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.
Was the Underground Railroad in Savannah Georgia?
Savannah tour guide Ogbanna explains the Underground Railroad and the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, established in 1773. Murry Dorty of the Coastal Heritage Society explains how songs had hidden meanings to help and inspire runaways along the way.
Was there a Underground Railroad in Georgia?
MACON, Ga. But the Underground Railroad had no physical location. Instead, it was a network of abolitionists who found ways to smuggle slaves into freedom.
What cities did the Underground Railroad go through?
In the decades leading up to the American Civil War, settlements along the Detroit and Niagara Rivers were important terminals of the Underground Railroad. By 1861, some 30,000 freedom seekers resided in what is now Ontario, having escaped slave states like Kentucky and Virginia.
Where did the Underground Railroad start?
In the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia that helped enslaved people on the run. At the same time, Quakers in North Carolina established abolitionist groups that laid the groundwork for routes and shelters for escapees.
Who built the First African Baptist Church in Savannah?
The congregation was formed in 1733 by Reverend George Leile. The building which houses the Church was finished in 1859, almost 100 years after the land was obtained for the church.
How many slaves escaped from Georgia?
In the confusion white authorities often either did not notice enslaved people leaving plantations or could not prevent them from doing so. It is estimated that perhaps 5,000 of Georgia’s 15,000 enslaved men, women, and children escaped from bondage during this period.
Where was Episode 2 of the Underground Railroad filmed?
Underground Railroad was filmed in the Savannah region and around the state of Georgia, which is located between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
Is Harriet Tubman from Georgia?
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born enslaved in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child.
Can you take a tour of the Underground Railroad?
Schedule Your Visit Our adjusted hours of operations are Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm (EST). Learn more about what you can see and do at the visitor center, and explore the stories of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad!
What is the route of the Underground Railroad?
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.
How do you know if your house was part of the Underground Railroad?
1) Check the date when the house was built. 2) At your county clerk’s office, or wherever historical deeds are stored in your locality, research the property to determine who owned it between the American Revolution and the Civil War (roughly 1790-1860).
What years were the Underground Railroad active?
system used by abolitionists between 1800-1865 to help enslaved African Americans escape to free states.
Was there ever a real underground railroad?
Nope! Despite its name, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad in the way Amtrak or commuter rail is. It wasn’t even a real railroad. The Underground Railroad of history was simply a loose network of safe houses and top secret routes to states where slavery was banned.
In this tour of Savannah, tour guide Ogbanna discusses the Underground Railroad as well as the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, which was founded in 1773. In this video, Murry Dorty, of the Coastal Heritage Society, discusses how songs had hidden meanings that were used to assist and motivate runaways throughout their journey.
A Tour of the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad: A Walking Tour In this tour of Savannah, tour guide Ogbanna discusses the Underground Railroad as well as the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, which was founded in 1773. In this video, Murry Dorty, of the Coastal Heritage Society, discusses how songs had hidden meanings that were used to assist and motivate runaways throughout their journey.
Demonstrate the significance of key issues and events that contributed to the Civil War. These issues and events include slavery, state’s rights, nullification, The Compromise of 1850 and the Georgia Platform, the Dred Scott case, Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860, and the debate over Georgia’s secession. 1. What is the significance of the phrase “stealing oneself” when referring to escape slavery? The following questions are answered: 2. What are the hazards a slave must avoid in order to escape from a plantation?
- The songs “Steal Away” and “Wade in the Water” may be heard playing in the background of this video.
- You may use stick figures or your own drawing skills to create your masterpiece.
- Every object should be able to clearly represent something (e.g., Elephant: Republicans; Donkey: Democrats; Uncle Sam or Eagle: United States; etc.).
- contraband (in the context of slavery): a slave who manages to escape to the North fugitive: a person who is attempting to evade capture or prosecution; generally refers to someone attempting to avoid the law.
- A moralist is a person who tries to persuade others of his or her own interpretation of what is good and wrong.
- Because slaves were considered property of their owners at the time of their emancipation and not equal human beings with rights, fleeing the bonds of slavery may be seen as stealing property from their masters.
- The following questions are answered: 2.
In order to escape from the Plantation, one would need to maintain secrecy among the other slaves (who would not necessarily “cover” for someone trying to escape for fear of being beaten by the overseer or owner), avoid being tracked down by tracking dogs, avoid being caught (which was worse than the actual trial of walking through woods and along desolate unknown places), and so on.
Students should keep in mind that it was unlawful to teach a slave to read, therefore the vast majority of them were illiterate when they entered the country (could not read or write).
Messages were hung on fence posts, such as a lit lantern on one, which signified the presence of a safe home and did not need the capacity to read. Students should come up with plausible risks that would have been encountered in the mid-1800s period of time.
Change and ConflictSegments
The decades preceding the American Civil War reveal two separate American communities that are diametrically opposed both economically and philosophically from one another. However, even as the North developed into an industrial superpower, it continued to benefit from the South’s predominantly agricultural system, which was constructed on the backs of slave labor. It would be during the War Between the States that these vastly diverse cultures and viewpoints would come into conflict.
Connect with GPB Education
Haynes National Park Service, March HaynesNPS The Underground Railroad is a term that refers to the efforts of enslaved individuals who are attempting to liberate themselves from slavery by escaping from bondage. Numerous slaves were aided in their attempts by abolitionists and other citizens who opened their houses and businesses for the aim of transporting people to safe havens and eventually achieving freedom. On April 13, 1862, following the surrender of Fort Pulaski, Union Major General David Hunter issued General Order No.
- “All individuals of color formerly held in compulsory servitude by enemies of the United States in Fort Pulaski and on Cockspur Island, Georgia, are hereby seized and declared free, in accordance with the law, and shall henceforth reap the products of their own work,” the document said.
- The Union leadership at Fort Pulaski would receive hundreds of runaway slaves as Haynes transported them there under the cover of night.
- Many of the soldiers that landed at Fort Pulaski would go on to become one of the first colored military divisions during the Civil War, which would be known as the Black Hawks.
- In accordance with the instructions of General David Hunter, hundreds of former slaves were able to earn their freedom at Fort Pulaski and Cockspur Island, which served as a last destination and one of the most southern sites on the extensive Underground Railroad network.
That’s So Savannah: Are there tunnels hidden beneath Savannah? You’d be surprised.
- When it comes to the network of tunnels that run beneath the surface of Savannah, history, gossip, and tall stories combine to create a complex tangle of disinformation that is difficult to navigate. The vast majority of people have never seen the tunnels for themselves, and tour guides, historians, and municipal employees all have differing perspectives on which tunnels go where and what was transported via them during the Second World War. The Pirate’s House Restaurant, for example, claims that the tunnel beneath its restaurant was formerly utilized to “shanghai” inebriated sailors who had gotten into their institution. According to the legends, either pirates or unscrupulous ship captains wanting to recruit sailors into their crews carried captives down to the rum cellar and then down to the river through a hidden passage beneath the ship. Additional information:So That’s Savannah: Where was the ’40 Acres and a Mule’ order read in front of the whole public? Given that the vast majority of the incredible pirate legends associated with the restaurant were almost certainly made up by the establishment’s proprietors, it seems probable that the tunnel was not utilized for such evil reasons. There are allegations that slaves were transported to auctions in Wright Square through tunnels beneath the city that began at the Cluskey Embankment Stores on Factor’s Walk and ended at the Cluskey Embankment Stores on Factor’s Walk in order to avoid having to parade them through the city streets. The First African Baptist Church’s cellar was rumored to have served as an underground railroad during the slave trade. This is most likely true because air holes shaped like African prayer symbols, or cosmograms, can be found in the floors below the church, indicating that it was used as an underground railroad. These legends, like so much of the history of Savannah’s tunnels, are shrouded in mystery and remain unsubstantiated. More:So That’s Savannah: A bomb at the beach on Tybee Island continues to be a source of fascination and mystery. One of the most well-known tales regarding Savannah’s tunnels is that they were built during the yellow fever outbreak of 1876. There is a popular belief that there were so many people dying at Candler Hospital from yellow fever that tunnels were created beneath Forsyth Park to conceal the dead and avert a wave of panic. There is a tunnel that runs from the site of the old Candler Hospital (now known as Ruskin Hall) beneath Drayton Street, although it was not built until 1884, eight years after the outbreak of the influenza pandemic. The primary aim of the tunnel was to relocate the morgue, sometimes known as the “death house,” from its original location outside the structure to an underground location. More: That’s How Savannah Does It: Who was Florence Martus, the lady who was responsible for the Waving Girl sculpture? Despite the fact that enigmatic tunnels and cellars can be found all over the city, the history of the majority of them has been lost to the passage of time, and inquiries only lead to physical and figurative dead ends. Although almost all of Savannah’s existing tunnels have been shut, several tours will take you to the locations where they are rumored to be situated. Savannah is well-versed in its history, but when it comes to the city’s tunnels, there are more legends than facts to be found. For tourists as well as inhabitants, the stories are still compelling, and they continue to play an important role in creating the allure that is associated with Savannah today. Secret Savannah: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, written by Christopher Berinato, is a book about the strange, wonderful, and obscure things that may be found in Savannah.
Was there an Underground Railroad movement in Macon?
Ellen and William Craft, of Macon, Georgia, were slaves who managed to elude capture. MACON, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has announced that it will expand its bus service to include the city of Macon. In what part of downtown Macon is the Underground Railroad station located? Reader Danyelle Moore of Macon asked this question to us through the Macon Me Curious project, which is a new initiative of the Center for Collaborative Journalism in cooperation with The Telegraph and GPB Macon, and we were delighted to respond.
- In light of the fact that, you know, slaves fled the South and traveled up North via the quote-unquote Underground Railroad, I just felt compelled to learn more about it, especially because I reside in the South,” said Moore, who was born and raised in Macon, Georgia.
- However, there was no physical place for the Underground Railroad.
- Despite the fact that Macon was located in the lower South, there was no organized Underground Railroad or abolitionist organization in the area; rather, disorganized, individual efforts enabled some slaves to escape to freedom from slavery.
- Harriet Tubman is a historical figure.
Fontenot Jr., a Baptist professor of English and head of Africana studies at Mercer University, “Macon was not recognized as a site where slaves fleeing from their owners would come for assistance.” “Macon had a reputation as a location where people wanted to get away from.” Historically, large abolitionist societies that were ready to face the danger of smuggling slaves to freedom were concentrated in the Midwest and Northeast, particularly in states such as Missouri and Kentucky, as well as Virginia and Maryland.
- Midstate cities like Macon, on the other hand, had less access to slave smuggling activities than port cities such as Savannah and Augusta.
- Up until that moment, just around 5,000 slaves had managed to elude capture across the country.
- The two devised an innovative scheme to get away from their situation.
- They traveled by train and lived in motels for four days before making their way to Philadelphia, where they were reunited with their families on Christmas Day.
“The stories of those few people who managed to escape were extremely important because of the hope they symbolized.” Do you have a question you’d like to have addressed? What is it that you are interested in learning more about? _Please let us know at macon.com/curious_.
Beneath the Surface
In the usual course of events, I head toB. Matthew’s Eateryon Bay Street for the amazing smoked salmon BLT. On a particularly frigid day in January, though, I inquire as to if I may inspect the cellar. “I hope you have some other shoes,” says Margaret Coughlin, the restaurant’s general manager, after taking one glance at my straight-from-work ensemble of a skirt and high boots. I’ve come prepared with my materials. Once outside, Coughlin yanks aside the metal cover that has been built into the sidewalk and says, without ceremony, “There it is.” The descent down steep stone steps ends in darkness.
While the customers enjoy their black-eyed pea cakes, I lean down and crawl into the dark region beneath their feet to do some research.
Rumor Has It
For years, I’ve heard rumors that a massive and intricate tunnel system lies beneath Savannah’s streets. I’m not sure what to believe. According to legend, B. Matthew’s is one of several locations in town that provide entry to this labyrinth. Savannahians, on the other hand, are master storytellers. Because of the historical significance of the setting, captivating storylines and colorful personalities are never in short supply. However, distinguishing between reality and fiction might be difficult at times.
- Both tourists and locals have heard these stories.
- The Underground Railroad, according to another legend, was used to transport fugitive slaves who were secreted beneath the floor of the First African Baptist Church.
- “All kinds of stuff” were transported through the sophisticated web of connections that existed between the vaults of several Bay Street establishments, according to him.
- But there’s something more sinister going on that Savannahians aren’t too keen on discussing.
- Nonetheless, according to Karen Wortham, historian of First African Baptist Church, “it was the largest economic venture this country has ever undertaken.” In Savannah, there are remnants of the city’s shady history wherever you look.
- In a tradition similar to today’s courtroom auctions, Savannah’s forefathers sold slaves in Wright Square on the first Tuesday of every month, in a rite that is still practiced today.
- According to Savannah historian Hugh Golson, slave yards off Johnson Square are where the slaves were kept.
- According to Wortham, the Cluskey Embankment Stores are a good place to shop.
- These narratives continue to exist in the shadows in more ways than one.
- The sole proof that Savannah’s underground realm formerly housed slaves may be found in the flooring of the First African Baptist Church, which dates back to the 18th century.
- According to Wortham, these were utilized as air holes for slaves who were hidden beneath the floor.
Despite her desire to explore the underground corridor, she claims she has always been “too chicken.” I attempt to get admission, but am met with the response “There is no access to a subterranean level,” according to Atricia Roberts, the church’s director of community relations and events.
Stranger Than Fact
It appears that Lady Astor’s so-called “beautiful woman with a dirty face” also has a pair of filthy digits on her. It seems that the more I dig, the more dead ends I come upon. Two persons have told me about a conduit that reportedly runs from Battlefield Memorial Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the bluff and back to the battlefield. As Ken Kelly, director of the city’s stormwater management department puts it, “Storm drains are important.” His explanation is that they date back to the Civil War and are constructed of brick.
- Many individuals have pointed me in the direction of the rum cellar at The Pirates’ House, which allegedly used to lead to a tunnel to the river—for the aforementioned shanghaiing—but has since been closed.
- It was not until Herb Traub and Jim Casey acquired the Pirates’ House in 1953 that it was given the name “Pirates’ House.” He also points out that most piracy had disappeared by the time Savannah was formed.
- “That was made up by Herb and Jim,” says the author.
- Brad Wilkinson, senior engineer for network underground at Georgia Power, is the man who has put the last nail into the coffin of folklore.
- In the past, there have been suggestions for tunnels leading out to the river; however, nothing has ever materialized.
- In addition, the river’s route used to be a bit farther inland than it is currently, according to historical records.
- Rum smugglers, not pirates, are the target.
- Reports of an underground boxing ring beneath Circa 1875, a bishop’s tunnel beneath Drayton at Perry Street, and a barrel vault beneath Broughton Street from East Broad Street to Martin Luther King Jr.
- Several accounts have been circulated about the Sons of Liberty gathering in secret in the tunnel beneath what is now the cellar of Sweet Melissa’s restaurant.
- Even if there is any truth to these assertions, it is hidden behind bricked-up walls and the veneer of “progress.”
The only tunnel that I am aware of that was constructed for human transportation is the one near the former Candler Hospital, which is now home to the Savannah Law School. The subterranean chamber and adjacent hallway, which were constructed in 1884, were used for autopsies. He claims that a buddy of his recalls hearses loading coffins from a shaft on the Forsyth Park side of the roadway while he was growing up. “The dead house, which was an unattractive structure,” according to a Savannah Morning News article from 1884, was demolished and “a new one constructed underground from drawings given by the architect and landscape gardener John F.
- Was it used to conceal yellow fever deaths and calm a city-wide panic, as has been speculated, or was it something else?
- But the Candler tunnel isn’t the only item I’ve discovered to be of interest underground.
- Aside from the multiple vaults, there are countless cellars, the ruins of old outhouses, and other intriguing objects to be found beneath the surface.
- For example, city workers discovered an unexpected cover to a historic cistern in Wright Space in July 2012 when removing a support from the square where the seats were supposed to stand.
- According to Luciana Spracher, director of the city’s records, there are at least seven additional cisterns beneath the city’s squares on a map of Savannah from 1796 that she shows me.
- Matthew’s for iron hooks that were formerly used to link slaves together.
- However, because they are on the stairwell, it seems improbable that they were utilized for the stated purpose.
- However, the cellar proves to be educational in unexpected ways.
- Going behind the cabinets, Golson reveals that there is enough space to accommodate a person—possibly a slave.
- The truth about the building’s prior owners and inhabitants is hidden somewhere in the building’s history.
- And, despite the fact that there have been several dead ends, much like the tunnels themselves, I have found answers to questions I didn’t even realize I needed to ask and have discovered some truths in the process.
We know how to make the city streets gleam with radiance and beauty. However, as Golson points out, “we need to do more.” We must maintain the entirety of the city’s history—to cast a light into the darkness and dive even further into the past.
Black History: Underground Railroad
The slaves who were hiding beneath the floor were able to get some fresh air through these apertures. It wasn’t long until those slaves on the run for their lives and freedom found their way to Fort Pulaski. By Dawn Bakeremail|biographical information SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – The city of Savannah is preparing to host the World Trade Center. Our journey through Black history continues with a look back to the late 1600s, when it is thought that the first Africans arrived in the United States. They were forced to come as slaves against their choice.
- They wished to live as if they were free in a place where they were treated as property rather than as human beings, but this was not possible in their current situation.
- They painted the front doors red and made sure that the ceiling was built entirely of square tiles to complete the look.
- However, the true proof of this may be found in the church basement.
- There are a few minor holes in the floor around their bases.
- Even the holes, however, had a link to the slaves’ ancestral home.” The cross in the centre is really a cosmogram, which is an African sign.
- Africans would be incarcerated in tunnels under the surface.
- A portion of the Underground Railroad, which slaves used to find their way to freedom, ran through this area.
- Back then, the only thing you could see was forests.
- “It has been established that the Fort served as a shelter for slaves when the Union forces retook control of the fort.
- We’ve seen brief mentions in several of the reports submitted by the cops that they were drawing on their knowledge of the local waterways in order to try to maneuver their way through it “Mike Weinstein, a park ranger at Fort Pulaski, describes what he does.
Another group of people made their way to Tybee Island and finally found up in Florida, where they were able to accomplish their goal of freedom. For additional information on the history of the Low Country and the Coastal Empire, please see the website.
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.|
The Underground Railroad Route
Those slaves who were hidden beneath the floor could breathe through these openings. It wasn’t long before those slaves fleeing for their lives and freedom found their way to Fort Pulaski. Email|biography of Dawn Baker The Savannah Morning News reports that the city of Savannah, Georgia, is preparing to host the World Trade Center. Our journey through Black history continues with a look back to the late 1600s, when it is thought that the first Africans arrived in the United States. They were compelled to come as slaves against their choice.
- They wished to live as if they were free in a place where they were treated as property rather than as human beings, but this was not possible in their current environment.
- In addition to painting the front doors red, they ensured that the ceiling was built entirely of square tiles, as well.
- True confirmation of this can be found in the church basement, though.
- Small holes on the floor can be found around their bases.
- The slaves’ country was represented by a link to even the holes.” A cosmogram, or African sign, is shown in the midst of the cross.
Immediately beneath these markings, there are tunnels about four feet high where Africans can be knee bone deep and hear their brothers and sisters up top sending messages and prayers through the holes in the ceiling “”Day Clean Journeys Tour Company is owned and operated by Jamal Toure’,” he explains further.
- They went from First African to the location now known as Runaway Point, where they camped.
- It wasn’t long before those slaves fleeing for their lives and freedom found their way to Fort Pulaski.
- According to what we know, some of the escaped slaves joined the troops and helped to keep the fort up and running.
- Even after the Civil War, several of the slaves remained in Savannah.
Another group of people made their way to Tybee Island and finally found up in Florida, where they were able to achieve their dreams of freedom. For additional information on the history of the Low Country and the Coastal Empire, please see the following website:
- sMontana This state does not display on the map since it is not included in the list. Make use of a wall map of the United States to instruct children on where Montana is located.) North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia are among the states represented.
Explain to pupils that enslaved individuals did not have access to maps, compasses, or GPS systems throughout their time in slavery. The majority of enslaved individuals were never permitted to get an education, and as a result, they were unable to read or write. Consider the following question: How do you suppose enslaved people knew they were heading in the correct direction? Students should be informed that enslaved individuals resorted to guides on the Underground Railroad, as well as memory, visuals, and spoken communication to survive.
- Talk about the difficulties you’ve encountered on your path.
- Instruct pupils to examine the map and make note of any physical characteristics of the region that made the voyage challenging.
- In order to demonstrate proper shading techniques, students should go to Alabama, then northeast via Maine and into Canada to see how the Applachian Mountains are shaded.
- Ask:Can you think of anything else that made the travel difficult?
- Explain to kids that enslaved individuals did not have access to maps, compasses, or GPS systems during their time of slavery. Due to the fact that the majority of enslaved people were never permitted to get an education, they were unable to read and write. Consider the following question: How do you believe enslaved people knew they were heading in the correct direction? Educate kids about the importance of guides on the Underground Railroad, as well as on memory, imagery, and verbal communication to survive. Talk about any obstacles you’ve encountered on your travels thus far. Explain to pupils that fleeing enslaved persons who used the Underground Railroad ran the risk of being apprehended at all times. Examine the map with children and have them identify the physical characteristics of the region that made the voyage challenging. Encourage students to draw attention to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in their presentations. In order to demonstrate proper shading techniques, students should go to Alabama, then northeast via Maine and into Canada to see how the Applachian Mountains should be shaded. Students should be given the opportunity to shade their maps. Inquire as to what else you believe contributed to the difficulty of the voyage. Create tasks for them to think about, for example,
3. Ask pupils to identify the route they would have chosen if they were in their shoes. Students should be divided into small groups. Ask each group to look at the map and choose the route they would have gone to freedom if they had been able to do so. Students should choose their selections based on the states, rivers, and mountain ranges that they would have to cover on their journey. Ask each group to describe the path they would have followed and why they would have done so.
Students should discuss what they believe to be the most difficult obstacles to fleeing enslaved people, such as distance, weather, mountains, wildlife, bodies of water, or densely inhabited places, among other things. Inquire as to how their chosen method might have assisted enslaved individuals in avoiding the difficulties they were faced with.
Students will be able to:
- The student will be able to identify slave states and free states during the time period when the Underground Railroad was active
- Describe the difficulties encountered throughout the voyage
- Indicate the path they would have followed, and explain their reasons.
- Common Core Standard 1: How to interpret and share information via the use of maps and other geographic representations, geospatial technology, and spatial thinking
- Standard 17: How to use geography to understand and interpret the past.
What You’ll Need
- Highlighters, paper, pencils, and pens, as well as a wall map of the United States
- Internet access is optional
- Technological setup includes one computer per classroom and a projector.
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Naomi Friedman holds a Master’s degree in political science.
Christina Riska Simmons is a model and actress.
Chrissy Riska Simmons is a young woman who is passionate about her work.
- Christina Riska Simmons is a writer and actress.
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Savannah, Both Sides (Published 2014)
Walking through one of Savannah’s oldest black cemeteries with a straw hat and French cuffed shirt, Johnnie Brown paused in front of a huge oak tree, which he considered to be particularly beautiful. When Mr. Brown pointed to the clusters of gashes in the tree trunk, he did so with a bitter shaky head. “Right here is where the whipping tree is,” he pointed out. In the face of this, it’s hard to understand why so many black people left the South in the first place. In addition to a few dollops of indignation and a hearty serving of Savannah’s powerful, if woefully underappreciated, black narrative, Mr.
If you board his popular bus in downtown Savannah, you’ll get a few dollops of indignation and a hearty serving of Savannah’s powerful, if woefully underappreciated, black narrative.
Brown can be thinking about how Georgia’s first slaves arrived as day laborers from South Carolina in 1733, or musing about the tombstone of a black Confederate soldier, or describing how more than six million black Southerners left the region between Emancipation and the 1960s all in the same breath.
- In a city that, one could argue, louched through the 1990s amusing visitors with the eccentricities of locals in John Berendt’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and fattened them the following decade on Paula Deen’s fried chicken and peach cobbler, Mr.
- As seen by Savannah’s previous three mayors, who have all been African-American, the Deep South is really changing.
- A tourist might easily spend a week sauntering around the city’s somber boulevards and walk away with little understanding of the important role Georgia’s oldest African-American community has played in the city’s development and history.
- Then there’s the local trivia that makes you scratch your head, such as an ancient canal that is still known as Runaway Negro Creek.
When it comes to Southern traditions and charms — Gothic Revival homes, high-on-the-hog soul food, Spanish moss canopies shading picturesque squares — this city is so protective of its Southern heritage and traditions that the mere suggestion of cultural evolution causes an old-timer to drop his mint julep.
- It appears that the old-fashioned way of doing things in Savannah is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, though.
- SCAD has attracted a slew of artsy intellectuals to the city as a result of its international reach.
- The work of Walter O.
- The collection of Mr.
- Managing director of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Kimberly Shreve, remarked that “his collection is on par with Bill Cosby’s.” “He was able to get in before anyone realized how valuable the artwork was.” Today, a new wing at the campus bears his name, and it not only displays Mr.
- During a recent spring afternoon, the Walter O.
- Designed by André Leon Talley, a well-known fashion expert in honor of whom a gallery at the institution is named, the exhibition of Burrows’s creations was organized by Talley.
- Evans, who began collecting art in the early 1980s and currently resides in the city of Chicago.
When I departed, there were a plethora of black businesses; now there are only a handful.” It’s difficult to imagine now, but West Broad Street was the pride of Savannah’s black movers and shakers for decades during segregation – and before the urban renewal projects of the 1960s – and is now a gritty stretch of vacant lots, public housing, and highway overpasses known as Martin Luther King Jr.
It was located in the shadow of Savannah’s newly revitalized riverfront in the 1940s, and it was a thriving commercial and social hub that housed numerous restaurants, the Union Station train depot, and nearly 200 businesses, such as the Wage Earners Savings and Loan Bank of Savannah, Savannah Pharmacy, the Star and Dunbar theaters, among others.
Her recollections include anti-segregation sit-ins in the 1960s as well as a 16-month boycott of numerous local stores, including the white-owned Levy’s department store, that she participated in.
Lloyd acknowledges that she was a part of the migration of black people who felt they had limited options at home.
Lloyd left Savannah the day after she graduated from high school and lived in cities such as Washington, Atlanta, Miami and Nashville before returning to Savannah last July, where she is now the chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Savannah State University, which is a historically black college.
It was my dream to work in the newspaper industry, but there were no African-Americans doing what I wanted to accomplish.” Tour guide Johnnie Brown points out a “whipping tree” in the Laurel Grove South Cemetery, which is located in the city’s historic district.
Mr. Brown is one of the city’s few black tour guides, and he is well-known in the community. Credit. The New York Times’ Adam Kuehl contributed to this report.
- Walking through one of Savannah’s oldest black cemeteries with a straw hat and French cuffed shirt, Johnnie Brown paused in front of a tall oak tree, which he admired with admiration. Mr. Brown shook his head sadly as he pointed to the clusters of gashes in the tree’s bark. It’s right here, right here,” he pointed to the flogging tree. You don’t have to wonder why so many black people left the South when you take a look at this. In addition to a few dollops of indignation and a hearty serving of Savannah’s powerful, if woefully underappreciated, black narrative, Mr. Brown is one of the city’s few black tour guides. If you board his popular bus in downtown Savannah, you’ll get a few dollops of indignation and a hearty serving of the city’s powerful, if woefully underappreciated, black narrative. When Mr. Brown is not ruminating on how Georgia’s first slavery arrived as day laborers from South Carolina in 1733, musing on the tombstone of a black Confederate soldier, or describing how more than six million black Southerners left the region between Emancipation and the 1960s, he is writing a novel. Then, in the same sentence, he laments the fact that his family is still battling for their property, which was taken away by the government in the early 1940s to make room for an airstrip. In a city that, one could argue, louched through the 1990s amusing visitors with the eccentricities of locals in John Berendt’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” and fattened them the following decade on Paula Deen’s fried chicken and peach cobbler, Mr. Brown’s race-based riffing is a welcome diversion. If the Deep South is really changing (Savannah’s previous three mayors have all been black), the public character of this city has frequently appeared to be caught in its own kind of gauzy antebellum bubble — possibly on purpose. It’s easy to spend a week sauntering around the city’s eerie boulevards and walk away with little idea of the important role Georgia’s oldest African-American community has had in the development of the city. No, I’m not referring to Lady Chablis, the foxy black drag queen made famous in the film “Midnight,” though she does perform at Club One, a downtown establishment, but rather to figures such as William W. Law, a postal worker who became a civil rights leader, or Ralph Mark Gilbert, pastor of First African Baptist Church, one of the nation’s oldest black Baptist churches and a stop on the Underground Railroad. In addition, there is local trivia that makes you scratch your head, such as the fact that an ancient stream is still known as Runaway Negro Creek. At the very least, you may blame the Low Country blackout on the fact that Savannah, in the pageant of cities glistening with New South shine and aura, has shown to be a less than enthusiastic participant. When it comes to Southern customs and charms — Gothic Revival mansions, hearty soul cuisine, Spanish moss canopies draping gorgeous squares — the city takes such pride in its past that the mere hint of cultural development is enough to have an old-timer spill his mint julep. When Johnny Mercer sang, “I know I’m old fashioned/But I don’t mind it/how That’s I want to be/As long as you agree/To stay old fashioned with me,” he may have captured the essence of the situation best. It appears that the old-fashioned way of doing things in Savannah is slowly becoming a thing of the past, though. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), which has campuses in Atlanta, Hong Kong, and France, is credited with bringing a new energy to the city, at least in part, because of its extensive reach. SCAD has attracted a slew of artsy intellectuals to the city as a result of its international reputation. Along with its contribution to the growth of Savannah’s creative class, SCAD’s repurposing of abandoned factories and warehouses into avant-garde learning institutions in the historic area hints that a cultural renaissance is starting in this usually sedate city. Few people more personify this creative push ahead than Walter O. Evans, a rich, Savannah-born African-American art collector who returned to his birthplace more than a decade ago, bringing with him some of the most important pieces by black artists in the world to display in his city. The collection of Mr. Evans, a retired surgeon who spent his entire professional life in Detroit, contains more than 200 pieces by artists from the nineteenth century to the present day, including works by Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, among other notable artists. Managing director of the Savannah College of Art and Design Kimberly Shreve commented, “His collection is on par with Bill Cosby’s in terms of value.” In the beginning, no one recognized the significance of the paintings. The institution has named a new wing after him, which not only displays Mr. Evans’s own artwork, but also a constantly changing collection of works by other black artists as well. On a recent spring day, the Walter O. Evans Center for African-American Studies was a hive of activity as employees hurried to get ready for a fashion-filled weekend that would recognize the pioneering black designer Stephen Burrows with a lifetime achievement award, among other things. The exhibition of Burrows’s designs was coordinated by André Leon Talley, a well-known fashion expert in honor of whom a gallery within the center was named. “This type of thing happens nearly every day around here today, and these are the kinds of things that I’m interested in,” said Mr. Evans, who began collecting art in the early 1980s and currently resides in the city of New Orleans. The Savannah I left behind, on the other hand, is nothing like the Savannah I returned to.” The number of black entrepreneurs was high when I left
- Now there are only a handful.” When you think about it, West Broad Street was the pride of Savannah’s black movers and shakers for decades during segregation – and before urban renewal projects were implemented in the 1960s. Today, it is a run-down stretch of vacant lots, public housing and highway overpasses known as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. While today’s West Broad is a thriving commercial and social hub, it used to be even more so in the 1940s, when it was home to restaurants, the Union Station train station, and nearly 200 businesses, including the Wage Earners Savings and Loan Bank, Savannah Pharmacy, and the Star and Dunbar theaters. Wanda Lloyd, age 65, of Savannah, recalled her father’s mortuary, WilliamsWilliams Funeral Home, and her grandmother’s Boyce’s School of Beauty Culture while dining at Garden of Eden, a soul food restaurant on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Her recollections include anti-segregation sit-ins in the 1960s as well as a 16-month boycott of many local stores, including the white-owned Levy’s department store, that she led in her youth. The fact that Ms. Lloyd was part of the migration of blacks from their homeland, although having grown up in a middle-class family, is not lost on her. In fact, Ms. Lloyd left Savannah the day after she graduated from high school and lived in cities such as Washington, Atlanta, Miami and Nashville before returning to Savannah in July, where she is now the chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Savannah State University, which is a historically black institution. After I received my graduation, I urged my father, ‘Keep the motor going,’ and he did. When I was younger, I wanted to work in the newspaper industry, but there were no African-Americans in that field. Laurel Grove South Cemetery, where a “whipping tree” may be seen, is pointed out by Johnnie Brown, a Savannah tour guide. A black tour guide in the city, Mr. Brown is one of the city’s few of his race. Credit. The New York Times’ Adam Kuehl contributed to this story.
Laurel Grove South Cemetery, located a few miles away from Savannah’s black main street, is the most notable burial cemetery for African-Americans who perished in the area throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Originally a rice field for the Springfield Plantation, the land was developed as a graveyard in the mid-1800s after Savannah’s main burial site, Colonial Park Cemetery, became overcrowded. Today, the land is a rolling landscape of live oaks, cypress, and crumbling tombs and markers for free blacks and slaves.
- “Not even in death did we receive our 40 acres,” he said.
- 15 — issued in 1865 by Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman, which granted newly freed slave families the right to some 40 acres of land along the southeastern coast.
- The area’s immaculate wooden homes, which range in style from Craftsman to Italianate, used to be home to Savannah’s black movers and shakers in the early twentieth century.
- The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, which is situated in the old black-owned Wage Earners Savings and Loan Bank on Martin Luther King Jr.
- The local civil rights movement is documented in this museum with striking images and interactive exhibits.
- The majority of the church’s furnishings remain original to the structure, including the light fixtures, baptismal pool, and balcony seating, which were all constructed by slaves.
A striking reminder of the crucial role the First African Baptist Church performed as a station on the Underground Railroad may be found here, as well.
A four-foot subfloor beneath the lower theater served as a hiding place for slaves when they attempted to flee.
chapter from 1950 until the mid-1970s made him a folk hero in Savannah, was the best person to know or recount the city’s history.
Law was a flamboyant personality with extensive political ties that belied his common touch with the people (for years, he operated his own tourism company, the Negro Heritage Trail Tour shuttle, yet he himself preferred traveling around town on foot).
Kennedy intervened and restored his employment.
Such a tussle would have been frowned upon by Law himself: According to the inscription on his Laurel South Cemetery gravestone, “I was the outcome of a collaborative effort.” I strove not to have a grand finale, but rather to live my life to the fullest extent possible each day, because a good name is more important than huge wealth.” Johnnie Brown, who works as a tour guide, bears the torch for the law.
- During his time in town, Mr.
- It has remained one of Savannah’s most popular restaurants to this very day.
- The establishment was full with visitors and locals enjoying the meal.
- In all fairness to Paula Deen, the past few years have been difficult for her.
- However, even if Ms.
Uncle Bubba’s SeafoodOyster House, owned by Ms.
“Bubba” Heirs and previously a prominent Savannah restaurant, was closed in the spring of this year.
Deen and her brother by a former employee.
Deen in June.
Deen is simply a victim of circumstance in a community that is content to remain in its ways.
Deen owns and rents her holiday home, the Y’All Come Inn, a cheerful, 2,000-square-foot beach house furnished with items from her home furnishing brand and a kitchen that conjures up images of “Steel Magnolias” and other Southern classics.
The North Beach Bar and Grill, a hip oceanside hangout tucked between the lighthouse and the beach that specializes in Caribbean-fusion cuisine and was co-founded by George Spriggs, an African-American chef and restaurateur, is currently the hottest restaurant on Tybee Island, and it has a black co-owner.
The origins of the area may be traced back to the Civil War, when white plantation owners fled Union forces and abandoned their properties, including their slaves.
Daufuskie is also home to the First Union African Baptist Church, which was erected in 1885 and is the area’s oldest structure (the former church, built in 1881, was destroyed in a fire).
One of the most important sources of information about Gullah-Geechee culture and its lifeblood of seafood harvesting is the Heritage Museum, which is housed in a former oyster and crab processing factory in nearby Pin Point, Ga., which also happens to be the birthplace of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
During the slave trade era, auction day was conducted once a month, and slaves were auctioned off in Wright Square after being kept in the yards of Ellis Square or Johnson Square.
Evans’s campaign to preserve the city’s rich cultural heritage.
In addition to the Louisiana-born jazz cornetist Joe (King) Oliver, who died penniless in Savannah, Georgia, in 1938, the list includes William and Ellen Craft, famously clever runaway slaves (Ellen, a mixed-race woman, disguised herself as a man to flee Macon); and former slave and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, who died in Savannah, Georgia, in 1938.
Evans’ campaign for these markers has involved a great deal of bureaucratic prodding, which has included some rather terse emails to the Georgia Historical Society.
Evans wrote in one letter, and in another, he wrote, “I’m beginning to suspect that you have no interest.” in the project.
Evans expressed his dissatisfaction with the society’s failure to respond in a timely manner and volunteered to spend his own monies to purchase three new markers.
For example, the escaped slave William Craft stated in his 1860s memoir, “Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom,” that he had witnessed slaves being tortured in every imaginable way: “I have often seen slaves tormented in every possible fashion.” I’ve witnessed them being chased down and ripped apart by bloodhounds.
In my experience, they have been hunted down and even burned alive at the stake, often for offenses that would be applauded if committed by white people for similar purposes.” Sharing these memories – whether through one of Mr.
Evans’ historical markers or paintings, or through Johnnie Brown’s tour – gives voice to the ghosts of Savannah’s past that still roam the city’s legendary streets and plazas today.
The Daring Disguise that Helped One Enslaved Couple Escape to Freedom
In the mid-nineteenth century in Macon, Georgia, a man and a woman fell in love, married, and, like many young couples at the time, began thinking about creating a family of their own. Nevertheless, Ellen and William Craft were both enslaved, and they were also well aware that any of their future children may be taken from them at any time and sold as property. As a result, they created a daring escape strategy. Using a ruse, Ellen would go by rail from Macon, Georgia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pretending to be a white man and a slaveholder.
It was a hazardous proposition, but their previous experiences had prepared them for the situation.
Both Faced Separation From Family in Childhood
Ellen was born in Clinton, Georgia, in 1826, the illegitimate mixed daughter of a slaveholder and a woman owned by him. She was the first of her family to be freed. Her fair skin and physical characteristics were so strikingly similar to her father’s that she was frequently mistaken for a member of the family, much to the displeasure of the slaveholder’s wife. In return, the wife “gifted” Ellen to her daughter, who happens to be Ellen’s half-sister, who lives in Macon. William is believed to have been born around 1824 in a remote area of Georgia.
It was in this southern town that William and Ellen first met and eventually married, albeit the exact circumstances of their union are unclear.
Because Ellen resembled her father in many ways, the decision was made that she would be able to pass for a white male in a disguise.
Using Disguise as Escape
It was not uncommon to hear stories of mixed-race enslaved people, as well as stories of enslaved people who appeared white and could pass for white, according to Barbara McCaskill, Professor of English at the University of Georgia who is also the author of Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory. Other instances of enslaved persons disguising themselves as the opposite gender, according to McCaskill, have also been documented. According to her, when it came to breaking free from the confines of slavery, African-Americans “became extremely inventive.” The artist William Craft, during the 1840s.
- But he was able to accumulate enough money to cover the cost of his and Ellen’s escape.
- She was able to sew her disguise together thanks to her abilities.
- For the purpose of concealing her inability to read and write, Ellen wrapped one arm in a sling so that she wouldn’t draw attention to herself if she needed to sign anything along the way.
- “Make up a narrative about how she is gravely unwell.” And she’s suffering from some sort of.tooth condition, as well as arthritis,” McCaskill explains.
- It was well-known for its hospitals, spas, and cutting-edge medical techniques,” says the author.
- According to McCaskill, the mouth injury was also utilized as an alibi for masking her voice and possibly speaking to anybody, as well as generating suspicions that she was not who she looked to be.
- Ellen, who was traveling under the guise of William Johnson, came dangerously near to meeting a friend of her slaveholder at the Macon train station, which was a terrible close call.
- She was concerned that her cover would be revealed and that she and William would both be killed as a result.
- Ellen, on the other hand, was not acknowledged due to good fortune on their side.
- In fact, according to a subsequent narrative given by William Craft, Ellen was frequently warned by onlookers to avoid abolitionists because they would attempt to liberate William along the road.
Photographs courtesy of the Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection Following the escape of William and Ellen Craft from slavery, according to William Craft’s bookRunning A Thousand Miles for Freedom; or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery, a passenger to Ellen on their trip to Charleston said to William, “You have a very attentive boy, sir; but you had better watch him like a hawk when you get on to the North.” “He appears to be in excellent health here, but he may behave entirely differently in another location.
Many guys I know have lost their precious n- among them, some of the most zealous abolitionists on the planet.” Also secretly instructed to depart as soon as his feet reached free soil, William was a victim of abolitionists’ deception.
They traveled by ship and rail from Charleston to other places, including Wilmington, North Carolina and Baltimore, Maryland, before arriving at their final destination of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Christmas Day in 1848. William and Ellen were married in Charleston in 1848.
A Life of Freedom and Abolition
After they arrived in Philadelphia, word of the fugitive pair spread quickly throughout the city. Several local abolitionists instantly offered assistance, and on their first day in the city, they even began teaching them reading and writing skills. Later, the couple went to Boston, Massachusetts, where they and other abolitionists continued to share their tale in relative safety. “realized that one of the most effective weapons they possessed in the fight against slavery was the testimony of previously enslaved people themselves.” Due to the fact that these individuals could attest to the reality of slavery,” argues McCaskill.
- With the birth of their five children in England, they were finally able to start the family they had long wished to have in their homeland.
- “Since my emancipation from slavery, I have fared far better in every regard than I could have reasonably imagined,” stated Ellen Craft in the Anti-Slavery Advocate’s December 1852 edition.
- 1840s, at her studio.
- While providing a first-person narrative of slavery, the book also demonstrated what an escaped slave with no prior knowledge of reading or writing might accomplish in just over a decade of freedom and education, according to the author.
The Craft’s Challenging Return to the U.S.
Following the end of the American Civil War and the freedom of enslaved people, the Crafts came to the United States with their three youngest children in 1868. The Crafts were originally from Ireland. The duo created two schools for African Americans on the border of South Carolina and Georgia in 1870, with financing assistance from abolitionists in Boston. One school served adults, while the other served children, according to the pair. After “night riders,” a predecessor to the Ku Klux Klan, set fire to both schools in Woodville, Georgia, the Crafts erected a new school in the town of Woodville.
While Ellen and their children concentrated on teaching, William worked on gathering funds to ensure that the school remained operational.
When William Craft was arrested in 1876, he was accused of abusing cash that had been gathered to help the school.
As McCaskill points out, “there was already a lot of animosity over the Confederacy’s defeat to Union, and the presence of William and Ellen Craft further exacerbated those tensions,” she writes.
A libel suit against William was unsuccessful, and his reputation was permanently marred as a result of this incident.
Following the loss of their farm and subsequent increase in debt, the Crafts relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, where they lived with their daughter and her husband.
Sadly, Ellen passed away a year later, and William passed away in 1900. The Crafts were allowed to spend their dying days surrounded by their loved ones, which was precisely why they had sacrificed their lives to achieve freedom more than 50 years ago. SEE ALSO: Slavery in the United States