What Was The Threats To The Slaves When They Use The Underground Railroad?

If they were caught, any number of terrible things could happen to them. Many captured fugitive slaves were flogged, branded, jailed, sold back into slavery, or even killed. Not only did fugitive slaves have the fear of starvation and capture, but there were also threats presented by their surroundings.

What challenges did slaves face?

Brutal physical punishment, psychological abuse and endless hours of hard labor without compensation drove many slaves to risk their lives to escape plantation life. The death of a master usually meant that slaves would be sold as part of the estate, and family relationships would be broken.

How did the railroad affect slaves?

Railroads bought and sold slaves with contracts and elaborate, printed bills of sale. They recorded these events in balance sheets and company account books. Railroads also developed forms for contracts to hire enslaved labor from slaveholders.

How did the Underground Railroad affect the African Americans?

The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. The railroad was comprised of dozens of secret routes and safe houses originating in the slaveholding states and extending all the way to the Canadian border, the only area where fugitives could be assured of their freedom.

What happened during the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad was a secret system developed to aid fugitive slaves on their escape to freedom. Involvement with the Underground Railroad was not only dangerous, but it was also illegal. The safe houses used as hiding places along the lines of the Underground Railroad were called stations.

Where did the Underground Railroad lead to?

Underground Railroad routes went north to free states and Canada, to the Caribbean, into United States western territories, and Indian territories. Some freedom seekers (escaped slaves) travelled South into Mexico for their freedom.

Did railroads use slaves?

Most of the slave labor on southern railroads was hired or rented from local slaveholders to grade the tracks. Enslaved women and children were also forced to work on the railroads, running wheelbarrows, moving dirt, cooking, picking up stones, and shoveling.

How did the Underground Railroad affect the civil war?

The Underground Railroad physically resisted the repressive laws that held slaves in bondage. By provoking fear and anger in the South, and prompting the enactment of harsh legislation that eroded the rights of white Americans, the Underground Railroad was a direct contributing cause of the Civil War.

How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans?

How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans? It provided a network of escape routes toward the North. In his pamphlet Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, on what did David Walker base his arguments against slavery? They feared that the abolition of slavery would destroy their economy.

What happened after the Underground Railroad?

After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act as part of the Compromise of 1850 the Underground Railroad was rerouted to Canada as its final destination. Thousands of slaves settled in newly formed communities in Southern Ontario. Suddenly their job became more difficult and riskier.

How many slaves used the Underground Railroad?

The total number of runaways who used the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom is not known, but some estimates exceed 100,000 freed slaves during the antebellum period. Those involved in the Underground Railroad used code words to maintain anonymity.

How successful was the Underground Railroad?

Ironically the Fugitive Slave Act increased Northern opposition to slavery and helped hasten the Civil War. The Underground Railroad gave freedom to thousands of enslaved women and men and hope to tens of thousands more. In both cases the success of the Underground Railroad hastened the destruction of slavery.

6 Strategies Harriet Tubman and Others Used to Escape Along the Underground Railroad

Despite the horrors of slavery, the decision to run was not an easy one. Sometimes escaping meant leaving behind family and embarking on an adventure into the unknown, where harsh weather and a shortage of food may be on the horizon. Then there was the continual fear of being apprehended. On both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, so-called slave catchers and their hounds were on the prowl, apprehending runaways — and occasionally free Black individuals likeSolomon Northup — and taking them back to the plantation where they would be flogged, tortured, branded, or murdered.

In total, close to 100,000 Black individuals were able to flee slavery in the decades leading up to the Civil War.

The majority, on the other hand, chose to go to the Northern free states or Canada.

1: Getting Help

Harriet Tubman, maybe around the 1860s. The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information. No matter how brave or brilliant they were, few enslaved individuals were able to free themselves without the assistance of others. Even the smallest amount of assistance, such as hidden instructions on how to get away and who to trust, may make a significant difference. The most fortunate, on the other hand, were those who followed so-called “conductors,” like as Harriet Tubman, who, after escaping slavery in 1849, devoted her life to the Underground Railroad.

Tubman, like her other conductors, built a network of accomplices, including so-called “stationmasters,” who helped her hide her charges in barns and other safe havens along the road.

She was aware of which government officials were receptive to bribery.

Among other things, she would sing particular tunes or impersonate an owl to indicate when it was time to flee or when it was too hazardous to come out of hiding.

2: Timing

Tubman developed a number of other methods during the course of her career to keep her pursuers at arm’s length. For starters, she preferred to operate during the winter months when the longer evenings allowed her to cover more land. Also, she wanted to go on Saturday because she knew that no announcements about runaways would appear in the papers until the following Monday (since there was no paper on Sunday.) Tubman carried a handgun, both for safety and to scare people under her care who were contemplating retreating back to civilization.

The railroad engineer would subsequently claim that “I never drove my train off the track” and that he “never lost a passenger.” Tubman frequently disguised herself in order to return to Maryland on a regular basis, appearing as a male, an old lady, or a middle-class free black, depending on the occasion.

  • They may, for example, approach a plantation under the guise of a slave in order to apprehend a gang of escaped slaves.
  • Some of the sartorial efforts were close to brilliance.
  • They traveled openly by rail and boat, surviving numerous near calls along the way and eventually making it to the North.
  • After dressing as a sailor and getting aboard the train, he tried to trick the conductor by flashing his sailor’s protection pass, which he had obtained from an accomplice.

Enslaved women have hidden in attics and crawlspaces for as long as seven years in order to evade their master’s unwelcome sexual approaches. Another confined himself to a wooden container and transported himself from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, where abolitionists were gathered.

4: Codes, Secret Pathways

Circa 1887, Harriet Tubman (far left) is shown with her family and neighbors at her home in Auburn, New York. Photograph courtesy of MPI/Getty Images The Underground Railroad was almost non-existent in the Deep South, where only a small number of slaves were able to flee. While there was less pro-slavery attitude in the Border States, individuals who assisted enslaved persons there still faced the continual fear of being ratted out by their neighbors and punished by the law enforcement authorities.

In the case of an approaching fugitive, for example, the stationmaster may get a letter referring to them as “bundles of wood” or “parcels.” The terms “French leave” and “patter roller” denoted a quick departure, whilst “slave hunter” denoted a slave hunter.

5: Buying Freedom

The Underground Railroad, on the other hand, functioned openly and shamelessly for long of its duration, despite the passing of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, which prescribed heavy fines for anybody proven to have helped runaways. Stationmasters in the United States claimed to have sheltered thousands of escaped slaves, and their activities were well documented. A former enslaved man who became a stationmaster in Syracuse, New York, even referred to himself in writing as the “keeper of the Underground Railroad depot” in his hometown of Syracuse, New York.

At times, abolitionists would simply purchase the freedom of an enslaved individual, as they did in the case of Sojourner Truth.

Besides that, they worked to sway public opinion by funding talks by Truth and other former slaves to convey the miseries of bondage to public attention.

6. Fighting

The Underground Railroad volunteers would occasionally band together in large crowds to violently rescue fleeing slaves from captivity and terrify slave catchers into going home empty-handed if all else failed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, John Brown was one among those who advocated for the use of brutal force. Abolitionist leader John Brown led a gang of armed abolitionists into Missouri before leading a failed uprising in Harpers Ferry, where they rescued 11 enslaved individuals and murdered an enslaver.

Brown was followed by pro-slavery troops throughout the voyage.

The Underground Railroad

WGBHA For a number of reasons, African-Americans fled slavery in the South to the north. Many slaves were driven to risk their lives in order to escape plantation life because of brutal physical punishment, psychological torture, and countless hours of hard labor without remuneration. When a master passed away, it was customary for slaves to be sold as part of the estate and for familial links to be severed. However, while some slaves journeyed with families or friends, the vast majority traveled alone, relying on the charity of fellow African Americans or abolitionist whites they met along the road for help.

  1. African American men and women of all ages escaped from the plantation and travelled north in search of liberty and opportunity.
  2. Escape from the deep South and make it north to New York, Massachusetts, or Canada required a trek of hundreds of miles, much of which was done on foot, to get there.
  3. Runaway slave advertising in local newspapers were routinely issued by plantation owners whose slaves had gotten away.
  4. Not all fugitive slaves made their way to the North.
  5. Some runaways created freedmen’s encampments in harsh rural places where they could remain concealed from slave catchers and local law enforcement agencies, while others chose urban settings.
  6. The trip to freedom for slaves who resided in border states such as Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia may be short and less terrifying if they lived in one of these states.
  7. Slaves who resided in areas where they had access to freshwater and saltwater ports were frequently stowed away or employed as crew members on Northbound boats.

After the enactment of the second Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, escaping from bondage became more difficult than it had ever been.

Federal marshals who failed to enforce the law against fugitive slaves, as well as anybody who assisted them, were subjected to harsh punishment.

Hicksite Quakers and other abolitionists in the North were among those who supplied some of the most organized assistance for the Underground Railroad.

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The vast majority of the thousands of slaves who attempted to flee the farms each year were unsuccessful.

Others were escorted back to their homes in chains after being apprehended by law enforcement or professional slave catchers.

In 1791, a statute was established in Upper Canada, which is now Ontario, to progressively phase out slavery over a period of time.

The Underground Railroad thrived in communities such as Rochester and Buffalo, which were close to the boundaries of Upper Canada and were hotbeds of activity. Canada represented the Promised Land for those who had braved the long voyage and all of its difficulties.

The Underground Railroad

At the time of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, locations, and individuals that assisted enslaved persons in the American South in their attempts to flee to freedom in the northern states. Subjects History of the United States, Social StudiesImage

Home of Levi Coffin

Levi Coffin’s residence in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lived as an American Quaker and abolitionist. This was a station on the Underground Railroad, a network of routes, locations, and individuals that assisted enslaved persons in escaping to the North during the Civil War. Cincinnati Museum Center provided the photography. “> During the age of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, locations, and individuals that assisted enslaved persons in the American South in escaping to the North, according to the Underground Railroad Museum.

Although it was not a real railroad, it fulfilled the same function as one: it carried passengers across large distances.

The people who worked for the Underground Railroad were driven by a passion for justice and a desire to see slavery abolished—a drive that was so strong that they risked their lives and jeopardized their own freedom in order to assist enslaved people in escaping from bondage and staying safe while traveling the Underground Railroad.

  1. As the network expanded, the railroad metaphor became more prevalent.
  2. In recent years, academic research has revealed that the vast majority of persons who engaged in the Underground Railroad did it on their own, rather than as part of a larger organization.
  3. According to historical tales of the railroad, conductors frequently pretended to be enslaved persons in order to smuggle runaways out of plantation prisons and train stations.
  4. Often, the conductors and passengers traveled 16–19 kilometers (10–20 miles) between each safehouse stop, which was a long distance in this day and age.
  5. Patrols on the lookout for enslaved persons were usually on their tails, chasing them down.
  6. Historians who study the railroad, on the other hand, find it difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction.
  7. Eric Foner is one of the historians that belongs to this group.
  8. Despite this, the Underground Railroad was at the center of the abolitionist struggle during the nineteenth century.
  9. Levi Coffin’s residence in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lived as an American Quaker and abolitionist.
  10. Cincinnati Museum Center provided the photography.
  11. Person who is owned by another person or group of people is referred to as an enslaved person.

Slavery is a noun that refers to the act of owning another human being or being owned by another human being (also known as servitude). Abolitionists utilized this nounsystem between 1800 and 1865 to aid enslaved African Americans in their attempts to flee to free states.

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According to National Geographic Society’s Sarah Appleton, Margot Willis is a National Geographic Society photographer.

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Underground Railroad

When describing a network of meeting spots, hidden routes, passages, and safehouses used by slaves in the United States to escape slave-holding states and seek refuge in northern states and Canada, the Underground Railroad was referred to as the Underground Railroad (UR). The underground railroad, which was established in the early 1800s and sponsored by persons active in the Abolitionist Movement, assisted thousands of slaves in their attempts to escape bondage. Between 1810 and 1850, it is estimated that 100,000 slaves escaped from bondage in the southern United States.

Facts, information and articles about the Underground Railroad

Aproximate year of birth: 1780

Ended

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

Slaves Freed

Estimates range between 6,000 and 10,000.

Prominent Figures

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

Related Reading:

The Story of How Canada Became the Final Station on the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman’s Legacy as a Freedom Fighter and a Spion is well documented.

The Beginnings Of the Underground Railroad

Even before the nineteenth century, it appears that a mechanism to assist runaways existed. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with the assistance provided to one of his escaped slaves by “a organization of Quakers, founded for such purposes.” The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers as they are more officially known, were among the first abolitionist organizations to emerge. Their influence may have played a role in Pennsylvania becoming the first state to abolish slavery, which was home to a large number of Quakers.

In recognition of his contributions, Levi is often referred to as the “president of the Underground Railroad.” In Fountain City, Ohio, on Ohio’s western border, the eight-room Indiana home they bought and used as a “station” before they came to Cincinnati has been preserved and is now a National Historic Landmark.

“Eliza” was one of the slaves who hid within it, and her narrative served as the inspiration for the character of the same name in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The Underground Railroad Gets Its Name

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

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

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

The slave or slaves were forced to flee from their masters, which was frequently done at night.

Conductors On The Railroad

A “conductor,” who pretended to be a slave, would sometimes accompany fugitives to a plantation in order to lead them on their journey. Harriet Tubman, a former slave who traveled to slave states 19 times and liberated more than 300 people, is one of the most well-known “conductors.” She used her shotgun to threaten death to any captives who lost heart and sought to return to slavery. The Underground Railroad’s operators faced their own set of risks as well. If someone living in the North was convicted of assisting fugitives in their escape, he or she could face fines of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which was a significant sum at the time; however, in areas where abolitionism was strong, the “secret” railroad was openly operated, and no one was arrested.

His position as the most significant commander of the Underground Railroad in and around Albany grew as time went on.

However, in previous times of American history, the phrase “vigilance committee” generally refers to citizen organizations that took the law into their own hands, prosecuting and hanging those suspected of crimes when there was no local government or when they considered the local authority was corrupt or weak.

White males who were found assisting slaves in their escape were subjected to heavier punishments than white women, but both were likely to face at the very least incarceration.

The most severe punishments, such as hundreds of lashing with a whip, burning, or hanging, were reserved for any blacks who were discovered in the process of assisting fugitive fugitives on the loose.

The Civil War On The Horizon

Events such as the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott decision compelled more anti-slavery activists to take an active part in the effort to liberate slaves in the United States. After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, Southern states began to secede in December 1860, putting an end to the Union’s hopes of achieving independence from the United States. Abolitionist newspapers and even some loud abolitionists warned against giving the remaining Southern states an excuse to separate. Lucia Bagbe (later known as Sara Lucy Bagby Johnson) is considered to be the final slave who was returned to bondage as a result of the Fugitive Slave Law.

Her owner hunted her down and arrested her in December 1860.

Even the Cleveland Leader, a Republican weekly that was traditionally anti-slavery and pro-the Fugitive Slave Legislation, warned its readers that allowing the law to run its course “may be oil thrown upon the seas of our nation’s difficulties,” according to the newspaper.

In her honor, a Grand Jubilee was celebrated on May 6, 1863, in the city of Cleveland.

The Reverse Underground Railroad

A “reverse Underground Railroad” arose in the northern states surrounding the Ohio River during the Civil War. The black men and women of those states, whether or not they had previously been slaves, were occasionally kidnapped and concealed in homes, barns, and other structures until they could be transported to the South and sold as slaves.

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OurStory : Activities : Slave Live and the Underground Railroad : More Information

The Underground Railroad’s historical context Harriet Tubman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. The Library of Congress has provided permission to use this image. During the 1800s, nearly one hundred thousand slaves attempted to gain their freedom by fleeing their masters’ possessions. These courageous Black Americans walked north toward free states and Canada via hidden routes known as the Underground Railroad, or south into Mexico on routes known as the Underground Railroad. Through their assistance to the runaways, free Blacks, Whites, Native Americans, and former slaves served as “conductors.” The vast majority of those who contributed were everyday individuals, such as storekeepers, housewives, carpenters, clergy, farmers, and educators.

  • Others, referred to as “agents,” sought to liberate the slaves by providing them with new clothing, collecting money for food and medication, training them to read and write, and giving lectures to persuade others that slavery was immoral.
  • A slave grinding grain with a mortar and pestle.
  • Smithsonian Institution |
  • View a bigger version Passengers were the term used to refer to slaves who traveled on the Underground Railroad.
  • A group of volunteers called “agents” tried to free the slaves by providing them with new clothes, collecting money for food and medication, training them to read and write, and giving lectures to persuade people that slavery was immoral.
  • Everyone who took part in the Underground Railroad shown incredible bravery.
  • The people who assisted slaves were likewise in grave risk, yet they persisted in their efforts because they regarded slavery to be unconstitutional.

With Minty, a novel created by Alan Schroeder, you may learn more about Harriet Tubman when she was a tiny girl who dreamed of independence. return to the Slave Life and the Underground Railroad page

‘Gateway To Freedom’: Heroes, Danger And Loss On The Underground Railroad

Before the discovery of Sydney Howard Gay’s database of fleeing slaves by a Columbia University freshman in 2007, very few researchers were aware of the existence of the record until 2007. The Underground Railroad’s Gay was an important operator from around the mid-1840s until about a year before the outbreak of the Civil War. He also served as the editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard, a weekly newspaper published in Washington, D.C. When historian and Columbia University professor Eric Foner first examined the record, he recognized it was something special: it detailed the identities of runaway slaves, as well as their origins, owners, methods of escape, and those who assisted them on their journey to the North, among other things.

It is possible that people’s memories are little inaccurate, or that they are slightly inflated “Foner speaks with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

“Foner describes the Big Migration as “a great social movement of the mid-19th century — and these are the things that motivate me in American history,” including “the fight of people to make this a better country.” That, in my opinion, is what true patriotism is all about.”

Interview Highlights

On the many modes of conveyance that slaves used to flee their masters Eric Foner is a history professor at Columbia University who has published many books about the period surrounding the American Civil War. He has received several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Lincoln Prize. (Photo courtesy of Daniella Zalcman/W.W. Norton & Company.) We tend to think of fleeing slaves when we think about fugitive slaves. Individuals fleeing, hiding in the woods during the day and moving at night are all possibilities.

  • And they managed to get away by using every method of conveyance conceivable.
  • A large number of them arrived by boat from locations like Maryland and Virginia — they stowed aboard on vessels that were moving north, frequently with the assistance of black crew members — or by rail from other parts of the country.
  • The records that were preserved provide a true sense of the creativity that many of these fugitives had in devising several various methods of evading capture in the South.
  • Occasionally, family groupings were successful in fleeing together; but, escaping with a young kid would be extremely difficult and would increase the likelihood of being apprehended significantly.
  • Generally speaking, it was not easy most of the time.
  • Women made up around a quarter of the population.
  • Concerning the normal hazards encountered on the road to liberation The whole southern region resembled a military installation.

It was their responsibility to keep an eye out on the roadways for slaves who had wandered away from their farms or plantations for any cause.

According to the legislation, every white person was required to keep an eye out for slaves who were in some way breaking the rules of the community.

If a slave was traveling on the road in any capacity, they were required to carry “free papers” to verify that they were a free person, as well as some sort of permit from their master granting them permission to visit a town or another plantation, or anything similar.

Today, when racial tensions can be quite high, it is especially important to remember this.

Frederick Douglass — who managed to flee from Maryland before the Underground Railroad became fully operational in 1838 — wrote in his autobiography of his concern that “every white person” was out to get him.

The stories I tell are of people who were apprehended in Philadelphia or New York City, often without going through any legal procedure at all, and then sent to the South, where they were enslaved again.

It was nowhere near as well-organized as that.

in what I refer to as the “metropolitan corridor of the East,” which stretches from places like Norfolk, Va., up to Washington, Baltimore, and points in between, including Delaware, Philadelphia, New York, and other cities in the region.

Each of them was in constant conversation with the other.

These enterprises were sometimes extremely efficient, while at other times they were on the verge of becoming extinct.

As a result, it should not be considered a well ordered system.

I don’t believe more than a dozen persons were actively engaged in supporting escaped slaves in New York City at any given time, but they were quite effective at what they did.

After all, by assisting fleeing slaves, they are in violation of both federal and state laws in the United States.

Myth 1: The Underground Railroad, or indeed the entire abolitionist movement, was an act of humanitarian whites on behalf of helpless blacks; the heroes were the white abolitionists who assisted these fugitive slaves.

The reality is that black people were integrally involved in every part of the slave rebellion, and I appreciate those who put their lives on the line to help slaves flee their oppressive conditions.

When they arrived in Philadelphia or New York City, free blacks from the surrounding area aided them all the way up.

The Underground Railroad was open to people of all races. When racial tensions might be particularly high nowadays, it’s important to remember that this was an example of black and white people uniting in a shared cause to advance the causes of liberty. NPR 2022 has copyright protection.

Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865

Running away slaves from slave states to the North and Canada were assisted by white and African American abolitionists, who set up a network of hiding sites around the country where fugitives could conceal themselves during the day and move under cover of night. In spite of the fact that the majority of runaways preferred to travel on foot and trains were rarely used, the secret network was referred to as the “Underground Railroad” by all parties involved. The term first appeared in literature in 1852, when Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote about a secret “underground” line in her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

  1. Those working in the Underground Railroad utilized code terms to keep their identities hidden from others.
  2. While traveling on the Underground Railroad, both runaways and conductors had to endure terrible conditions, harsh weather, and acute starvation.
  3. Many were willing to put their lives on the line, especially after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act made it illegal to provide assistance to escaped slaves, even in free areas.
  4. At the time, an abolitionist came to the conclusion that “free colored people shared equal fate with the breathless and the slave.” Listen to a tape of filmmaker Gary Jenkins talking on the Underground Railroad in the West at the Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri.
  5. Underground Railroad routes that extended into Kansas and branched out into northern states like as Iowa and Nebraska, as well as all the way into Canada, were often utilized by the fugitives.

When asked about his feelings on doing so much good for the oppressed while doing so much harm to the oppressors, one conductor from Wakarusa, Kansas, responded, “I feel pretty happy and thankfullthat I have been able to do so much good for the oppressed, so much harm to the oppressors.” It was not uncommon for well-known persons to be connected with the Underground Railroad, such as Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and then returned 19 times to the South to help emancipate over 300 slaves.

  • Tubman was said to have carried a revolver in order to guarantee that she never lost track of a passenger.
  • Individuals from Kansas also played significant roles, such as Enoch and Luther Platt, who managed railroad stations out of their house in Wabaunsee County, Kansas Territory, in the 1850s.
  • It is possible for “shareholders” to make donations to such groups, which may be used to supply supplies or to construct additional lines.
  • In addition to developing new routes, members of assistance organisations evaluated the routes to ensure that men, women, and children could travel in safety on them.

During an escape, engineers guided passengers and notified the remainder of the train to reroute if there was a threat to the train’s integrity. The Underground Railroad: A Deciphering Guide

  • The Underground Railroad, also known as the Freedom or Gospel Train
  • Cargo, passengers, or luggage: fugitives from justice
  • The StationorDepot is a safe haven for fugitives from slavery. A person who escorted fugitive slaves between stations was known as a conductor, engineer, agent, or shepherd. The term “stationmaster” refers to someone who oversaw a station and assisted runaways along their path. shareholder or stockholder: an abolitionist who made financial donations to the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War

Conductors from Kansas may easily cross the border into Missouri in order to establish contact with suspected runaway passengers. During the war, slaves residing in Missouri, which was so near to the free state of Kansas, were especially enticed to utilize the Underground Railroad to cross the border into the free state of Kansas to escape. Despite the fact that he did not know exact ways into Kansas, one African-American man expressed his confidence in his ability to reach Lawrence, a town around 40 miles from the state line and home to “the Yankees,” which means “the Yankees are waiting for you.” Conductors frequently provided fugitives with clothing and food for their excursions, and even did it at their own expense on occasion.

  • Due to the possibility of being questioned by pursuers, several conductors preferred not to know specific information about the fugitives they assisted.
  • In the aftermath of their successful escapes to other free states, a small number of passengers returned to Kansas, including William Dominick Matthews, a first lieutenant in the Independent Battery of the United States Colored Light Artillery in Fort Leavenworth.
  • Matthews maintained a boarding house in Leavenworth, Kansas, with the assistance of Daniel R.
  • Anthony.
  • Aside from that, as could be expected, very little is known about the specific individuals and families that aided or were assisted by the Underground Railroad.
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Suggested Reading:

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.”

See Also

  1. “The Hippocrene Guide to the Underground Railroad,” by Charles L. Blockson, et al. Hippocrene Books, New York, NY, 1994
  2. 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
  3. 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)
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Roseboom, Eugene H. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002
  8. 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)
  9. Siebert, Wibur H. “The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom.” RussellRussell, New York, 1898
  10. Siebert, Wilbur Henry, New York, 1898. Ohio was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Lesick, Lawrence Thomas
  11. Arthur W. McGraw, 1993
  12. 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
  13. 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.

Language of Slavery – Underground Railroad (U.S. National Park Service)

While African Americans were subjected to physical bonds, their minds and souls were free to roam the earth. Many of the names used to describe fugitive African Americans were created by the slave-holding socioeconomic system in the South, or by certain condescending abolitionists in the North. Therefore, these expressions tend to represent how slave-holding culture perceived African Americans’ aspirations to achieve independence from slavery. An alternative vocabulary is being used by the National Park Service and its allies, one that is evocative of the freedom that Underground Railroad members dreamt of, worked toward, and finally achieved.

  • Abolitionists are prohibited from acting on their antislavery ideals by assisting persons in their attempts to escape slavery.
  • This individual may, from time to time, be of assistance to a freedom seeker.
  • It is possible for the activist to belong to any ethnic, political, or religious organization.
  • It is preferred to the term “slave” since the term “bondsman” implies a condition imposed by the government.
  • “Chattel” might be bequeathed in a will, sold, or transferred without the consent of the enslaved person who was the beneficiary.
  • A conductor did not have to be a member of an organized section of the Underground Railroad; rather, he or she merely needed to be someone who gave some kind of instruction to the freedom seeking in order to qualify.
  • This phrase is frequently used to refer to the freedom of a person or a group.

The term is well-known because of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued in January 1863 and released African Americans who had been slaves in the Confederacy.

The name was connected to the numerous Fugitive Slave Laws (1793, 1850) imposed by the United States Congress, and it implies that the “fugitive” was committing a crime by attempting to flee from bondage or slavery.

The emancipation of an individual or group of enslaved African Americans via the power of their will, purchase, legal petition, or legislative intervention.

Individuals might be freed as a favor by slaveowners, or favored persons would be selected to be freed upon the slaveholder’s death.

The terms “manumission” and “emancipation” are sometimes used to refer to different things.

A community or a member of a small group of enslaved African Americans who fled slavery and lived in a remote location is defined as: (like a swamp or the mountains).

It was in the Everglades and in the Great Dismal Swamp that maroon settlements may be found.

He or she may assist in the planning of an escape, act as a “conductor,” or provide assistance to those attempting to flee.

Rights like as habeas corpus, trial by jury, and safeguards from seizure were protected by these statutes, which stood in direct contradiction to the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850 that sought to apprehend and punish anyone who attempted to flee.

Such statutes demonstrate the rising opposition to slavery in the Northern hemisphere.

Booth and United States v.

Enslaved African Americans who were purchased by others in order to be freed from their enslaving conditions.

Some freedom seekers did not want their freedom, which they believed to be a God-given right, if it had to be purchased with money.

Alternatively, an escapee.

The phrases “fugitive” and “asylum seeker” tend to be derogatory toward those seeking asylum.

Alternatively, they may be enslaved.

While not all historical references to “slave and enslaved” are included on this website, the terms are used to describe the tens of millions of abducted Africans who were carried to the Americas and held in bondage from the sixteenth century until the American Civil War.

Although this word pertains to the condition of African Americans from the perspective of slaveholding society, it is especially applicable when a freedom seeking is referred to as a “escaped slave.” The African American desire to reclaim control of his or her status from the slaveholder and place it in the hands of someone of their own choosing is illustrated in Freedom Seeker.

For its part, the painting “Enslaved” depicts a person’s position inside the social and economic framework of the dominant society, rather than an internalized or intellectual state.

The terms “slaveholder” and “Southerner” are frequently used interchangeably, which is unfortunate.

Nonetheless, slavery was so pervasive that slaveholders were able to relocate their property into free nations, particularly after the Dred Scott decision, and utilise that property in the same way they would have done so in slave states.

To regionalize slavery, to establish specific limits around such a fluid system, only helps to restrict a larger, potentially borderless vision of slavery, freedom seekers, and the Underground Railroad.

Members might be low-income whites or wealthy property owners, among other things.

They would detain black people and demand “passes” or other types of identification to prove that the black people were not attempting to gain independence.

They were referred to as “patrollers” or “patty rollers” by others.

The “station,” which served as a safe haven for traveling freedom seekers and was guarded by a stationmaster, came in a variety of shapes and sizes.

An individual who gave refuge or a safe haven for those seeking political asylum.

It was the stationmaster’s responsibility to act as a clearinghouse for information about safe routes and surrounding pursuits by authorities, and to communicate with conductors and other stationmasters in order to ensure that freedom seekers were given safe passage upon departure from that station.

The subject was to be released at the conclusion of the predetermined time period. If the slave was sold, the limited number of years of servitude was to be respected. It is regrettable that the difference between “term slave” and “slave for life” was not always adhered to.

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