What Were The Consequences Of Being Caught Running Away From Underground Railroad? (Solved)

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 was the punishment for the Underground Railroad?

A severe beating was the most common form of discipline, usually administered with a bull whip or a wooden paddle. The offender would be hung by the hands or staked to the ground and every slave on the plantation would be forced to watch the whipping to deter them from running away.

What was the punishment for runaway slaves?

Many escaped slaves upon return were to face harsh punishments such as amputation of limbs, whippings, branding, hobbling, and many other horrible acts. Individuals who aided fugitive slaves were charged and punished under this law.

How many slaves escaped on 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.

What did the slaves eat?

Weekly food rations — usually corn meal, lard, some meat, molasses, peas, greens, and flour — were distributed every Saturday. Vegetable patches or gardens, if permitted by the owner, supplied fresh produce to add to the rations. Morning meals were prepared and consumed at daybreak in the slaves’ cabins.

How did slaves get caught?

Most slaves in Africa were captured in wars or in surprise raids on villages. Adults were bound and gagged and infants were sometimes thrown into sacks.

What made slavery illegal in all of the United States?

Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

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

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.

What did the slaves do for fun?

During their limited leisure hours, particularly on Sundays and holidays, slaves engaged in singing and dancing. Though slaves used a variety of musical instruments, they also engaged in the practice of “patting juba” or the clapping of hands in a highly complex and rhythmic fashion. A couple dancing.

How long did slaves live?

As a result of this high infant and childhood death rate, the average life expectancy of a slave at birth was just 21 or 22 years, compared to 40 to 43 years for antebellum whites. Compared to whites, relatively few slaves lived into old age.

What did slaves do in the winter?

In his 1845 Narrative, Douglass wrote that slaves celebrated the winter holidays by engaging in activities such as ” playing ball, wrestling, running foot-races, fiddling, dancing, and drinking whiskey ” (p.

Dangers of Running Away

The following are some of the hazards of running away:

  • In some cases, running away might be quite dangerous. For example,

The following is a fictionalized account of a slave who escapes and experiences all of these perils. Even though it is fiction, it depicts some of the hurdles that prevented slaves from leaving their owners and achieving freedom in the 19th century.

A Hard Decision to Make

In the following narrative, a slave escapes and comes face to face with all of the perils described above and beyond. Even though it is fiction, it depicts some of the hurdles that prevented slaves from leaving their owners and achieving freedom.

Journey Through the Woods

The moment the predetermined night arrives, we dash to the woods. Each and every person in the slave cottages is fast sleeping. Because we are frightened of being detected, our hearts are racing and we are perspiring profusely. We don’t make any noise until we’re out of sight of the slave cottages, and then we sprint as fast as we can across the forest. It’s difficult since Sarah and Will don’t have shoes and are walking about barefoot. They stub their toes on stones, but they don’t scream out for fear of being found out by others.

  1. I stole some bread and collected some pork leftovers so that we would have enough food to last us a few days.
  2. Whenever they go to sleep, I walk outside and search in the barn to see if there is anything that would cover their feet.
  3. I can’t believe how quiet it is, and when I glance inside, it looks to be completely empty.
  4. I come upon some old rags in a clump next to the fireplace and recall that there is rope in the barn nearby.
  5. When the sun sets and the darkness falls, we set out on our journey once more.
  6. Due to the fact that we do not have warm garments – only a dress for Sarah and shirts and slacks for Will, we are all shivering in our respective positions.
  7. We are grateful for the foot covers I created for Sarah and Will to wear on their feet, since they prevent their feet from being injured by sharp rocks and stones.

Meeting Others on the Journey

We continue on our journey and soon hear people approaching. We take shelter beneath a downed tree and wait for the oncoming traffic to pass by. It is a pair of slaves, to be precise. Should I take the chance of chatting to them? Will they hand us up to the authorities? I make the decision to seek their assistance. They are taken aback when I call out to them, but they instantly rush to where we are hiding to help us. To see the three of us, especially my children, trembling and terrified to look up is a pleasant surprise to them, I’m certain of it.

Whenever they get the opportunity, they spend time along the banks of the Ohio River, fishing for food for the family supper table.

Even though I can see they think I’m crazy for fleeing, especially with my small children at my side, they insist that they wouldn’t want to be parted from their loved ones.

They point across the river to a hill with a home at the top, which is visible on the other side of the river.

From one of the house’s windows, one lantern can be seen blazing brightly. They tell me it is the light of freedom, and that I must make every effort to reach it. They depart fast in order to return home before their master suspects that they have fled.

The River

Sarah, Will, and I are so close, but so far apart from one other. I need to figure out how I’m going to go over the river safely. We are all incapable of swimming. We pick a safe area to hide and wait to see if anyone else comes to the river to see what we’re up to. When the sun comes up in the morning, a guy comes down to the river, not far from where we are camped. He reaches into the bushes and takes out a boat that had been hidden there. The fact that I did not think to walk up and down the riverbanks looking for a boat is making me extremely angry, but it was quite dark last night, and I am confident that I would not have discovered it otherwise.

  • We wait until the sun has set before sprinting to the boat.
  • Sarah and I are paddling as quickly as we possibly can, but we are exhausted and hungry at the same time.
  • We are taken aback and apprehensive about responding.
  • It’s possible that he’s a slave catcher dispatched by our owner.
  • In the midst of doing so, we begin to hear additional voices joining him, which alerts us that we are in danger.

The Village

After the river has become completely silent and our boat has gone a long distance down the river, we paddle back to the Ohio coast. We arrive in a densely forested region and, upon glancing around, we discover that there is no one else there. We begin strolling through the trees in a fast manner. Suddenly, we come upon a little settlement that is gloomy and devoid of life. We take refuge in the woods near the settlement in the hopes of securing food and shelter there. Despite the fact that Sarah and Will have been excellent, I can see from the rumble in their tummies that they are both quite hungry.

  • However, we are well aware that, despite the fact that we live in the “free” state of Ohio, there are people who do not wish to assist freedom seekers such as ourselves.
  • When the sun comes up in the morning, we are awoken by the sound of carts and horses traveling through the hamlet.
  • Suddenly, a man riding a horse gallops up to the scene.
  • According to him, the slave hunters have produced posters and hung them to trees in the region with a description of the fugitives and a prize for their capture and return to their rightful owners.

An older gentleman approaches and says, “Finish finding them as soon as possible, and I will conceal them in the attic of my house.” Tomorrow, I’ll have my son-in-law transport them in a trailer with a load of hay he’s transporting north.” The individuals begin to disperse in all directions in the direction of their residences and places of business.

  • When no one is watching, we dash through the trees into the lane, where he is waiting for us.
  • When he comes to the door of a farmhouse, we get out of the woods and walk up to him to say hello.
  • “You have discovered us,” he adds.
  • Even though there were several hazards, Sarah, Will, and I made it to Canada and began our new lives as free people.

After reading the tale of Sam and his children, have a discussion about some of the hazards they encountered while attempting to flee slavery. The most recent update was on February 15, 2018.

Pathways to Freedom

The audio element cannot be played because your browser does not support it. As you read this chapter, pay attention to the audio! What would happen if an enslaved person was apprehended while attempting to flee their captivity? Someone who has been captured while trying to flee their slavery might face extremely serious consequences. Runaways were frequently sold “south” by their captors. That indicates that they were sold to someone who resided much further south than Maryland, where it would be more difficult to flee because the distance between Maryland and the rest of the country was so enormous.

Occasionally, they were sold to a different owner who resided in the same neighborhood.

Enslaved persons who failed to escape the first time often tried again and were successful the second time.

«return to the home page»

Runaway Slaves

Rack with Bells In 1860, an estimated 435,000 enslaved persons lived in Alabama, accounting for around 45 percent of the state’s entire population. Because no evidence of an organized underground railroad has been discovered in Alabama, scholars are forced to conclude that slaves seeking freedom in the state relied on their own survival skills, with assistance from some fellow slaves and free blacks, as well as some members of the white community, to achieve their freedom. Slave runaway estimates have also proven difficult for historians to come up with at any particular point in history.

  • Most major plantations in the South, on the other hand, had slaves who managed to escape.
  • However, many enslaved people who were able to do so chose to do so.
  • Some attempted to reunite with family members who were residing on neighbouring homes.
  • Some slaves may have sought freedom, even if it was only for a few days away from the farm, as a result of an overseer who had a reputation for treating slaves cruelly.
  • Some fugitives disguised themselves as steamboat passengers in the goal of reaching Mobile, where they might fit in with the population of free blacks and slaves who were living on their own as if they were free.
  • In an effort to curtail this kind of conduct, the Alabama government enacted an ordinance in the Alabama Code of 1852 that fined slave owners or masters of boats who permitted slaves to board their vessels without a pass.
  • Some runaways pretended to be free blacks, Native Americans, or whites in order to avoid being apprehended.

For example, in Greene County in 1840, an escaped slave was caught by officials who believed him to be a Native American.

Another example is the case of a guy called London Fenderson, who was imprisoned in Mobile, Alabama, for being a fugitive slave.

Runaway slaves who were apprehended were often beaten and occasionally chained as punishment.

Kidnapping of enslaved employees was an issue for some owners, just as persons convincing slaves to leave their masters and travel to a free state was a problem for others.

In one occasion, a man kidnapped around 60 slaves belonging to the State Bank of Tuscaloosa County and transported them to Florida, where they were forced to labor on a slave farm.

Earlier this year in Mobile, a free man of color and a slave were both convicted guilty of inducing a slave to flee.

See also:  In The Underground Railroad, What Happened If The Slaves Were Caught? (Professionals recommend)

Mobile authorities, on the other hand, freed three other individuals who were accused of harboring and enticing slaves away from their masters.

Mobile police arrested an old black man who said he was free for allegedly harboring an escaped female slave.

One free lady of color who was suspected of harboring a runaway slave was ordered to post a bail of $1,000.

Other cases have involved black women who were officially considered slaves but were living as free people.

A free man of color who was suspected of keeping a slave was released from custody.

It will need further investigation to discover how the laws were applied and if the punishment differed for those accused of being black and those accused of being white.

Advertisement for a Runaway Slave A great deal may be learned about slave life and runaways through descriptions of fugitive slaves that were published in historical newspapers.

Some runaways were said to have been missing fingers or toes in some instances.

They were known to transport clothes and steal money from their masters.

Others brought personal belongings with them, such as musical equipment.

Most slaves fled by themselves or in small groups and concealed from authorities for several weeks at a time, according to historical records.

If fugitive slaves were apprehended, their owners were required to pay fines to get them released from prison.

As an example, if the slave had committed a serious offense, the reward could be in the range of $1,000 to $2,000.

From the spring of 1862 on, the Union Army often controlled much of Alabama’s Tennessee Valley as part of its campaign against the Confederacy.

Outside of this area of influence, union forces hardly reached the Black Belt and other districts of the state until early in the spring of 1865.

Resources that aren’t included on this page Franklin, John Hope, and Loren Schweninger are among others who have contributed to this work.

The Oxford University Press, New York, published this book in 1999.

In response to emancipation and reconstruction in Alabama, First Freedom: The Response of the Black Community in Alabama was published.

Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1972. Sellers, James Benson, and others. Slavery in the state of Alabama. Originally published in 1950 by the University of Alabama Press in Tuscaloosa.

Underground Railroad

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.

Quaker Abolitionists

Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the South by providing them with refuge and assistance. A number of separate covert operations came together to form the organization. Although the exact dates of its creation 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 Union was defeated.

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.

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.

While some traveled north via Pennsylvania and into New England, or through Detroit on their route to Canada, others chose to travel south. 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

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.

Frederick Douglass

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.

John Brown

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. He managed to elude capture twice.

End of the Line

Abolitionist He was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was during this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, an organization dedicated to aiding fleeing slaves in their journey to Canada. With the abolitionist movement, Brown would play a variety of roles, most notably leading an assault on Harper’s Ferry to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people under threat of death. Eventually, Brown’s forces were defeated, and he was executed for treason in 1859.

  • The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two of them were jailed for aiding an escaped enslaved woman and her child escape.
  • When Charles Torrey assisted an enslaved family fleeing through Virginia, he was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland.
  • was his base of operations; earlier, he had served as an abolitionist newspaper editor in Albany, New York.
  • In addition to being fined and imprisoned for a year, Walker had the letters “SS” for Slave Stealer tattooed on his right hand.

As a slave trader, Fairfield’s strategy was to travel across the southern states. Twice he managed to escape from prison. Tennessee’s arebellion claimed his life in 1860, and he was buried there.


Abolitionist John Brown worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was during this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, which was dedicated to assisting runaway enslaved persons in their escape to Canada. With the abolitionist movement, Brown would play a variety of roles, most notably leading an assault on Harper’s Ferry to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people at gunpoint. Brown’s soldiers were beaten, and Brown was executed for treason in 1859.

  • In 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved woman and her child in their escape.
  • Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their escape across Virginia.
  • Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was jailed in 1844 when he was apprehended with a boatload of freed slaves who were on their way to the United States from the Caribbean.
  • John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to rescue the enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their relatives as they made their way north.
  • He managed to break out of jail twice.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad, a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada, was not run by any single organization or person. Rather, it consisted of many individuals – many whites but predominently black – who knew only of the local efforts to aid fugitives and not of the overall operation. Still, it effectively moved hundreds of slaves northward each year – according to one estimate,the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850. An organized system to assist runaway slaves seems to have begun towards the end of the 18th century. In 1786 George Washington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes.” The system grew, and around 1831 it was dubbed “The Underground Railroad,” after the then emerging steam railroads. The system even used terms used in railroading: the homes and businesses where fugitives would rest and eat were called “stations” and “depots” and were run by “stationmasters,” those who contributed money or goods were “stockholders,” and the “conductor” was responsible for moving fugitives from one station to the next.For the slave, running away to the North was anything but easy. The first step was to escape from the slaveholder. For many slaves, this meant relying on his or her own resources. Sometimes a “conductor,” posing as a slave, would enter a plantation and then guide the runaways northward. The fugitives would move at night. They would generally travel between 10 and 20 miles to the next station, where they would rest and eat, hiding in barns and other out-of-the-way places. While they waited, a message would be sent to the next station to alert its stationmaster.The fugitives would also travel by train and boat – conveyances that sometimes had to be paid for. Money was also needed to improve the appearance of the runaways – a black man, woman, or child in tattered clothes would invariably attract suspicious eyes. This money was donated by individuals and also raised by various groups, including vigilance committees.Vigilance committees sprang up in the larger towns and cities of the North, most prominently in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. In addition to soliciting money, the organizations provided food, lodging and money, and helped the fugitives settle into a community by helping them find jobs and providing letters of recommendation.The Underground Railroad had many notable participants, including John Fairfield in Ohio, the son of a slaveholding family, who made many daring rescues, Levi Coffin, a Quaker who assisted more than 3,000 slaves, and Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom.
See also:  How Did The Compromise Of 1850 Affect The Underground Railroad? (Question)

Consequences Of The Underground Railroad – 1143 Words

There was only one aim, and that was to be free, no matter how many hardships lied ahead. It was the path that would lead to freedom. It was a difficult task that needed to be accomplished. The slaves were unconcerned about the ramifications and great risks involved. Being apprehended would have devastating implications, and the repercussions of being apprehended would be enormous and horrendous. It came down to making the choice between dying in the darkness of slavery or making their best effort to achieve freedom.

  • During the time of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a covert system that was used to assist slaves in escaping the brutal treatment they were subjected to by their masters.
  • additional stuff to be displayed.
  • Abolitionists were individuals who opposed the system of slavery, while quakers were people who belonged to a set of religious Christian movements known as the Religious Society of Friends, which is a group of religious Christian groups that includes the Society of Friends.
  • Shelter, clothing, blankets, and food were all supplied by the safe homes.
  • The couple usually stored a huge quantity of food, clothes and blankets, and occasionally even carriages, to ensure that they could travel safely (Lutz.
  • Tubman earned the nickname “Moses” as a result of the countless occasions on which he went across southern territory in order to bring other slaves to freedom.
  • This expedition was a success, and Harriet went on to make a total of 19 successful journeys back into the southern United States, rescuing more than 300 slaves in the process.
  • (9).
  • Tubman developed a rudimentary method of rescue during the course of his years of service.
  • Her reasoning for doing so was that the slaves would not be discovered until Monday morning, giving them two nights to flee.

She would pay someone to take them down as soon as they were put up, which would be as soon as they were taken down. She led the slaves across mountains, rivers, and dense forests, facing all kinds of hardships along the way.

Underground Railroad

There was only one aim, and that was to be free, no matter how rough the road ahead might be. Those were the first steps on the path to liberation It was a difficult task that had to be performed. No fear was felt by the slaves in the face of dire consequences and great risks. Being apprehended would have devastating implications, and the repercussions would be enormous and awful. It came down to choose whether to die in the darkness of slavery or to make their best effort to achieve freedom in the light of day.

  • A hidden system known as the Underground Railroad existed during the time of slavery, and it was designed to assist slaves in escaping the harsh treatment they were subjected to by their masters.
  • more stuff to be displayed.
  • Quiet individuals who oppose the system of slavery were known as abolitionists, while members of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian organization that includes a number of other religious Christian groups, were known as quakers.
  • Shelter, clothing, blankets, and food were supplied by the safe homes.
  • For the sake of safety on the road, he and his wife usually kept a big store of food and clothes, as well as blankets and, on occasion, carriages.
  • It was because of his repeated forays into southern territory in order to bring other slaves to freedom that Tubman earned the nickname “Moses.” A mission to save her sister, Mary, in 1850, was one of Tubman’s earliest journeys.
  • “I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger,” she is rumored to have declared at some point.
  • From modest to relatively big, the groups were divided into two categories.
  • On a Saturday night, she would always start with her friends.
  • Owners would frequently post notices about their missing slaves before Harriet’s party arrived, allowing Harriet to find them before they were discovered.

Immediately after they were put up, she would pay a crew to take them down. They traveled across mountains, rivers, and dense forests with her, facing all kinds of hardships along the way.

Facts, information and articles about the Underground Railroad

There was only one aim, and that was to be free, no matter what obstacles lie ahead. It was the path that led to freedom. It was a difficult task that had to be performed. The slaves were unconcerned about the ramifications and significant risks. The trek would be tough, and the ramifications of being apprehended would be enormous and awful. It came down to choose whether to perish in the darkness of slavery or to make their best effort to achieve freedom. Despite the fact that many slaves opted to give up on the notion of escaping, those who did managed to accomplish so via the use of the Underground Railroad.

  1. The Underground Railroad’s success was ensured by.
  2. There were abolitionists, Quakers, and ex-slaves among the conductors.
  3. During the day, these slaves were hidden in the attics, haylofts, and secret passages of conductors’ homes.
  4. Due to the fact that it received an average of 100 fatigued and hungry slaves every year, one particular safe home earned the nickname “great central station.” This home belonged to Levi Coffin, who was a youngster when he first assisted in the emancipation of slaves.
  5. more stuff to be shown.
  6. Tubman’s first journey was to save her sister, Mary, from certain death in 1850.
  7. “I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger,” she is rumored to have added.
  8. The size of the groupings ranged from modest to extremely huge.
  9. On a Saturday night, she would always start out with her friends.
  10. In many cases, the owners would put up posters about their missing slaves before Harriet’s party arrived on the scene.

When the signs were put up, she would pay someone to take them down as fast as they were put up. She led the slaves across mountains, rivers, and dense forests, facing all kinds of hardships in the process.


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.

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. It was imperative that the runaways maintain their eyes on the North Star at all times; only by keeping that star in front of them could they be certain that they were on their trip north.

Conductors On The Railroad

Abolitionist John Brown’s father, Owen Brown, was involved in the Underground Railroad movement in New York State during the abolitionist movement. 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 haven where fugitives could obtain food, but the account is untrustworthy. Railway routes that run beneath the surface of the land. It was in the early 1830s when the name “Underground Railroad” first appeared.

They were transported from one station to another by “conductors.” Money or products were donated to the Underground Railroad by its “stockholders.” Fugitives going by sea or on genuine trains were occasionally provided with clothing so that they wouldn’t be recognized if they were wearing their old job attire.

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

To escape from their owners, the slave or slaves had to do it at night, which they did most of the time.

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.

Following her capture, Lucy was carried back to Ohio County, Virginia, and punished, but she was released at some time when Union soldiers took control of the region. 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.

Fugitive Slaves, Runaways, Enslavement, African American Identity: Vol. I, 1500-1865, Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature, Toolbox Library, National Humanities Center

Virginia runaway ads, 1745-1775(PDF)
A runaway’s explanation, William Chase letter, 1827(PDF)
Escape to Canada, Littles’ narratives, 1856, excerpts(PDF)
Escape to Canada, W. W. Brown narrative, 1847, excerpts(PDF)
On running away, selections from WPA narratives, 1930s(PDF)

“The hour has arrived,” James Pennington recounts of his emancipation from slavery, “and the man must act and be free, or he will stay a slave for the rest of his life. if I did not confront the crisis that day, I would be damned to perdition.” Despite the fact that many slaves were fully aware that an unsuccessful escape would spell doom, they persisted in their efforts. In the words of Martin Jackson’s father, “There’s no use in moving from bad to worse,” adding that “the War wasn’t going to go foreverour forever would be spent living among the Southerners, once they were licked.” The choice to flee was a difficult one to make because there were so many considerations to consider.

See also:  Why Was Called Underground Railroad? (The answer is found)

The organized features of escape, such as the Underground Railroad and fugitive-aid groups, will be discussed in greater depth in the following Theme, COMMUNITY.

  1. Advertisements for runaways in Virginia. Runaway advertising may appear to be an unusual source of information on the motivations and goals of runaways, given that they are often boilerplate listings of names, physical descriptions, and monetary prizes offered. Many, however, such as these thirty-five Virginia advertisements from the 1700s, reveal a great deal about the runaways’ intentions and potential success, either directly (“he is such an ingenious fellow, that he can turn his hand to anything”) or indirectly (“he is such an ingenious fellow, that he can turn his hand to anything”) (“he has been much whipped, which his Back will show”). What characteristics do you notice in common among the fugitives? When do a group of slaves manage to escape together? Included are the escape and catch notifications of two fugitives, as well as an explanation for why their attempts failed. An explanation from a fugitive. When Anthony Chase fled from Maryland in 1827, he sent an explanation letter to Jeremiah Hoffman, to whom he had been contracted out by his master as a servant. “What can a man do,” he bemoans, “when his hands are tied and his feet are tied?” he wonders. As part of his commitment to compensate his owner’s widow (who had refused to release Chase as promised in her husband’s will), he says he will “show to her and the world that I don’t plan to be dishonest.” This letter, which was kept with the archives of Hoffman’s father at the Maryland Historical Society, is a monument to the heartbreaking decision to flee, especially in light of Chase’s adamant P.S. exonerating his wife of any complicity. We have no information on what happened to Anthony Chase. The Littles’ accounts of their journey to Canada. We do not know the first name of John Little’s wife, but they were married in Tennessee when they were both enslaved on the same plantation. It was 1841 when they managed to escape, crossing the Ohio River, walking across Illinois to reach Chicago, taking a train to Detroit, and then crossing into Canada, where they lived in the wilderness and began farming. Following their escape from slavery fourteen years later in 1855, abolitionist and Boston newspaperman named Benjamin Drew documented their stories of hardship and near-captivity. It took Little “all the way to Canada” to tell his story of being pursued by mountain lions like a wolf in the highlands. The next sections contain extracts from John Little’s story, as well as sidebars from his wife’s shorter but no less informative tale, entitled Escape to Canada: William Wells Brown’s narrative. According to William Wells Brown, who spent his youth as a slave in Canada, “I would dream at night that I was in Canada, and on awakening in the morning mourn, realizing that I had been so badly misled.” Brown, who was born in Kentucky in 1814, attempted to flee twice but was apprehended on both occasions. According to these portions from his 1847 account, at the age of twenty, he was successful in fleeing from a riverboat on the Ohio River and going through Ohio to Cleveland, where he was captured. What was it that caused him “extreme suffering” the night before he managed to escape? Why didn’t he have any fear of dying during his flight? What was it like for him during his first few days as a free man? How did he come up with his moniker as a free man
  2. When he was on the run. To round up the book, we hear the testimonies of seventeen previously enslaved persons who were interviewed by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, a New Deal program that was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). When the Civil War ended, six of the authors recount their own escapes from slavery
  3. Others describe assisting runaways, witnessing punishment, plotting their own escapes, reuniting with a fugitive parent, and witnessing long-hidden fugitive parents “come out from the woods from all directions” when the war was over. “This is what I know, not what anybody else says,” Margrett Nickerson assures us in an interview conducted more than seventy years after independence
  4. “I have personally witnessed this.”

In Theme III: COMMUNITY,7: Fugitives, compare the accounts of two Underground Railroad “conductors” with the letters written by fugitives to their former slaveholders in Theme IV: IDENTITY,2, Slave to Free. (There are 31 pages total.) Questions for further discussion

  1. Why did someone choose to leave slavery in the first place
  2. What reasons influenced their decision
  3. In what circumstances and in what manner did they bring family members with them
  4. Why did some fugitives choose to return to their farms voluntarily
  5. List the instances of bravery, quick thinking, assistance, and good fortune that played a role in the successful escapes. What circumstances contributed to unsuccessful escape attempts
  6. Describe the reasons why some enslaved people decided not to try an escape (or a second escape). When it comes to successful runaway slaves’ life in freedom (before to 1865), how do they characterize them? What problems remained to be overcome
  7. Describe the types of slave resistance behaviors (and attitudes) that are shown in the fugitive advertising. Which aspects of their advertisements show that they have a hidden regard for their runaway slaves
  8. What opinions against slavery in general emerge from the advertisements for runaways placed by slaveholders
  9. Is it for this reason that Anthony Chase takes the uncommon step of sending a letter to explain his escape
  10. Is it for this reason that he insists his wife is not involved in his escape
  11. Describe why you believe Jeremiah Hoffman sent money to the owner of Chase’s land to compensate her for the loss of property. Compare and contrast the accounts of John Little and his wife, paying particular attention to the specifics of their escape and their subsequent life as farmers in Canada. What does each one place an emphasis on? Why
  12. Compare and contrast the Littles’ accounts with those of William Wells Brown, both of which were published before to the Civil War. Identify and compare the parallels and contrasts in their escapes, the audience for their written recollections, and the attitude they have about their newfound freedom. What is it about William Wells Brown’s choice of a new name that is so crucial to him after he has escaped? What makes him pick the name “Wells Brown”? Why did he retain the name “William”? Compare and contrast the accounts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Remember to take into account their audience as well as the period elapsed between enslavement and the tale, their attitude toward their former slaveholders, and their assessment of their own life as former slaves and subsequently freemen. Determine the spectrum of sentiments regarding fleeing expressed by African Americans who were questioned in the 1930s, and then compare them. What may be the source of this wide spectrum of sentiments, which does not exist in the nineteenth-century accounts
  13. And Create a fictional chat between the pair of fugitive slaves shown below by picking one of them at random. Identify a central subject for the debate (goals for escape, backup plan if caught, message to the twenty-first century, etc.). Include the following quotations:
  • -Bob, a runaway from 1767: “He has been missing for eight years, during which time he spent a portion of his time in Charleston, South Carolina. He knows how to read and write, and because he is a very creative individual, he will almost certainly manufacture a pass.” -“A fresh Negro man,” who fled in 1768: “As he had only arrived in the country three days before his, he could not have taken any specific path to prosecute him, nor did he speak English well enough to give any account of himself. In the words of Anthony Chase, the author of the 1827 letter of explanation: “I know that you will be surprised and shocked when you learn of the unexpected route that I am about to embark on, a step that I had not the faintest notion of taking.”
  • -Thomas Cole, a WPA interviewee who managed to flee the Confederacy during the Civil War: “When I make up my mind, he won’t stand a chance, because I’m going to go off with the first opportunity I have. Not knowing how to get out of dere, I headed north to where there aren’t any slaveowners to help me get out.”
  • -John Little, who escaped to Canada with his wife in 1841: “My wife worked right along with me, though at the time I was unaware of it
  • After all, we were raised as slaves, the women accustomed to working, and undoubtedly the same spirit has come with us here: I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I see that she was a brave woman.” Mrs. John Little says the following:” “I had to develop a tough exterior. by the time I arrived in Canada, I was capable of handling an axe, a hoe, or anything else. I was pleased with myself for being able to contribute to getting things cleaned up so that we might have a place to live and enough to eat. I have lost two children to death, and the only one who has survived is a young girl of around five years old. She has only four years on the planet. If the Lord allows it, I aim to have her have a good education.”
  • -Ambrose Douglass, a WPA interviewee who was apprehended after each of his attempted escapes: “I was a young guy at the time, and I couldn’t understand why I should be considered anyone’s property. I’d flee whenever the opportunity presented itself. They came dangerously close to killing me on occasion, but for the most part, they just sold me. I suppose I was a bit husky in that regard. Although they tried their hardest, they were never able to obtain their money’s worth from me.” The following is an excerpt from a WPA interview with Martin Jackson: “Even with my decent treatment, I spent much of my time preparing and thinking about getting away. I could have done it easily, but my old father used to say, ‘It’s no use escaping from bad to worse.'”
  • -William Wells Brown, who eluded capture and fled to Canada in 1824 “During the last night of my enslavement, I did not sleep a wink or close my eyes for even a single second. When I wasn’t thinking about the future, I was thinking about the past.”
  • -John W. Fields, an interviewee for the Works Progress Administration who escaped to Indiana in 1864: “The most powerful hold the South had on us was our ignorance of the situation. We were aware that we might flee, but what would happen then?” The following is an excerpt from an 1855 interview with John Little, who escaped to Canada in 1841 and said, “If there is a man in the free States who claims the colored people cannot take care of themselves, I want him to come here and meet John Little.” Caroline Hammond, WPA interviewee, who fled to Pennsylvania about 1855 and was questioned in 1938: “On my next birthday. I will be 95. I am content with all the amenities of a poor person who is not reliant on anybody else for tomorrow.”
Runaway advertisements: 6
Chase letter: 2
Stills’ narratives: 9
W. W. Brown narrative: 7
WPA narratives: 7
TOTAL 31 pages
Supplemental SitesRunaway Journeys, in In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience, from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public LibraryThe Geography of Slavery in Virginia: 4,000 advertisements for runaway slaves and servants, from Tom Costa and the University of VirginiaFollow the Trail to Freedom in the 1850s, interactive map, from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American HistoryBeneath the Underground: The Flight to Freedom and Communities in Antebellum Maryland, from the Maryland State ArchivesWilliam Still,Underground Rail Road: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters, etc., 1872, full text in digital images, from Maryland State ArchivesNorth American Slave Narratives(18th-19th century), Introduction, Dr.

William A.

  • “Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave,” 2nd edition (1849)
  • “Brown narrative,” 1st edition (1847)
  • And “Brown narrative,” 2nd edition (1849)
  • “Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave,” 2nd edition (1849)
  • -A North-side View of Slavery: The Refugee, 1856, by Benjamin Drew
  • Interviews with fugitive slaves in Canada, including John Little and his wife
  • -An Introduction to the North American Slave Narratives (18th-19th centuries), by Dr. William A. Andrews, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • -An Introduction to the North American Slave Narratives (18th-19th centuries), by Dr. William A. Andrews, University of

WPA Slave Narratives, 1930s, full text as digital images, Library of CongressAn Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives, Norman A. Yetman (Library of Congress)”Should the Slave Narrative Collection Be Used?,”by Norman A. Yetman (Library of Congress)Guidelines for Interviewersin Federal Writers’ Project (WPA) on conducting and recording interviews with former slaves, 1937(PDF)General Resourcesin African American HistoryLiterature, 1500-1865

Image: Runaway slave advertisement, no date, no publication. Reproduced by permission of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library,485464.*PDF file- You will need software on your computer that allows you to read and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you do not have this software, you maydownload it FREEfrom Adobe’s Web site.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *