claimed to have assisted over 2,750 escaped slaves before the commencement of the Civil War, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, and Tubman frequently stopped there on her route up north. Garret not only gave his guests with a place to stay but also with money, clothing & food. He even personally led them to a more secure area on occasion, arm in arm.
Despite this, he persisted in his efforts.
He also stated that “if any of you know of any poor slave who needs assistance, please send him to me, as I now publicly pledge myself to double my diligence and never miss an opportunity to assist a slave to obtain freedom.”
5. William Still
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
William Still is an American author and poet. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive and Getty Images. Many runaways made their way to the office of William Still in neighboring Philadelphia after leaving Wilmington, the last Underground Railroad destination in the slave state of Delaware. The Pennsylvania Abolition Society’s Vigilance Committee, which distributed food and clothes, planned escapes, generated cash, and otherwise operated as a one-stop social services shop for hundreds of fleeing slaves each year, was led by Still, who was a free-born African American.
It was his long-lost brother, who had spent decades in bondage in the Deep South, who was among others who showed up at his office and introduced themselves.
His assistance to Osborne Anderson, the only African-American member of John Brown’s troop to escape the Harpers Ferry raid, was another occasion when he was commended. When the Civil War broke out, Still was a successful businessman who also happened to be an abolitionist.
7. Elijah Anderson
William Still is a well-known author. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Many runaways found their way to the office of William Still in adjacent Philadelphia from Wilmington, the last Underground Railroad station in the slave state of Delaware. The Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which distributed food and clothes, planned escapes, generated cash, and otherwise operated as a one-stop social services shop for hundreds of fleeing slaves each year, was led by Still, who was a free-born African American.
It was his long-lost brother, who had spent decades in bondage in the Deep South, who showed up at his office door one day.
Still, a merchant and abolitionist, contributed coal to the Union Army during the American Civil War.
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.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad
Taking a look at Harriet Tubman, who is considered the most renowned conductor on the Underground Railroad, our Headlines and Heroes blog. Tubman and those she assisted in their emancipation from slavery traveled north to freedom, occasionally crossing the Canadian border. While we’re thinking about the Texas origins of Juneteenth, let’s not forget about a lesser-known Underground Railroad that ran south from Texas to Mexico. In “Harriet Tubman,” The Sun (New York, NY), June 7, 1896, p. 5, there is a description of her life.
- Prints Photographs Division is a division of the Department of Photographs.
- She then returned to the area several times over the following decade, risking her life in order to assist others in their quest for freedom as a renowned conductor of the Underground Railroad (also known as the Underground Railroad).
- Prior to the Civil War, media coverage of her successful missions was sparse, but what is available serves to demonstrate the extent of her accomplishments in arranging these escapes and is worth reading for that reason.
- Her earliest attempted escape occurred with two of her brothers, Harry and Ben, according to an October 1849 “runaway slave” ad in which she is referred to by her early nickname, Minty, which she still uses today.
- Photograph courtesy of the Bucktown Village Foundation in Cambridge, Maryland.
- Her first name, Harriet, had already been chosen for her, despite the fact that the advertisement does not mention it.
She had also married and used her husband’s surname, John Tubman, as her own.
Slaves from the Cambridge, Maryland region managed to evade capture in two separate groups in October 1857.
In what the newspapers referred to as “a vast stampede of slaves,” forty-four men, women, and children managed to flee the situation.
Tubman and the majority of her family had been held in bondage by the Pattison family.
While speaking at antislavery and women’s rights conferences in the late 1800s, Tubman used her platform to convey her own story of slavery, escape, and efforts to save others.
There are few articles regarding her lectures during this time period since she was frequently presented using a pseudonym to avoid being apprehended and returned to slavery under the rules of the Federal Fugitive Slave Act.
“Harriet Tribbman,” in “Grand A.
Convention at Auburn, New York,” Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), January 21, 1860, p.
Convention in Auburn, New York,” Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), January 21, 1860, p.
A description of Harriett Tupman may be found in “A Female Conductor of the Underground Railroad,” published in The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA) on June 6, 1860, page 1.
In addition, when Tubman’s remarks were mentioned in the press, they were only quickly summarized and paraphrased, rather than being printed in their whole, as other abolitionists’ speeches were occasionally done.
With the rescue of Charles Nalle, who had escaped slavery in Culpeper, Virginia, but had been apprehended in Troy, New York, where Tubman was on a visit, Tubman’s rescue attempts shifted from Maryland to New York on April 27, 1860, and continued until the end of the year.
At the Woman’s Rights Convention in Boston in early June 1860, when Tubman spoke about these events, the Chicago Press and Tribunereporter responded with racist outrage at the audience’s positive reaction to Tubman’s story of Nalle’s rescue as well as her recounting of her trips back to the South to bring others to freedom.
- Later media coverage of Tubman’s accomplishments was frequently laudatory and theatrical in nature.
- On September 29, 1907, p.
- This and several other later articles are included in the book Harriet Tubman: Topics in Chronicling America, which recounts her early days on the Underground Railroad, her impressive Civil War service as a nurse, scout, and spy in the Union Army, and her post-war efforts.
- In keeping with contemporary biographies such asScenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman(1869) and Harriet, the Moses of her People(1886), both written by Sarah H.
- Taylor, financial secretary at Tuskegee Institute, certain content in these profiles may have been embellished from time to time.
This request was made in an essay written by Taylor shortly before to the release of his book, “The Troubles of a Heroine,” in which he requested that money be delivered directly to Tubman in order to pay off the mortgage on her property so that she may convert it into a “Old Folks’ Home.” On March 10, 1913, Tubman passed away in the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged Negroes in Auburn, New York, where she had lived for the previous twelve years.
While these newspaper stories provide us with crucial views into Harriet Tubman’s amazing heroics, they also serve as excellent examples of the variety of original materials available inChronicling America. More information may be found at:
- Harriet Tubman, the most renowned conductor on the Underground Railroad, is the subject of our Headlines and Heroes column. Tubman and those she assisted in their emancipation from slavery traveled north, occasionally crossing the border into Canada. Allow me to draw your attention to a lesser-known Underground Railroad that ran south from Texas to Mexico, in honor of the Texas origins of Juneteenth: On the 7th of June, 1896, The Sun (New York, NY) published a story on Harriet Tubman on page 5. Photojournalist and photographer Powelson Prints Division of Photographs The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History each have collections of African American artifacts. Culture. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1849, Harriet Tubman managed to elude enslavement. In the next decade, she returned to the same location several times in order to assist others in their quest for freedom as a well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad. As a result of her proficiency in navigating routes, as well as her knowledge of safe homes and trustworthy persons who assisted others fleeing slavery and achieving freedom, she was nicknamed “Moses.” Even while media coverage of her successful missions was sparse prior to the Civil War, the limited coverage that did exist serves to demonstrate the scope of her accomplishments in arranging these escapes during that period. Araminta Ross was born in the year 1822, and became known as Harriet Tubman later on. An October 1849 “runaway slave” ad in which she is referred to by her early nickname, Minty, reveals that her first attempt at emancipation was with two of her brothers, Harry and Ben. A reward of three hundred dollars was offered in the Cambridge Democrat (Cambridge, Maryland) in the month of October 1849. Bucktown Village Foundation, Cambridge, Maryland, provided the image. Even though her initial effort failed, Tubman was able to escape on her own shortly after. It is possible that she had already adopted the first name Harriet before to appearing in this advertisement, maybe in honor of her mother, Harriet Green Ross, despite the fact that the advertisement does not indicate this. Aside from that, she had married and adopted the last name of her husband, John Tubman. According to Kate Clifford Larson’s bookBound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero, she returned to Maryland roughly 13 times between December 1850 and 1860, guiding 60-70 family members and other enslaved folks to freedom. Slaves from the Cambridge, Maryland region managed to evade capture in two separate groups during the month of October 1857. It is believed that Tubman did not personally assist them, but that she did it in an indirect manner by providing specific instructions. In what was characterized in the newspapers as “a vast stampede of slaves,” forty-four men, women, and children managed to flee. There was a massive rush of slaves.” November 7, 1857, p. 3 of The Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), in the Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio). It was reported in several papers regarding these escapes that fifteen people had managed to get away from Samuel Pattison’s custody. Tubman and the majority of her family had been held captive by the Pattison family. It was Tubman who had the strongest ties to the area. While speaking at antislavery and women’s rights conferences in the late 1800s, Tubman used her platform to convey her own story of slavery, escape, and efforts to save others. She also stressed the importance of continuing to struggle for freedom and equal rights now, as she did then. This period is particularly challenging to research since she was frequently presented under a pseudonym in order to avoid being apprehended by law enforcement and deported back to slavery in accordance with the requirements of the Fugitive Slave Act. A description of Harriet Garrison may be found in “The New England Convention,” The Weekly Anglo-African (New York, NY), August 6, 1859, on page 3. Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), January 21, 1860, p. 2: “Grand A. S. Convention in Auburn, New York,” “Grand A. S. Convention in Auburn, New York,” Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), January 21, 1860, p. 2: “Harriet Tribbman” On June 6, 1860, The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA) published an article titled “A Female Conductor of the Underground Railroad,” which featured Harriett Tupman (perhaps just a misspelling). Tubman’s talks were also only briefly summarized and paraphrased when they were published in newspapers, rather than being printed in their whole, as other abolitionists’ speeches were occasionally done. Because she was illiterate, she did not appear to have any written copies of her remarks. With the rescue of Charles Nalle, who had escaped slavery in Culpeper, Virginia, but had been apprehended in Troy, New York, where Tubman was on a visit, Tubman’s rescue activities shifted from Maryland to New York on April 27th, 1860. Nalle was released twice by a huge, primarily African-American crowd, and Tubman is credited with taking the initiative in his rescue in some versions. At the Woman’s Rights Convention in Boston in early June 1860, when Tubman spoke about these events, the Chicago Press and Tribunereporter responded with racist outrage at the audience’s positive reaction to Tubman’s story of Nalle’s rescue as well as her recounting of her trips back to the South to bring other slaves to liberty. Despite the fact that antislavery media celebrated Nalle’s rescue, they did not reveal Tubman’s identity at the time of the rescue. Following Tubman’s death, his contribution in the Civil War was frequently praised and dramatized. On June 8, 1860, The Press and Tribune (Chicago, IL) published “Our Boston Letter,” which appeared on page 2 of the paper. On September 29, 1907, p. 14, The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA) reported that “Another Trying to Down Her, She Choked into Half Unconsciousness,” and that “Another Trying to Down Her, She Choked into Half Unconsciousness,” Tubman’s lifetime devotion to achieving black freedom and equality was the subject of a lengthy 1907 story that appeared alongside the artwork in The San Francisco Call. This and several other later articles are included in the book Harriet Tubman: Topics in Chronicling America, which recounts her early days on the Underground Railroad, her impressive Civil War service as a nurse, scout, and spy in the Union Army, and her post-war efforts. Harriet Tubman: Topics in Chronicling America is available for purchase online. In keeping with contemporary biographies such asScenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman(1869) and Harriet, the Moses of her People(1886), both written by Sarah H. Bradford, and Harriet Tubman, the Heroine in Ebony(1901) by Robert W. Taylor, financial secretary at Tuskegee Institute, certain content in these profiles may have been embellished at times. Tubman was on the verge of becoming bankrupt when he came upon these books. This request was made in an essay written by Taylor shortly prior to the release of his book, “The Troubles of a Heroine,” in which he urged that money be delivered directly to Tubman in order to pay off the mortgage on her home so that she may convert it into a “Old Folks Home.” The Harriet Tubman Home for Aged Negroes in Auburn, New York, was where Tubman died 12 years later, on March 10, 1913. While these newspaper stories provide us with crucial views into the amazing heroics of Harriet Tubman, they also serve as excellent illustrations for the plethora of original materials accessible inChronicling America. Learn more by visiting the following link:
Harriet Tubman, the most renowned conductor on the Underground Railroad, is the subject of this week’s Headlines and Heroes column. Tubman and those she assisted in their emancipation from slavery traveled north to freedom, occasionally crossing the border into Canadian territory. Allow me to draw your attention to a lesser-known Underground Railroad that ran south from Texas to Mexico, in honor of the Texas origins of Juneteenth. On the 7th of June, 1896, The Sun (New York, NY) published an article about Harriet Tubman on page 5.
- Prints Photographs Division is a division of the Department of Photography.
- In 1849, Harriet Tubman managed to flee slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
- She was given the nickname “Moses” because of her ability at navigating routes and her knowledge of safe places and trustworthy persons who assisted victims from enslavement to freedom.
- Araminta Ross Tubman was born around the year 1822.
- October 1849, “Three Hundred Dollars Reward,” Cambridge Democrat (Cambridge, MD).
- While the initial effort failed, Tubman was able to escape on her own a short time later.
- This may have been done in honor of her mother, Harriet Green Ross.
According to Kate Clifford Larson’s bookBound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero, she went to Maryland roughly 13 times between December 1850 and 1860 to free 60-70 family members and other enslaved persons.
Tubman did not personally guide them, but she is credited for indirectly assisting them by providing specific instructions.
“There was a massive rush of slaves.” The Anti-Slavery Bugle(Salem, Ohio), November 7, 1857, p.
The Anti-Slavery Bugle(Salem, Ohio), November 7, 1857, p.
According to several publications regarding these escapes, a total of fifteen people managed to get away from Samuel Pattison.
Tubman had deep ties to the local community.
There are few articles regarding her lectures during this time period since she was frequently presented using a pseudonym to avoid being apprehended and returned to slavery under the rules of the Fugitive Slave Act.
In addition, when Tubman’s remarks were mentioned in the press, they were only quickly summarized and paraphrased, rather than being printed in their whole, as other abolitionists’ speeches were occasionally.
Tubman’s rescue attempts expanded beyond Maryland to New York on April 27, 1860, with the rescue of Charles Nalle, who had escaped slavery in Culpeper, Virginia, but had been apprehended in Troy, New York, where Tubman was on a visit at the time.
At the Woman’s Rights Convention in Boston in early June 1860, when Tubman spoke about these events, the Chicago Press and Tribunereporter responded with racist outrage at the audience’s positive reaction to Tubman’s story of Nalle’s rescue and recounting of her trips back to the South to bring others to freedom.
- Later media coverage of Tubman’s accomplishments was frequently laudatory and dramatic.
- On September 29, 1907, p.
- This and several other later articles are included in the book Harriet Tubman: Topics in Chronicling America, which recounts her early days on the Underground Railroad, her impressive Civil War service as a nurse, scout, and spy in the Union Army, and her post-war efforts.
- Certain content in these profiles may have been embellished at times, in keeping with contemporary biographies such asScenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman(1869) and Harriet, the Moses of her People(1886), both by Sarah H.
- Taylor, financial secretary at Tuskegee Institute.
This request was made in an essay written by Taylor shortly before to the release of his book, “The Troubles of a Heroine,” in which he requested that money be delivered directly to Tubman in order to pay off the mortgage on her home so that she may transform it into a “Old Folks’ Home.” On March 10, 1913, Tubman passed away in the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged Negroes in Auburn, New York, where she had resided for the previous twelve years.
These newspaper stories provide us with crucial views into the amazing heroism of Harriet Tubman, as well as samples of the variety of original materials available inChronicling America*. More information may be found here:
The Underground Railroad
|The Underground Railroad, a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada, was not run by any single organization or person. Rather, it consisted of many individuals – many whites but predominently black – who knew only of the local efforts to aid fugitives and not of the overall operation. Still, it effectively moved hundreds of slaves northward each year – according to one estimate,the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850. An organized system to assist runaway slaves seems to have begun towards the end of the 18th century. In 1786 George Washington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes.” The system grew, and around 1831 it was dubbed “The Underground Railroad,” after the then emerging steam railroads. The system even used terms used in railroading: the homes and businesses where fugitives would rest and eat were called “stations” and “depots” and were run by “stationmasters,” those who contributed money or goods were “stockholders,” and the “conductor” was responsible for moving fugitives from one station to the next.For the slave, running away to the North was anything but easy. The first step was to escape from the slaveholder. For many slaves, this meant relying on his or her own resources. Sometimes a “conductor,” posing as a slave, would enter a plantation and then guide the runaways northward. The fugitives would move at night. They would generally travel between 10 and 20 miles to the next station, where they would rest and eat, hiding in barns and other out-of-the-way places. While they waited, a message would be sent to the next station to alert its stationmaster.The fugitives would also travel by train and boat – conveyances that sometimes had to be paid for. Money was also needed to improve the appearance of the runaways – a black man, woman, or child in tattered clothes would invariably attract suspicious eyes. This money was donated by individuals and also raised by various groups, including vigilance committees.Vigilance committees sprang up in the larger towns and cities of the North, most prominently in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. In addition to soliciting money, the organizations provided food, lodging and money, and helped the fugitives settle into a community by helping them find jobs and providing letters of recommendation.The Underground Railroad had many notable participants, including John Fairfield in Ohio, the son of a slaveholding family, who made many daring rescues, Levi Coffin, a Quaker who assisted more than 3,000 slaves, and Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom.|
Underground Railroad: A Conductor And Passengers Documented In Music
However, while Harriet Tubman is the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, a new album highlights the contributions of an even more important figure: William Still, who was responsible for assisting nearly 800 enslaved African Americans to escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War. That Still was more generally acknowledged for his work as an abolitionist, historian, and conductor for the Underground Railroad is long overdue; he deserves to be. It was Still’s 1872 bookThe Underground Railroad that inspired the new filmHarriet, in which he is portrayed by Leslie Odom Jr., and he is also the key protagonist in Sanctuary Road, a new oratorio by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec that is based on Still’s novel.
- While still in his twenties, Still, who was born free in New Jersey in 1821, relocated to Philadelphia, where he worked for an abolitionist organization.
- ‘Preserve every tale, every truth, and every incident,’ sings bass-baritone Dashon Burton in the character of Still, his velvety authority shining through.
- The stories he collected were both alarming and distressing to listen to.
- Creature, who had a light skin tone, pretended to be an elderly white slave owner while traveling to Philadelphia with an enslaved valet who was actually Craft’s fiancé, who was also disguised as a white man.
- Sanctuary Road is not without its share of wry comedy, as you will see below.
- The people that sent him were apparently less intelligent than Brown, for he ended up spending much of his perilous voyage upside down.
- Merriweather at the conclusion of his devoted performance, which is tinged with a tinge of amusement.
- Three frantic chase sequences, starring tenor Joshua Blue and showing the enslaved Wesley Harris’ feverishly dashing through woodlands and avoiding highways, are interspersed between the lengthier stories by Moravec and Campbell between the longer stories.
- The singers, dressed as enraged slave owners, scream out, promising incentives to those who flee.
- Its sweeping romanticism, a la Samuel Barber, sounds very American, and it blends well with the text written by Mark Campbell, which was based on Still’s novel.
- Americans still have a long way to go before they can comprehend the Underground Railroad in its entirety.
However, via a piece such as Sanctuary Road, we may learn about William Still – a significant character in our nation’s history — and the hundreds of people he helped to achieve freedom. NPR has copyright protection until 2021. More information may be found at
A portrait of Harriet Tubman, around 1885. It is noteworthy that the left side of Ms. Tubman’s face is not obscured by a shadow in this photograph by H. Seymour Squyer, which displays the damage she sustained as a child. The National Portrait Gallery is responsible for the preservation of the original. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, which is available online. Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave from Maryland who rose to prominence as the ” Moses ” of her people, was instrumental in assisting slaves in achieving freedom in Canada and the northern United States.
- When the misbehaving slave attempted to flee from his punishment, the overseer slammed him against a big iron weight.
- Tubman, who was well aware of the dangers of assisting runaways, is claimed to have refused to allow individuals to change their minds once they had decided to assist them.
- According to legend, she allegedly observed: “On my Underground Railroad, I run my train off the tracks and never pick up a passenger.” She was able to purchase a property in Auburn, New York, with the support of her friends, William and Frances Seward.
- ) Harriet had a long life and was buried with military honors at Ft.
- She had a long and fruitful life.
- William Still, a free-born African-American who has been dubbed the “Father of the Underground Railroad,” documented many first-person tales of persons who were fleeing the slave states of the southern United States. This photograph of William Jackson and his family, taken in 1846, shows them as abolitionists living in Newton, Massachusetts. His complete book, which has more than 800 pages, is accessible for online reading. Their place of residence was a station on the subway system. Today, that house serves as a museum
- John Fairfield, the son of a slave-holding family, is credited with numerous daring rescues and the development of inventive methods to keep escaping slaves safe
- Levi Coffin, who is credited with many slave rescues and the writing of Reminiscences about his and his wife Catherine Coffin’s efforts, is credited with writing Reminiscences about his and his wife Catherine Coffin’s efforts. Others feel his promises of aid were overstated to a significant extent.
There were many more who aided slaves who were attempting to break free from the bonds of American slavery. Due to the fact that much of their labor was carried out in secret, many myths and tales have sprung up around the true stories of the Underground Railroad. Throughout it all, however, one aspect remains indisputably true: the desire to be free is a human emotion so powerful that individuals are willing to go to great lengths to achieve their goal of freedom.
How Harriet Tubman and William Still Helped the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad, a network of people who assisted enslaved persons in escaping to the North, was only as strong as the people who were willing to put their own lives in danger to do so.
Among those most closely associated with the Underground Railroad were Harriet Tubman, one of the most well-known “conductors,” and William Still, who is generally referred to as the “Father of the Underground Railroad.”
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and guided others to freedom
Tubman, who was born into slavery in Maryland under the name Araminta Harriet Ross, was able to escape to freedom via the use of the Underground Railroad. Throughout her childhood, she was subjected to constant physical assault and torture as a result of her enslavement. In one of the most serious instances, she was struck in the head with an object weighing two pounds, resulting in her suffering from seizures and narcoleptic episodes for the rest of her life. John Tubman was a free black man when she married him in 1844, but nothing is known about their connection other than the fact that she adopted his last name.
- Even though she began the voyage with her brothers, she eventually completed the 90-mile journey on her own in 1849.
- As a result, she crossed the border again in 1850, this time to accompany her niece’s family to Pennsylvania.
- Instead, she was in charge of a gang of fugitive bond agents.
- Her parents and siblings were among those she was able to save.
- Tubman, on the other hand, found a way around the law and directed her Underground Railroad to Canada, where slavery was illegal (there is evidence that one of her destinations on an 1851 voyage was at the house of abolitionist Frederick Douglass).
- “”I was a conductor on the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say things that other conductors are unable to express,” she stated with a sense of accomplishment.
William Still helped more than 800 enslaved people escape
In 1852, under the alias Araminta Harriet Ross, Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland and eventually emancipated via a network known as the Underground Railroad. For the most of her childhood, she was subjected to regular physical assault and torture. One of the most serious incidents occurred when a two-pound weight was hurled at her head, leading her to suffer from seizures and narcoleptic episodes for the rest of her days. John Tubman was a free black man when she married him in 1844, but nothing is known about their connection other than the fact that she adopted his surname.
- In 1849, she set out on her trek with her brothers, but she eventually completed the 90-mile route on her own.
- Although Tubman had tasted freedom, she couldn’t take the notion of her family being slaves, so she crossed the border again in 1850, this time to accompany her niece’s family to Pennsylvania.
- Instead, she gathered a band of fugitive bond agents and led them away from the facility.
- Her mom and siblings were among the people she saved.
- Instead of ignoring this, Tubman circumvented it by directing her Underground Railroad to Canada, where slavery was illegal (there is evidence that one of her destinations on an 1851 voyage was at the house of abolitionist Frederick Douglass).
“Her proudly stated, “I was a conductor on the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say things that other conductors can’t.” In all my years of railroading, I never drove my train off the track or lost a passenger.” Continue reading Harriet Tubman: A Timeline of Her Life, Underground Rail Service, and Activism for more information.
Tubman made regular stops at Still’s station
Tubman was a frequent visitor at Still’s station, since she made a regular stop in Philadelphia on her way to New York. He is also said to have contributed monetarily to several of Tubman’s journeys. Her visits clearly left an effect on him, as evidenced by the inclusion of a section about her in his book, which followed a letter from Thomas Garrett about her ushering in arriving visitors. As Stillwright put it in his book, “Harriet Tubman had become their “Moses,” but not in the same way that Andrew Johnson had been their “Moses of the brown people.” “She had obediently gone down into Egypt and, through her own heroics, had delivered these six bondmen to safety.
But in terms of courage, shrewdness, and selfless efforts to rescue her fellow-men, she was without peer.
“While great anxieties were entertained for her safety, she appeared to be completely free of personal dread,” he went on to say.
will portray William Still, in the upcoming film Harriet.
OurStory : Activities : Slave Live and the Underground Railroad : More Information
Tubman, who made a regular stop at Still’s station in Philadelphia, was one of his frequent guests. His financial assistance with several of Tubman’s journeys was also revealed. He must have been impressed by her visits since he featured her in a section in his book, which was inspired by a letter from Thomas Garrett about her welcoming newcomers. As Stillwright put it in his book, “Harriet Tubman had become their “Moses,” but not in the same way that Andrew Johnson had been the “Moses of the brown people.” In the end, she had gone down to Egypt on her word, and she had delivered these six bondmen through her own acts of bravery.
But in terms of courage, shrewdness, and selfless efforts to liberate her fellow-men, she was without peer.
He went on to describe her accomplishments as “amazing,” pointing out that she had made several forays into the danger zone in the process of getting there.
It seems that the thought of being abducted by enslaved-hunters or enslaved-holders never crossed her thoughts.” According to all appearances, she was impenetrable.” Cynthia Erivo will portray Harriet Tubman, and Leslie Odom Jr.
will portray William Still, in the upcoming film Harriet. The film will explore the life and spirit of Tubman, and the role that Still had in guiding so many people down the path to freedom.
What is the Underground Railroad? – Underground Railroad (U.S. National Park Service)
Harvey Lindsley captured a shot of Harriet Tubman. THE CONGRESSIONAL LIBRARY
I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say—I neverran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.
When we talk about the Underground Railroad, we’re talking about the attempts of enslaved African Americans to obtain their freedom by escaping bondage. The Underground Railroad was a method of resisting slavery by escape and flight from 1850 until the end of the Civil War. Escape attempts were made in every location where slavery was practiced. In the beginning, to maroon villages in distant or rough terrain on the outside of inhabited regions, and later, across state and international borders.
- The majority of freedom seekers began their journey unaided and the majority of them completed their self-emancipation without assistance.
- It’s possible that the choice to aid a freedom seeking was taken on the spur of the moment.
- People of various ethnicities, social classes, and genders took part in this massive act of civil disobedience, despite the fact that what they were doing was unlawful.
- A map of the United States depicting the many paths that freedom seekers might follow in order to attain freedom.
- All thirteen original colonies, as well as Spanish California, Louisiana and Florida; Central and South America; and all of the Caribbean islands were slave states until the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) and British abolition of slavery brought an end to the practice in 1804.
- The Underground Railroad had its beginnings at the site of enslavement in the United States.
- The proximity to ports, free territories, and international borders caused a large number of escape attempts.
- Freedom seekers used their inventiveness to devise disguises, forgeries, and other techniques, drawing on their courage and brains in the process.
- The assistance came from a varied range of groups, including enslaved and free blacks, American Indians, and people from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds.
- Because of their links to the whaling business, the Pacific West Coast and potentially Alaska became popular tourist destinations.
During the American Civil War, many freedom seekers sought refuge and liberty by fleeing to the Union army’s lines of communication.
Pathways to Freedom
|People||Museums/ Historical Sites||Events||Primary Source Documents|
Marylanders who were a part of the Underground Railroad To quickly navigate to a certain individual, use the links provided below: Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, and William Still are all historical figures. Samuel Burris is a fictional character created by author Samuel Burris. More Individuals » Harriet Tubman, who was born a slave in Cambridge, Maryland, was a famous Underground Railroad conductor and one of the most well-known figures in the history of the Underground Railroad.
She was familiar with a number of paths through the woods and fields.
It was safer at night and when there were less people outdoors working or traveling from one location to another, according to the study.
When she was with her gang, she always had weapons on her person to defend them in case they were assaulted.
Her reputation is built on the fact that she never lost a single passenger.
We believe he was born around 1818, but we do not have any documentation to support this assumption.
Douglass had a sneaking suspicion that his white owner, Captain Aaron Anthony, was his father.
The death of Douglass’s mother occurred when he was around seven years old.
Douglass, who was eight years old at the time, was finally assigned to live with the Auld family in Baltimore by Captain Anthony.
Auld assisted the little child in his efforts to learn to read and write.
They would eventually provide their support to Douglass in his fight against the scourge of slavery.
Douglass was returned to the Eastern Shore, where he was placed with Thomas Auld, who happened to be Captain Anthony’s son-in-law.
He came to the conclusion that he must find his path to freedom.
He found employment at a shipyard in Fells Point, where he was surrounded by free Black men.
Douglass made the decision to try to go to the north in search of freedom.
He chose to dress in the manner of a free Black seaman, similar to the ones he worked with at the Shipyard.
Douglass departed Baltimore on September 3, 1838, according to historical records.
Once he had reached in the North, Douglass changed his last name from Bailey to Johnson in order to escape being recaptured by slavehunters from the southern United States.
Pennington, who was also Frederick’s best man.
Douglass changed his last name for the second and last time at that location.
He went throughout the northern United States, sharing firsthand tales of slavery, abolition, segregation, and prejudice with an audience of thousands.
He was terrified that he would be apprehended and returned to the slave trade.
Douglass was eventually and formally set free from his captivity.
There, he began publishing an abolitionist newspaper known as The North Star, which he named after his hometown.
He continued to contribute to national and international initiatives aimed at achieving freedom for all people, including himself.
He was 78 years old.
Several conductors, including Tubman, led the way to Garrett’s house.
He forwarded a large number of people to Philadelphia, where there was a thriving Abolition Society and a large number of people who were involved with the Underground Railroad at the time.
He took in a large number of fugitives from Maryland, the state where his mother was born.
He made arrangements for a large number of fugitive slaves to continue their journey to Canada.
It includes accounts of the fugitives he received as well as letters from fugitives and Underground Railroad helpers such as Thomas Garrett and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.
Several biographies of men and women who were involved with the Underground Railroad are also included in the book.
Take a look at an excerpt from William Still’s autobiography.
He was a free black man at the time.
He became involved in the Underground Railroad’s operations as a result of his experiences.
He collaborated with Benjamin Still and Thomas Garrett on a number of projects.
If they are apprehended, they may be sold as slaves to make money.
He was arrested and taken to jail, where he remained for several months.
The judge ordered that he be sold and sentenced to serve seven years in prison.
They gathered funds and sent an abolitionist named Isaac Flint to the auction where Burris would be sold, where he was successful.
This is the account of that auction written by William Still. Burris later relocated to California, where he continued to send contributions to help formerly enslaved people in need. return to the beginning More Individuals »