Routes. 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.
What were the stations on the Underground Railroad?
- William Jackson’s house in Newton, Massachusetts, was a “station” on the Underground Railroad. The Jacksons were abolitionists, people who worked to end slavery.
What is the freedom trail for slaves?
Enshrined in the legends and history of America’s abolitionist movement as ” the Underground Railroad,” it was a clandestine network of escape routes and hiding places maintained by slavery-hating whites and used by slaves fleeing the South for the North in the decades leading up to the Civil War.
How long is the Underground Railroad Trail?
Spanning more than 2,007 miles between Alabama and Canada, the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR) memorializes the network that helped slaves escape to freedom before and during the Civil War.
What was the Underground Railroad short answer?
The Underground Railroad— the resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, through the end of the Civil War—refers to the efforts of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom by escaping bondage. Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape.
Where did the Underground Railroad run from?
These were called “stations,” “safe houses,” and “depots.” The people operating them were called “stationmasters.” There were many well-used routes stretching west through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa. Others headed north through Pennsylvania and into New England or through Detroit on their way to Canada.
Did the Underground Railroad go through Delaware?
A clandestine operation that began during the colonial period became part of organized abolitionist activity in the 19th century, reaching its peak between 1830-1865 – with eastern passage going through Delaware, on the road to freedom in Pennsylvania.
Can you still walk the Underground Railroad?
For more information, go to under Park & Trail Directory, click on “trails.” You can walk the Underground Railroad Trail on your own; free 2½-hour guided walks are offered Saturday mornings.
Can you ride the Underground Railroad?
Biking the Trail of the Underground Railroad: NPR. Biking the Trail of the Underground Railroad A group of cyclists is riding 2,100 miles along the Underground Railroad. The journey from Mobile, Ala., to Ontario, Canada, follows the route that many slaves used to escape to freedom.
Can you hike the Underground Railroad?
Come to where the nation’s best-known “agent” of the Underground Railroad was born and raised. Miles of hiking and water trails within Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge allow visitors to explore the landscape Tubman traversed.
Did the Underground Railroad really exist?
( Actual underground railroads did not exist until 1863.) According to John Rankin, “It was so called because they who took passage on it disappeared from public view as really as if they had gone into the ground. After the fugitive slaves entered a depot on that road no trace of them could be found.
What role did the Underground Railroad play?
The Underground Railroad provided hiding places, food, and often transportation for the fugitives who were trying to escape slavery. Along the way, people also provided directions for the safest way to get further north on the dangerous journey to freedom.
What caused the Underground Railroad?
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.
Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?
Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.
How 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.
How many slaves did Harriet Tubman save?
Fact: According to Tubman’s own words, and extensive documentation on her rescue missions, we know that she rescued about 70 people —family and friends—during approximately 13 trips to Maryland.
Places of the Underground Railroad (U.S. National Park Service)
A map of the United States depicting the many paths that freedom seekers might follow in order to attain freedom. NPS provided the image. When enslaved African Americans attempted to obtain their escape via the use of an underground railroad network of routes, safehouses, and resources distributed across the country, they were referred to as “fugitives from justice.” This attempt was frequently spontaneous, with enslaved persons setting off on their quest to liberation on their own initiative.
During the 1820s and 1830s, the United States experienced a surge in the number of people who sought independence from oppression.
In certain instances, the choice to aid a freedom seeking may have been a result of a spur of the moment decision.
Origins of the Underground Railroad
Enslaved people have long sought liberation, dating back to the earliest days of the institution of slavery. Colonial North America – which included Canada and the northern states of the United States – was heavily involved in the slave trade during the nineteenth century. Newly enslaved Africans frequently fled in groups with the intention of establishing new communities in isolated locations. Slavery was particularly widespread in the northern states, making escape extremely difficult. Before the mid-nineteenth century, Spanish Florida and Mexico were the most popular escape destinations for those fleeing bondage.
- The Clemens’ residence is owned by James and Sarah Clemens.
- Following the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 by Congress, Canada became a shelter for many people who were hoping to gain their freedom.
- Those living in free Black communities in the North were devastated by this.
- However, as a result of these seizures and kidnappings, a large number of individuals were persuaded to provide assistance as part of the Underground Railroad.
- Formerly enslaved men and women also played an important part in assisting freedom seekers, such as the Clemens family, in their quest for freedom.
- In addition to establishing a school and a cemetery, they served as a station on the Underground Railroad from their residence.
Several freedom seekers made their way to Greenville as their last destination. Bethel AME Church is a congregation of African-Americans. Photo by Smallbones, used under a Creative Commons license.
The Role of Women in the Underground Railroad
A large number of women were involved in the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman was one of the most well-known Underground Railroad conductors, having undertaken more than a dozen excursions into slave-holding states to assist oppressed persons in their journey to freedom. Despite the fact that Tubman had several hiding places, oral histories indicate that she regularly stopped at the Bethel AME Church in Greenwich Township, New Jersey, to rest. Freedom seekers traveling north from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Delaware were accommodated in the church, which was located in the center of the Black village of Springtown.
- One of her most well-known routes was through Delaware, which led north.
- CC BY-SA 4.0 license, photo by Historic Newton.
- Mary Jackson and her family, who lived in Massachusetts at the time, donated their farm as a safe haven for anyone fleeing slavery through the Underground Railroad.
- Ellen was instrumental in the establishment of the Freedman’s Aid Society in Newton in 1865.
- Photo by Jim Roberts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
- Due to the fact that the Underground Railroad was made up of a loose network of persons – both enslaved and free – there is little evidence on how it functioned and who was involved.
- When she blogged about her experiences hosting freedom seekers at their home, she received a lot of positive feedback.
- Nathan Thomas House in Schoolcraft, Michigan.
Legacy of the Underground Railroad
Locations related with the Underground Railroad may be found all throughout the United States, and a number of national preservation projects are devoted to recording these historical places of significance. In the case of the National Park Service’sNetwork to Freedomprogram, for example, the program includes locations that may be proven to have a link to the Underground Railroad. By working in conjunction with government agencies, people, and organizations to recognize, preserve, and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, the Network to Freedom hopes to bring attention to this important part of human history.
- The Barney L.
- The public domain is a term used to describe a piece of property that is owned by the public.
- Identification, evaluation, and protection of America’s historic and archeological resources are the goals of this National Park Service initiative, which brings together public and private efforts.
- This is true of places such as theBarney L.
- With the help of the Underground Railroad, Barney was able to escape from his bondage.
- Barney finally settled in Denver, where he made a name for himself as a successful businessman.
- Barney was also an outspoken fighter for African-American civil rights, and he played a crucial part in Colorado’s admittance to the Union as a free state.
- Ford Building contribute to the telling of the tale of the Underground Railroad and its participants – both free and enslaved – in the United States.
Members of the public can assist in the recognition and preservation of locations, structures, and landscapes linked with the Underground Railroad by nominating them to the Network to Freedom or to the National Register of Historic Places.
Underground Railroad Freedom Trail
With the Underground Railroad Freedom Trail, the Harriet Tubman Scenic Byway, which runs through southern Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, will be extended all the way to Independence Mall in Philadelphia, a distance of more than 200 miles. The trail highlights landmarks and tales that indicate not only the significance of the role played by the Underground Railroad in the abolition of slavery, but also how it served as a cornerstone of our nation’s civil rights fight throughout the Civil War.
- The park is dedicated to the legendary heroine of the Underground Railroad.
- To reach the Longwood Progressive Meeting House in Kennett Township, travelers must cross the Mason-Dixon line on Route 52 in Kennett Township.
- The Kennett Underground Railroad Center is now working on the development of various excursions throughout Chester and Delaware counties that will complement the Kennett Underground Railroad Center.
- View the brochure and take a tour of the Kennett Underground Railroad Center.
Five Rail-Trails Along the Underground Railroad
These rail-trails throughout the route are giving linkages to some of the most iconic and historic locations associated with the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR), which stretches more than 2,007 miles between Alabama and Canada, commemorates the network that assisted slaves in their escape to freedom before and during the American Civil War.
A Historic Route
The first section of the route, which was developed in collaboration with the Center for Minority Health (now the Center for Health Equity) at the University of Pittsburgh and multiple advisory teams comprised of historians, preservationists, and researchers, was inspired by a song that slaves sang to communicate from plantation to plantation, titled “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” which refers to following the North Star and waterways to the Ohio River.
On an annual youth trip of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, Adventure Cycling volunteer and Ohio resident Chuck Harmon is joined by a student rider from Bronx Lab School.
This stretch of the trail, which includes several of the rail-trails described in this article and was built with the assistance of Chuck Harmon, a committed volunteer and citizen of Ohio.
Ginny Sullivan, director of travel projects at Adventure Cycling, described the region as “very rich in historical significance.” “Only a small number of freedom searchers made it from the south to the north.
This includes two such individuals in Ripley, Ohio, which is located immediately across the border from Kentucky: John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister who would light a candle (some say a pole with a lamp) to signal to freedom seekers that it was safe to cross the Ohio River, and who was later the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and John Parker, a foundryman and former slave who made the perilous crossing into Kentucky to assist in the emancipation of hundreds of people.
Because fugitive slaves might be returned by slave owners under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, genuine freedom meant abandoning the United States entirely—and the Underground Railroad had safe homes dotting the terrain all the way into Canada as part of its network of safe houses.
Various rail-trails link and illustrate the cultural legacy of an area where heroic conductors risked their lives to guide thousands of people to freedom. These rail-trails may be found all along this route. Below is a list of five individuals who also contribute to Adventure Cycling’s UGRR.
Rail-Trails Along the UGRR
“> Little Miami Scenic Trail in Ohio | Photo courtesy of Jamie Holly| CC bySA-2.0 “> Little Miami Scenic Trail in Ohio Part of the U.S. Great Rivers Railroad (UGRR) is comprised of fifty miles of the 78.1-mile Little Miami Magnificent Trail, which runs from Milford north to Xenia, Ohio and provides a scenic ride through rural river vistas and small communities. Jamie Holly| CC bySA-2.0 The path connects to a number of networks, including a 340-mile off-road system that runs through the Miami Valley and the Ohio to Erie Trail, which is now being constructed and will stretch from Cincinnati to Cleveland for 272-miles.
Over 4,000 persons are believed to have fled here in the course of their journey to freedom, and the Springboro Part Historical Society has identified 27 Underground Railroad stations (in and around the city), which is believed to be the most in any other area of the state.
2 Western Reserve Greenway (Ohio)
“> Hubbard House, located along the Western Reserve Greenway in Ohio | Photo courtesy of Smallcurio| CC by2.0 “> Hubbard House, located along the Western Reserve Greenway in Ohio With a route that stretches 43 miles from Warren to Ashtabula, the Western Reserve Greenway—of which 14.5 miles are a section of the Underground Railroad (from Rock Creek to Ashtabula)—features a dozen Underground Railroad interpretive markers along the 27 miles of its route that runs through Ashtabula County. (Note to bicyclists: pay attention!
It is now a museum dedicated to the Underground Railroad network in the surrounding region, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
3 Prairie Grass Trail/Ohio to Erie Trail (Ohio)
As part of the longer 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail that connects Cleveland and Cincinnati, the picturesque 29-mile Prairie Grass Trail passes through a number of localities that played a role in the Underground Railroad between Xenia and London. The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, which is located just north of Xenia in Wilberforce, is a must-see stop on the tour itinerary. The museum’s mission is to disseminate information about African-American history, art, and culture. Wilberforce is also the location of two historically black colleges and universities: Wilberforce and Central State University of Louisiana.
4 Niagara River Recreation Trail (Canada)
National Park Service| CC by2.0 “> A photograph of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who rose to prominence as an abolitionist and one of the most prominent conductors of the Underground Railroad | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service National Park Service| Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution The Underground Railroad has a long and illustrious history in Canada, as evidenced by the 31 miles (53 kilometers) of the Niagara River Recreation Trail that follows the route of the Underground Railroad.
Legend has it that the owners of Murphy Orchards were Underground Railroad station masters during the Civil War.
The establishment of a historical center (placed in the former 1863 United States Custom House at the Amtrak Station) in May 2018 will honor the bravery of freedom seekers, free African Americans, and abolitionists “who sacrificed their own lives to obtain the most fundamental rights of liberty” (Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Area website).
In St. Catharines, Ontario, a plaque recognizes Harriet Tubman, possibly the most renowned Underground Railroad conductor of all time, who stayed in the region for over a decade and is a little detour off the trail.
5 Georgian Trail (Canada)
It is possible to travel along the UGRR for nine miles of the Georgian Trail, which runs between Collingwood and Meaford in Ontario, Canada. The Georgian Trail is a 21-mile-long (34-kilometer) path connecting the towns of Collingwood and Meaford. A perk for trail users who want a little downtime is that the Georgian Trail begins at picturesque Harbourview Park, which features an arboretum, fishing area, and pergola. It then winds its way through other parks, golf courses, and services that make for a pleasurable day.
Photo courtesy of Adventure Cycling Association, taken by J.
You’ll eventually detour off the route and onto an on-road section that will take you to Owen Sound, which was historically known as the final station on the Underground Railroad.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Underground Railroad, check out these resource listings provided by the Adventure Cycling Association.
Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the southern United States by providing them with refuge and assistance. It came forth as a result of the convergence of numerous separate covert initiatives. Although the exact dates of its inception are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy were carried out in a less-secretive manner until the Civil War ended.
The Society of Friends (Quakers) is often regarded as the first organized group to actively assist escaped enslaved persons. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Quakers for attempting to “liberate” one of his enslaved servants. Abolitionist and Quaker Isaac T. Hopper established a network in Philadelphia in the early 1800s to assist enslaved persons who were on the run from slavery. Abolitionist organisations founded by Quakers in North Carolina lay the basis for escape routes and safe havens for fugitive slaves during the same time period.
What Was the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.
By the 1840s, the phrase “Underground Railroad” had become part of the common lexicon in the United States. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:
How the Underground Railroad Worked
The majority of enslaved persons aided by the Underground Railroad were able to flee to neighboring states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made catching fugitive enslaved persons a lucrative industry in the deep South, and there were fewer hiding places for them as a result of the Act. The majority of fugitive enslaved people were on their own until they reached specific places farther north. The escaping enslaved people were escorted by individuals known as “conductors.” Private residences, churches, and schools were also used as hiding places throughout the war.
The personnel in charge of running them were referred to as “stationmasters.” There were several well-traveled roads that ran west through Ohio and into Indiana and Iowa.
The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.
Fugitive Slave Acts
The Fugitive Slave Acts were a major cause for many fugitive slaves to flee to Canada. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved individuals from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the fleeing enslaved people. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in certain northern states to fight this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to reinforce the preceding legislation, which was perceived by southern states to be insufficiently enforced at the time of passage.
The northern states were still considered a danger zone for fugitives who had managed to flee.
Some Underground Railroad operators chose to station themselves in Canada and sought to assist fugitives who were arriving to settle in the country.
Harriet Tubman was the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad during its heyday. When she and two of her brothers fled from a farm in Maryland in 1849, she was given the name Harriet (her married name was Tubman). She was born Araminta Ross, and she was raised as Harriet Tubman. They returned a couple of weeks later, but Tubman fled on her own again shortly after, this time making her way to the state of Pennsylvania. In following years, Tubman returned to the plantation on a number of occasions to rescue family members and other individuals.
Tubman was distraught until she had a vision of God, which led her to join the Underground Railroad and begin escorting other fugitive slaves to the Maryland state capital.
Tubman transported groups of fugitives to Canada on a regular basis, believing that the United States would not treat them favorably.
In his house in Rochester, New York, former enslaved person and celebrated author Frederick Douglasshid fugitives who were assisting 400 escapees in their journey to freedom in Canada. Reverend Jermain Loguen, a former fugitive who lived in the adjacent city of Syracuse, assisted 1,500 escapees on their journey north. The Vigilance Committee was established in Philadelphia in 1838 by Robert Purvis, an escaped enslaved person who later became a trader. Josiah Henson, a former enslaved person and railroad operator, founded the Dawn Institute in Ontario in 1842 to assist fugitive slaves who made their way to Canada in learning the necessary skills to find work.
Agent,” according to the document.
John Parker was a free Black man living in Ohio who worked as a foundry owner and who used his rowboat to ferry fugitives over the Ohio River.
William Still was a notable Philadelphia citizen who was born in New Jersey to runaway slaves parents who fled to Philadelphia as children.
Who Ran the Underground Railroad?
The vast majority of Underground Railroad operators were regular individuals, including farmers and business owners, as well as preachers and religious leaders. Some affluent individuals were active, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who stood for president on two separate occasions. Smith acquired a full family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841 and freed them from their captivity. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, is credited with being one of the first recorded individuals to assist escaped enslaved persons.
Coffin stated that he had discovered their hiding spots and had sought them out in order to assist them in moving forward.
Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitive enslaved individuals no matter where he was.
Abolitionist John Brown worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was at this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, which was dedicated to assisting fleeing enslaved individuals in their journey to Canada. Abolitionist John Brown would go on to play a variety of roles during his life. His most well-known duty was conducting an assault on Harper’s Ferry in order to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people at gunpoint. Ultimately, Brown’s forces were beaten, and he was executed for treason in 1859.
- The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved lady and her young daughter.
- Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.
- After being apprehended in 1844 while transporting a boatload of freed slaves from the Caribbean to the United States, Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was sentenced to prison for life.
- John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to assist in the rescue of enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their families as they made their way north.
Fairfield’s strategy was to go around the southern United States appearing as a slave broker. He managed to elude capture twice. He died in 1860 in Tennessee, during the American Reconstruction Era.
End of the Line
Operation of the Underground Railroad came to an end in 1863, during the American Civil War. In actuality, its work was shifted aboveground as part of the Union’s overall campaign against the Confederate States of America. Once again, Harriet Tubman made a crucial contribution by organizing intelligence operations and serving as a commanding officer in Union Army efforts to rescue the liberated enslaved people who had been freed. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.
Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad? ‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented.
A Hike Through History: Following the Path of the Underground Railroad
Beky Branagan is shown in the first row, second from the left. Kelly Thomas, Melody Graves, and Brittany Leavitt star in this film. Valarie Morrow, Cliff Sorell, and Christopher Robinson are shown in the back row. In October 2016, a group of seven African-American outdoor enthusiasts set off on a four-day hiking expedition along the Appalachian Trail in the United States (A.T.). Brittany Leavitt, a leader of Outdoor Afro, one of the nation’s first black-led conservation groups, was the driving force behind the group’s formation.
It took the party more than 40 miles across the Blue Ridge Mountains in an attempt to recreate the historical route of the Underground Railroad, which they believe was followed by Harriet Tubman.
From the Mason-Dixon Line, which divides Maryland and Pennsylvania and serves as the most conventional border between the northern and southern United States, the party set off on their journey on October 6.
Despite the severe downpour, Brittany said the climb was “wonderful, really serene, and soothing,” and that “everyone demonstrated tremendous collaboration and high spirits in spite of the torrential downpour.” In the course of the journey, the group pondered what it must have been like for freedom searchers to traverse the treacherous terrain without any equipment.
- The organization addressed these worries by putting in a lot of effort in advance.
- Starting in April, a full six months before the intended departure date, the group met once a week to review progress, share training advice, and keep each other inspired as they prepared for their journey.
- There was less equipment for the novice hikers to purchase, and each hiker had a skilled hiking companion who could assist them gain confidence on their first trek together.
- Along with all of this preparation, the history of the climb served as a constant source of motivation for the group during the journey.
- There were a variety of paths that slaves may take as they headed northward in search of freedom.
- Because of its geographical position, difficult terrain, and variety of hiding places, the woodland corridor along the mountains served as an ideal path for freedom seekers attempting to flee to the North during the Soviet occupation.
- Even while many people have attempted to establish a direct link between the present path of the Appalachian Trail and the historical route of the Underground Railroad, we may never be able to provide conclusive evidence because of the need for secrecy surrounding the routes.
- Although the railroad’s path differed from that of the Appalachian Trail, the link to the region’s history can still be felt with every step.
- Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, Dr.
- Broyld, says that Tubman was “closely associated with the earth’s resources, whether as a muskrat hunter, lumberjack, or conductor of freedom seekers.” Tubman cherished the beauty of the natural environment, which included flowers, trees, animals, and the night sky.
This endeavor requires knowledge of rivers, wind patterns, topography, forestry, astronomical interpretation, and even a grasp of herbal medicine and healing.” As late as the mid-to-late twentieth century approached, the profound biological understanding of the Shenandoah Valley had largely been forgotten.
- Some states, notably Virginia, attempted to prohibit black people from visiting their parks totally beginning in the early 1930s.
- Communities of color are underrepresented in the outdoor recreation space, as has been widely documented in the literature.
- This disparity is the primary goal of Outdoor Afro, and it is their job to address it.
- Today, with over 60 leaders in 28 states from all across the country, the group is effectively connecting thousands of individuals to outdoor activities while also contributing to the transformation of conservation as we know it.
- They have discovered that people of color have always had a role in the environmental movement and that this has always been the case.
Thank you very much to Brittany Leavitt and Outdoor Afro for allowing us to share their story. The author would also like to express his gratitude to his friend Harriet Rowan for her assistance with the editing of this piece. Additional resources include:
- Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage (Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press, 2010)
- Fergus M. Bordewich, Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2005), 353
- Dianne D. Glave, Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage (Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press, 2010)
Outdoor Afro can be found online at OutdoorAfro.com, where you can learn more about the company.
Underground Railroad Experience Trail
The simulated trail was established as part of the Ashton/Sandy Spring Master Plan in 1998, and it did not exist prior to that year. To offer more pedestrian routes in the neighborhood, maintain the rural scenery, and memorialize a portion of Sandy Spring’s and Montgomery County’s history, Montgomery Parks developed this trail in partnership with the Sandy Spring Historical Society. There is no historical proof that the proprietors of Woodlawn Manor or the structures on the grounds were involved in the Underground Railroad movement.
It is a part of the Rachel Carson Greenway and the National Park Service’s National Underground RailroadNetwork to Freedom(opens in a new tab)program, both of which are located in the same location.
The Ashton/Sandy Spring Master Plan was completed in 1998.
What was the Underground Railroad?
Slavery was allowed in America until the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1865, making it unconstitutional. The name “Underground Railroad” refers to a loose covert network of individuals and places that operated in the nineteenth century and assisted enslaved people seeking freedom in northern free states, Canada, and other locations. The network was never actually subterranean, nor was it a railroad in the traditional sense. There are no train tracks or tunnels to explore at this location.
The path and safe homes chosen by the freedom seeker were determined by his or her unique circumstances, starting point, and final goal.
Despite the fact that it was risky for everyone involved, it is an essential aspect of American and Montgomery County history.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
The park grounds and path are available year-round, from sunrise to dark, and are completely free.
- Covid-19: All trail users are advised to adhere to safety recommendations, which include the use of face coverings, social separation, hand washing, and refraining from assembling in large groups that exceed existing restrictions. Trail maps are available for purchase on site, or you may download one from this page. Approximately 4.0 miles round-trip, the natural surface route meanders through fields and woodlands
- Nevertheless, the track is not ADA accessible and is not suited for all strollers. Bicycles are not permitted on the premises. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times. It is advised that you wear comfortable hiking shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and use sunscreen and bug repellent. Tick season is here, and there is free parking nearby. During weekends with high visitor traffic, parking may be limited. To make arrangements for a visit to Woodlawn, groups of 35 or more should call or email the Woodlawn Reservations Office at 301-929-5989 (Press 5) or [email protected] at least 5 business days ahead to their visit. Additionally, online educational tools are now accessible to supplement a self-guided visit to the museum.
For more information about guided group hikes and tours, please visit our website. For information on guided public hikes and for WMCP educational resources, please visit our website.
To photograph or film on the path or park grounds, a permit must be obtained in advance from the National Park Service. [email protected]
NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
Obtaining liberation by self-emancipation came at a very steep cost for Africans and people of African heritage who had been enslaved in North America. Their lives were on the line. While they were attempting to flee during the 17th through 19th centuries, the precise problems they encountered varied depending on where in the nation they were hiding. Increasing numbers of individuals stepped up to assist when legal servitude in Canada and many of the newly founded northern states was abolished in the late 18th century.
- The Underground Railroad was the name given to this network of networks.
- A thorough inquiry has been required to address the disinformation that has been spread about the covert network, which was intended to stay secret.
- The lives of a few well-known individuals have overshadowed the contributions of countless others.
- The development of criteria for the correct identification of individuals has resulted in the removal of several purported sites from the list of train “stops.” The incorrect idea that quilts were used to designate safe places has been disproved by scientific evidence.
- Because of New York’s proximity to other free states and Canada, a large number of travelers passed through on their route.
- It was also important to have access to New York’s waterways, which allowed individuals to sail to regions where they could dwell freely or to reduce their overland treks.
- We at the New York State Historic Preservation Office are collaborating with public and private museums, people, and organizations to deliver the most up-to-date information to the public.
This crucial chapter in the history of our state and nation is something we aspire to be a constant conduit of study for.
- The hidden narrative behind this journey to freedom is revealed by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner in his new book. a branch of the Underground Railroad in New York
- Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage AreaCenter is only one more river to cross. New York is the great ‘central depot’ of the Underground Railroad, and it is worth exploring. Travel via the Underground Railroad in New York
- The National Park Service has designated October as International Underground Railroad History Month. This website serves as a portal to the Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State, as well as to its collaborators from around the state. Stephen and Harriet Myers Home — abolitionists in Albany who also served as a UGRR safe house
- Harriet Tubman National Historic Park — Located in Auburn, New York, this park commemorates the famed conductor of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman. North Star Underground Railroad Museum – Ausable Chasm, New York
- North Star Underground Railroad Museum – New York City
- New York Abolitionist Gerrit Smith’s Estate is located in Peterborough, New York. Among the attractions are the Plymouth Church of Pilgrims, a historic Brooklyn church where Henry Ward Beecher served and participated in the anti-slavery struggle
- The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
- And the Museum of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (MoMA).
Runaway slaves were captured and returned to their owners under the terms of the Fugitive Slave Acts, which were a set of federal statutes passed in 1850 and 1851, respectively, in the United States.
- The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was passed. Owners or their agents were given permission to seek for fugitives in the free states and transfer them back to their original location if found. (pdf)
- The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed to protect fugitive slaves. In addition to allowing the federal government expanded search and seizure authority inside free states and territories, the 1850 Act made the federal government accountable for locating, returning, and prosecuting fugitive slaves. (pdf)
This Maryland Quaker Town Was a Major Stop on the Underground Railroad
During the seventeenty-second century, Christian Quakers founded the community of Sandy Spring, Maryland. Within their own ranks, the Quakers forbade members of their religion from enslaving anyone, and a community of ex enslaved people moved into the region to live alongside the Quakers. Eventually, these two factions would collaborate to create the town a significant stop on the Underground Railroad, which assisted enslaved persons from the American South in their escape to the North. From its inception in the early 1800s and continuing through the American Civil War and the eventual abolition of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a loosely organized network of routes and safehouses that people fleeing slavery would use to travel north, sometimes as far as Canada, in order to find safety.
The Underground Railroad Trail Experience is a walking tour that takes visitors on a journey through history.
In addition to passing through hollowed-out trees that may have served as food caches, the path also passes by stones that may have served as trail markers for escaping slaves as they made their way through the deep forest and across fields and waterways.
Sandy Spring is a small community in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.
Know Before You Go
The park is open all year, but parking is restricted, so if you want to visit on a weekend, get there as early as possible. The route itself is 2 miles one-way and 4 miles round trip in total length. It travels across hilly terrain, through creeks, and through farms, so be sure to dress accordingly. Additionally, the Sandy Spring Slave Museum and the ancient Quaker Friends Meeting House may be found at Sandy Spring. The Meeting House may be visited by taking a little detour off the route, and the Slave Museum is only a short drive away from the Meeting House and the walk.
The True History Behind Amazon Prime’s ‘Underground Railroad’
If you want to know what this country is all about, I always say, you have to ride the rails,” the train’s conductor tells Cora, the fictitious protagonist of Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novelThe Underground Railroad, as she walks into a boxcar destined for the North. As you race through, take a look about you to see the genuine face of America.” Cora’s vision is limited to “just blackness, mile after mile,” according to Whitehead, as she peers through the carriage’s slats. In the course of her traumatic escape from servitude, the adolescent eventually understands that the conductor’s remark was “a joke.
- Cora and Caesar, a young man enslaved on the same Georgia plantation as her, are on their way to liberation when they encounter a dark other world in which they use the railroad to go to freedom.
- ” The Underground Railroad,” a ten-part limited series premiering this week on Amazon Prime Video, is directed by Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins and is based on the renowned novel by Alfred North Whitehead.
- When it comes to portraying slavery, Jenkins takes a similar approach to Whitehead’s in the series’ source material.
- “And as a result, I believe their individuality has been preserved,” Jenkins says Felix.
The consequences of their actions are being inflicted upon them.” Here’s all you need to know about the historical backdrop that informs both the novel and the streaming adaptation of “The Underground Railroad,” which will premiere on May 14th. (There will be spoilers for the novel ahead.)
Did Colson Whitehead baseThe Underground Railroadon a true story?
“The reality of things,” in Whitehead’s own words, is what he aims to portray in his work, not “the facts.” His characters are entirely made up, and the story of the book, while based on historical facts, is told in an episodic style, as is the case with most episodic fiction. This book traces Cora’s trek to freedom, describing her lengthy trip from Georgia to the Carolinas, Tennessee and Indiana.) Each step of the journey presents a fresh set of hazards that are beyond Cora’s control, and many of the people she meets suffer horrible ends.) What distinguishes The Underground Railroad from previous works on the subject is its presentation of the titular network as a physical rather than a figurative transportation mechanism.
According to Whitehead, who spoke to NPR in 2016, this alteration was prompted by his “childhood belief” that the Underground Railroad was a “literal tunnel beneath the earth”—a misperception that is surprisingly widespread.
Webber Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons While the Underground Railroad was composed of “local networks of anti-slavery people,” both Black and white, according to Pulitzer Prize–winning historianEric Foner, the Underground Railroad actually consisted of “local networks of anti-slavery people, both Black and white, who assisted fugitives in various ways,” from raising funds for the abolitionist cause to taking cases to court to concealing runaways in safe houses.
Although the actual origins of the name are unknown, it was in widespread usage by the early 1840s.
Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, argues that the Underground Railroad should be referred to as the “Abolitionist Underground” rather than the “Underground Railroad” because the people who ran it “were not just ordinary, well-meaning Northern white citizens, activists, particularly in the free Black community,” she says.
As Foner points out, however, “the majority of the initiative, and the most of the danger, fell on the shoulders of African-Americans who were fleeing.” a portrait taken in 1894 of Harriet Jacobs, who managed to hide in an attic for nearly seven years after fleeing from slavery.
Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “Recognizable historical events and patterns,” according to Foner, are used by Whitehead in a way that is akin to that of the late Toni Morrison.
According to Sinha, these effects may be seen throughout Cora’s journey.
According to Foner, author of the 2015 bookGateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, “the more you know about this history, the more you can appreciate what Whitehead is doing in fusing the past and the present, or perhaps fusing the history of slavery with what happened after the end of slavery.”
What time period doesThe Underground Railroadcover?
Caesar (Aaron Pierre) and Cora (Thuso Mbedu) believe they’ve discovered a safe haven in South Carolina, but their new companions’ behaviors are based on a belief in white supremacy, as seen by their deeds. Kyle Kaplan is a producer at Amazon Studios. The Underground Railroad takes place around the year 1850, which coincides with the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act. Runaways who had landed in free states were targeted by severe regulations, and those who supported them were subjected to heavy punishments.
In spite of the fact that it was intended to hinder the Underground Railroad, according to Foner and Sinha, the legislation actually galvanized—and radicalized—the abolitionist cause.
“Every time the individual switches to a different condition, the novel restarts,” the author explains in his introduction.
” Cora’s journey to freedom is replete with allusions to pivotal moments in post-emancipation history, ranging from the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in the mid-20th century to white mob attacks on prosperous Black communities in places like Wilmington, North Carolina (targeted in 1898), and Tulsa, Oklahoma (targeted in 1898).
According to Spencer Crew, former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and emeritus director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, this “chronological jumble” serves as a reminder that “the abolition of slavery does not herald the abolition of racism and racial attacks.” This problem has survived in many forms, with similar effects on the African American community,” says the author.
What real-life events doesThe Underground Railroaddramatize?
In Whitehead’s envisioned South Carolina, abolitionists provide newly liberated people with education and work opportunities, at least on the surface of things. However, as Cora and Caesar quickly discover, their new companions’ conviction in white superiority is in stark contrast to their kind words. (Eugenicists and proponents of scientific racism frequently articulated opinions that were similar to those espoused by these fictitious characters in twentieth-century America.) An inebriated doctor, while conversing with a white barkeep who moonlights as an Underground Railroad conductor, discloses a plan for his African-American patients: I believe that with targeted sterilization, initially for the women, then later for both sexes, we might liberate them from their bonds without worry that they would slaughter us in our sleep.
- “Controlled sterilization, research into communicable diseases, the perfecting of new surgical techniques on the socially unfit—was it any wonder that the best medical talents in the country were flocking to South Carolina?” the doctor continues.
- The state joined the Union in 1859 and ended slavery inside its borders, but it specifically incorporated the exclusion of Black people from its borders into its state constitution, which was finally repealed in the 1920s.
- In this image from the mid-20th century, a Tuskegee patient is getting his blood taken.
- There is a ban on black people entering the state, and any who do so—including the numerous former slaves who lack the financial means to flee—are murdered in weekly public rituals.
- The plot of land, which is owned by a free Black man called John Valentine, is home to a thriving community of runaways and free Black people who appear to coexist harmoniously with white residents on the property.
- An enraged mob of white strangers destroys the farm on the eve of a final debate between the two sides, destroying it and slaughtering innocent onlookers.
- There is a region of blackness in this new condition.” Approximately 300 people were killed when white Tulsans demolished the thriving Black enclave of Greenwood in 1921.
- Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons According to an article published earlier this year by Tim Madigan for Smithsonianmagazine, a similar series of events took place in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, which was known locally as “Black Wall Street,” in June 1921.
- Madigan pointed out that the slaughter was far from an isolated incident: “In the years preceding up to 1921, white mobs murdered African Americans on hundreds of instances in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Duluth, Charleston, and other places,” according to the article.
In addition, Foner explains that “he’s presenting you the variety of options,” including “what freedom may actually entail, or are the constraints on freedom coming after slavery?” “It’s about. the legacy of slavery, and the way slavery has twisted the entire civilization,” says Foner of the film.
How doesThe Underground Railroadreflect the lived experience of slavery?
“How can I construct a psychologically plausible plantation?” Whitehead is said to have pondered himself while writing on the novel. According to theGuardian, the author decided to think about “people who have been tortured, brutalized, and dehumanized their whole lives” rather than depicting “a pop culture plantation where there’s one Uncle Tom and everyone is just incredibly nice to each other.” For the remainder of Whitehead’s statement, “Everyone will be battling for the one additional mouthful of food in the morning, fighting for the tiniest piece of property.” According to me, this makes sense: “If you put individuals together who have been raped and tortured, this is how they would behave.” Despite the fact that she was abandoned as a child by her mother, who appears to be the only enslaved person to successfully escape Ridgeway’s clutches, Cora lives in the Hob, a derelict building reserved for outcasts—”those who had been crippled by the overseers’ punishments,.
who had been broken by the labor in ways you could see and in ways you couldn’t see, who had lost their wits,” as Whitehead describes Cora is played by Mbedu (center).
With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima While attending a rare birthday party for an older enslaved man, Cora comes to the aid of an orphaned youngster who mistakenly spills some wine down the sleeve of their captor, prompting him to flee.
Cora agrees to accompany Caesar on his journey to freedom a few weeks later, having been driven beyond the threshold of endurance by her punishment and the bleakness of her ongoing life as a slave.
As a result, those who managed to flee faced the potential of severe punishment, he continues, “making it a perilous and risky option that individuals must choose with care.” By making Cora the central character of his novel, Whitehead addresses themes that especially plagued enslaved women, such as the fear of rape and the agony of carrying a child just to have the infant sold into captivity elsewhere.
The account of Cora’s sexual assault in the novel is heartbreakingly concise, with the words “The Hob ladies stitched her up” serving as the final word.
Although not every enslaved women was sexually assaulted or harassed, they were continuously under fear of being raped, mistreated, or harassed, according to the report.
With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima The novelist’s account of the Underground Railroad, according to Sinha, “gets to the core of how this venture was both tremendously courageous and terribly perilous.” She believes that conductors and runaways “may be deceived at any time, in situations that they had little control over.” Cora, on the other hand, succinctly captures the liminal state of escapees.
“What a world it is.
“Was she free of bondage or still caught in its web?” “Being free had nothing to do with shackles or how much room you had,” Cora says.
The location seemed enormous despite its diminutive size.
In his words, “If you have to talk about the penalty, I’d prefer to see it off-screen.” “It’s possible that I’ve been reading this for far too long, and as a result, I’m deeply wounded by it.
view of it is that it feels a little bit superfluous to me.
In his own words, “I recognized that my job was going to be coupling the brutality with its psychological effects—not shying away from the visual representation of these things, but focusing on what it meant to the people.” “Can you tell me how they’re fighting back?
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