When Did The Underground Railroad Start In Pennsylvania? (TOP 5 Tips)

The Underground Railroad operated from around 1831 until enslaved people were freed after the Civil War. Enslaved people followed routes carved by nature, such as mountains, rivers, and streams.

Was the Underground Railroad an illegal organization?

  • The Underground Railroad was not located underground nor was it a railroad. It was symbolically underground as the network’s clandestine activities were secret and illegal so they had to remain “underground” to help fugitive slaves stay out of sight.

Where in PA is the Underground Railroad?

Located just outside Philadelphia, Bucks County is home to a number of significant sites that were part of the Underground Railroad. Towns like Yardley, Bristol, New Hope and Doylestown feature churches, farms, taverns and more where enslaved people were aided in their journey north.

Where did Harriet Tubman live in Pennsylvania?

Tubman’s efforts during the Civil War 29, 1854, Harriet brought three of her brothers and three other freedom seekers to the home of Allen and Maria Agnew in Kennett Square before escorting them northward. Three years later, she brought her aged parents to safety in St.

When did the Underground Railroad began and end?

The Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century and reached its height between 1850 and 1860.

Did the Underground Railroad go through Philadelphia?

Two tours of antislavery sites. It’s more than just Harriet Tubman: Philadelphia was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, and in the fight against slavery. And Philadelphia abolitionists, Black and white, were major figures in the movement. You can learn this part of Philadelphia history by walking the city.

Where did Harriet Tubman live in Philly?

From the outside, 625 South Delhi Street looks like an average Philadelphia rowhouse. But in the 1850s, it was home to Underground Railroad leaders William and Letitia Still. Within the house’s narrow confines, they hid hundreds of escapees and gave well-known figures like Harriet Tubman shelter.

Did the Underground Railroad go through Pennsylvania?

As the first free state north of the Mason-Dixon line, Pennsylvania provided numerous entry points to freedom and stops along the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad operated from around 1831 until enslaved people were freed after the Civil War.

When did Harriet Tubman arrive in Pennsylvania?

1849: Tubman’s escape Tubman safely arrived in Philadelphia, although $100 was offered for her capture, according to the National Park Service. “I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land,” she would later say.

Why did slaves escape to Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania, along with most of the other northern states, had passed emancipation laws, while those south of the line remained slave states. Philadelphia’s proximity to this border and its strong abolitionist movement made the area a popular destination for slaves attempting to flee their captivity.

Did Harriet Tubman ever live in Pennsylvania?

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman, the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, lived in Philadelphia in the decade before the Civil War.

What year is Underground Railroad set in?

The Underground Railroad takes place around 1850, the year of the Fugitive Slave Act’s passage. It makes explicit mention of the draconian legislation, which sought to ensnare runaways who’d settled in free states and inflict harsh punishments on those who assisted escapees.

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.

Did the Underground Railroad really exist?

( Actual underground railroads did not exist until 1863.) According to John Rankin, “It was so called because they who took passage on it disappeared from public view as really as if they had gone into the ground. After the fugitive slaves entered a depot on that road no trace of them could be found.

Why was Philadelphia an important stop on the Underground Railroad?

Since Philadelphia was the home of the William Still, who was known as the Father of the Underground Railroad, Philadelphia would play a very important role in the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves seeking their secure and safe passage to freedom.

Pennsylvania’s Underground Railroad History

This location will be the site of a memorial commemorating Sheriff Dave Miller’s acts, which will be put at the Old Lancaster County Jail.

By Stephanie Kalina Metzger

Credit for contemporary photographs: Photographs courtesy of Randolph Harris of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The following picture credit is given for historical images: From the collection of Randolph Harris. Those who are aware with the Underground Railroad know that it was not a railroad in the traditional sense, but rather a method by which African American slaves were able to escape to the free states and Canada during the early-to-mid nineteenth century. It turns out that the state of Pennsylvania cleared the door for fugitive African American slaves seeking freedom.

The brave individuals who escorted the escape slaves were referred to as “conductors” because of their bravery.

“Stationmasters” were the people in charge of running the stations.

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

At its peak, it was believed that around 1,000 slaves per year were escaping from slave-holding states through the Underground Railroad system in the United States.

Pennsylvania’s role

A consultant historian and historical conservation advocate, Randolph Harris, claims that Pennsylvania pioneered the way for African American slaves seeking freedom in the United States. According to historical records, Pennsylvania was the first state in North America to outlaw slavery. “Not only is Pennsylvania the foundation state of the nation, but it is also the keystone state of the abolitionist struggle,” Harris remarked. “It began in this country and was formalized here. For white anti-slavery abolitionists, free African Americans, and those who had been formerly slaves, our state served as a welcome presence.” Lancaster’s standing as an Underground Railroad heritage site, according to Thomas R.

It has been two decades since the Underground Railroad has been the subject of original research, rather than the previous four or five, according to him.

Department of the Interior recently awarded LancasterHistory.org and the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania a grant to cover the costs of research, design, fabrication and installation of two outdoor markers and two interior graphic display panels to help tell the story of the role of the Underground Railroad in the area.

“We found the project to be very exciting, and we believe it will help to further the goals of preserving the history of the Underground Railroad,” said Diane Miller, national program manager of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

“We believe it will help to further the goals of preserving the history of the Underground Railroad.” The following are the locations that have been selected for the placement of the outdoor markers.

The Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site

It is planned to place a historical marker inside the storefront windows of the Kleiss Tavern, which is located at the intersection of South Queen and East Vine streets. It will be explained in detail by the panels what happened in 1848 that established the property’s role as a safe home for the Underground Railroad during the time Stevens and Smith were there. According to Harris, Stevens was well-known for providing slaves with food, shelter, and instructions to the next safe house to the east, where they might escape.

“She was the magnificent lady who stood in the shadow of the great man,” Harris said.

This and other examples highlight the need of study, preservation, and educating the public, said Harris, who added that the home had previously been slated for demolition by the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority.

Fulton Opera House

The site of the old Lancaster County Jail is marked by a sidewalk-mounted marker directly across the street from the Fulton Opera House. In 1835, Sheriff “Dare Devil Dave” Miller surreptitiously liberated two African-American women who had been imprisoned by bounty hunters, according to the tale told on the memorial. Miller’s activities were kept hidden from the public for 50 years.

Thaddeus Stevens’ Grave

The memorial, which is located at the intersection of North Mulberry and West Chestnut Streets, will offer insight on why Stevens chose that location for his final resting place. It was said that he discovered he had acquired a site in a cemetery that was solely open to white people soon before his death. Infuriated, he went out and bought another plot in the Shreiner-Concord Cemetery, which was deemed isolated at the time and did not have any racial restrictions. A chiseled credo on the subject of equality may be seen on the monument dedicated to him.

PhiladelphiaColumbia Railroad Station

On the old location of the PhiladelphiaColumbia Railroad Station, at the intersection of North Queen and East Chestnut streets, a marker will be installed outside the entrance to the parking garage, near the junction of North Queen and East Chestnut streets. Privately owned freight carriages that travelled on this railway route and stopped at the station were equipped with false walls in order to transfer slaves to Philadelphia in the most secretive manner possible. According to Harris, the installation of these four markers is only the beginning of a long-term ambition to place around 20 additional markers.

African American Heritage Walking Tours

A new season of walking tours in Lancaster runs on the first Saturday of every month until November 3, with excursions taking place on the second Saturday of the month. The tours, which are sponsored by the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania, will take place at 12 different places across the downtown area.

The 90-minute tours, which will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., will begin at the Lancaster City Business Center, which is located at 38 Penn Square in downtown Lancaster. Randolph Harris may be reached at (717) 808-2941 if you require further information.

Destination Freedom: Traveling PA’s Underground Railroad

A journey through the pathways of Pennsylvania’s Underground Railroad satisfies the need for adventure as well as the desire to learn more about the past. It emphasizes Pennsylvania’s significant role in assisting slaves to freedom, as well as the state’s participation in the national civil rights struggle, by fusing the modern with the history. The Underground Railroad was not a railroad in the traditional sense; rather, it was a sophisticated network of hidden passageways, churches, organizations, and privately-owned residences that assisted fugitive slaves on their perilous voyage north.

  1. The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Philadelphia is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in the United States.
  2. Mother Bethel was an important station on the Underground Railroad, and it was also the starting point for numerous African American groups.
  3. What takes a few minutes in a car today took escapees more than a day to do on foot in the past.
  4. TheKennedy-Square Underground Railroad Center is a great place to learn about the nearly 16 places in and around town where slaves could be sheltered by stationmasters until they were able to find their way to freedom.
  5. Across the Way Bed & Breakfast is located in the middle section of Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, and is a renovated Victorian estate that was originally used as an Underground Railroad safe house.
  6. John Julius LeMoyne, a practicing physician at the time, was an active conductor on the illustrious expedition.
  7. At the Underground Railroad History Center in Blairsville, which includes a downloadable map of a three-hour driving trip around locations in western Pennsylvania, visitors may learn about the history of the underground railroad.
  8. Take US Route 19 north on your way out of town.
  9. A halt on the Underground Railroad may be found in every county in the state of Pennsylvania, demonstrating the state’s important connection to this painful chapter in American history.

Allow the freedom bell to ring. Read the personal accounts of some of the people who contributed to the development of our country as a land of liberty and equality. paquestforfreedom.com Learn more about Pennsylvania’s subterranean railways by visiting their website.

The Underground Railroad

Exploring the paths of Pennsylvania’s Underground Railroad will satisfy both the need for adventure and the want to learn more about the history of the state’s founding. It emphasizes Pennsylvania’s significant role in assisting slaves to freedom, as well as the state’s participation in the national civil rights struggle, by fusing the modern with the past. The Underground Railroad was not a railroad in the traditional sense; rather, it was a sophisticated network of hidden passageways, churches, institutions, and privately-owned residences that supported fugitive slaves on their perilous voyage north.

  1. The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Philadelphia is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in the United States, having been established in 1844.
  2. Mother Bethel was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, and it was also the starting point for numerous African American groups.
  3. On foot, what is now a matter of an hour’s travel time by automobile took escapees more than a day to complete A large number of stations may be found here.
  4. Path continues through northern counties and small towns like Reading, which served as crucial stations and conductors in the effort to move the fugitives farther north on the trail.
  5. Across the Way Bed & Breakfast is located in central Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg.
  6. John Julius LeMoyne, a practicing physician at the time, was an active conductor on the illustrious pilgrimage route.
  7. At the Underground Railroad History Center in Blairsville, which includes a downloadable map of a three-hour driving trip around locations in western Pennsylvania, visitors may learn about the history of the Underground Railroad.
  8. Traveling north on US Route 19 was formerly a dirt road used by numerous freedom-seekers on their journey out of the city.
  9. No matter where you go, you may experience the courageous missions that were conducted in the service of liberty.

Freedom should resound in the ears of everybody. Read the personal accounts of some of the people who contributed to the development of our country as a place of liberty and justice. paquestforfreedom.com Learn more about Pennsylvania’s subterranean railroads by visiting their website.

What was the Underground Railroad?

For enslaved persons seeking freedom, Western Pennsylvania served as a key corridor via which they might travel. They traveled largely on foot, with the odd trip in secret compartments of wagons and other modes of conveyance. They followed paths that had been sculpted by nature through rivers, streams, and mountains, and they did it mostly on foot. It is impossible to know how many there were because no formal records were kept and just a few informal ones have survived. Some writings written by people who aided in this subterranean process—sometimes referred to as “conductors”—have survived, providing some indication of the hardships suffered by those going on the railroad.

  • Affected by the Fugitive Slave Laws were also free individuals of African descent who resided in the region.
  • Even more were transformed into the voice of social transformation and self-empowerment for all Blacks of the time period and beyond.
  • From Slavery to Freedom, an exhibition at the Senator John Heinz History Center, will take you on a journey through more than 250 years of African-American history.
  • One of the several Underground Railroad routes in western Pennsylvania entered through Uniontown in Fayette County, proceeded through Blairsville in Indiana County, and then continued on into Mercer, Venango, and Erie Counties before coming to an end in the city of Pittsburgh.
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Western Pennsylvania Underground Railroad Sites

Mt. Washington, PA 15211 Chatham Village Olympia Road Mt. Washington, PA 15211 Building constructed in 1849 that served as a station on the Underground Railroad inside the boundaries of Chatham Village T. James Bigham was an abolitionist barrister and the editor of The Commercial Journal Anti-Slavery Newspaper, which was published in London in 1848. Lucinda Bigham, the Black family nurse of Bigham, is said to have kept a vigilant eye out from the Bigham home’s tower for escaped slaves or professional slave hunters.

More information may be found in this wesa.fm story.

City Baths

Third Street between Market and Ferry Streets in downtown Pittsburgh is home to a barbershop and safehouse that serves the community. Slaves were given a fresh appearance as well as a head start on their escape to the United States. Using lists of famous hotel visitors and advertisements made by persons seeking for escaped slaves, historians have confirmed the hotel’s role in the abolitionist movement.

Daytime: A economic, social, and political club for the city’s white elites; nighttime: a station on the Underground Railroad for slaves fleeing to the United States.

Freedom Road Cemetery

Mercer County Historical Society 119 South Pitt St. Mercer, PA 16137 (724.662.3490) Mercer County Historical Society The Stoneboro Fairgrounds Cemetery is located on the right side of the road, directly across from the entrance gate. Liberia was a runaway slave settlement founded by the Travis family, who were themselves free Blacks. All that is left of Liberia is a cemetery. For many years, this town served as a haven for tired travelers on their journey. A popular target of slave catchers, it was also a frequent target of their raids.

Only a handful of people remained in the region, including one entrepreneur who sold cigars and alcohol to his neighbors.

Gibson House (Mark Twain Manor)

The Jamestown Future Foundation is located at 210 Liberty St. in Jamestown, Pennsylvania 16134 and can be reached at 724.932.5455. Dr. William Gibson, a well-known Jamestown physician, accompanied Samuel Clemens on his journey to Russia. Clemens authored a book on their adventures, titled Innocents Abroad, which is available on Amazon. It has been speculated that the home served as a halt on the Underground Railroad. There is evidence of a tiny chamber that was utilized as a station on the Underground Railroad in the basement.

The Gibson House is a historic structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John C. Peck Oyster House

The Jamestown Future Foundation is located at 210 Liberty St. in Jamestown, Pennsylvania 16134. The phone number is 724.932.5455. With Samuel Clemens on his journey to Russia was Dr. William Gibson, a well-known Jamestown physician. During their travels, Clemens authored a book titled Innocents Abroad, which chronicled their experiences. A story has it that the home was used as a stopping point on the Underground Railroad. Evidence of a tiny chamber used in the Underground Railroad may be found in the basement.

The Gibson House is a National Historic Landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States.

Plaque Honoring Jane Gray Swisshelm

600 Grant St., in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh In downtown Pittsburgh, on Sixth Avenue, at the Heinz headquarters is the Heinz Museum. Jane Grey Swisshelm had direct experience with slavery and became committed to the abolitionist fight for the Underground Railroad as a result. She started publishing an abolitionist weekly in Pittsburgh in 1848, called the Pittsburgh Saturday Visitor.

Private homes in Arthurville and Hayti

Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill neighborhood It is believed that the fugitives were hiding out in private homes in the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Arthurville and Hayti, where they were assisted by agents and conductors such as the Rev.

Lewis Woodson, Samuel Bruce, George Gardner and Bishop Benjamin Tanner, the father of the noted black artist Henry Ossawa Tanner, who is depicted on a United States postage stamp.

St. Matthew’s A.M.E. Church in Sewickley

Sewickley is located at 345 Thorn St. Built in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, in 1857, they functioned as Underground Railroad operators. One common technique of providing food to escaped slaves in the Pittsburgh region was for conductors to disguise as hunters at night and carry a game bag full with foodstuffs to their destination.

Wylie A.M.E. Church

Hill District, 2200 Wylie Avenue, 2200 Wylie Avenue On July 11, 1850, a group of African American residents gathered at the church and passed resolutions criticizing the recently proposed Fugitive Slave Bill, which had been sponsored by the United States Congress. A request was made at this assembly for the complete amalgamation of their organizations in order to secure protection against slave hunters who come into Pittsburgh in search of fugitives.

Demolished Sites

Avery Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, at the corner of Nash and Avery Streets, was afterwards known as Avery College and then as Avery Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church. In 1812, Charles Avery moved to Pittsburgh from New York. His interest in the cotton industry brought him on buying excursions to the South, and he was intrigued to the condition of the Negro slaves. He became a member of the abolitionist movement and assisted slaves in their escape from the South to Canada via the underground railroad.

  • Avery’s riches enabled him to build the Allegheny Institute and Mission Church, which became known as Avery College.
  • The basement, which was only accessible by concealed trap doors, was most likely a “station” (hiding spot) on the Underground Railroad’s secret underground network.
  • During the night, a rowboat was employed to transport them up the canal to the tunnel entrance in secrecy.
  • When Avery died, his fortune was estimated at $800,000.
  • Workmen dismantled the red brick structure of Avery College in Old Allegheny’s Dutchtown to make room for the East Street Valley Expressway, which has been a source of contention for years.
  • Old-timers, on the other hand, believed that demolition of the structure signaled the end of a notable Pittsburgher’s dream.

Crawford Grill

In the Hill District, this was a hub of Black social life where performers such as Art Blakey, Mary Lou Williams, and John Coltrane drew a racially diverse and international audience.

Founded by William “Gus” Greenlee, a major person in Pittsburgh’s Black community who was also the owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, the city’s Negro League baseball club, the Pittsburgh Crawfords was founded in 1903.

Monongahela House

Formerly located at the junction of Water and Smithfield Streets, this hotel has been demolished. One of the city’s most luxurious hotels, as well as a hotbed of anti-slavery activities. It had a staff of 300 free Blacks who were in regular touch with a steady stream of affluent Southern merchants who arrived from the north and east.

Point View Hotel

Once stood at the intersection of Water and Smithfield Streets, this hotel has been demolished. A prominent anti-slavery activist and one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the Grand Hotel is a landmark. It had a workforce of 300 free Blacks who were in daily touch with a steady stream of affluent Southern merchants who came from the north and east to do business.

Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania

Slaves were led to freedom by Pennsylvania conductors. The abolition of slavery was the most important moral issue of the nineteenth century, especially after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which allowed owners to capture and return their slaves to the slave states of the North. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed owners to capture and return their slaves to the slave states of the North. The Underground Railroad (UGRR) was a loosely organized collection of people who risked their homes and personal safety in order to assist runaways in escaping bondage.

  • If convicted, a stationmaster on the UGRR might face up to five years in prison and a fine of $20,000, which was a significant figure at the time.
  • Although the Fugitive Slave Law was rendered useless by a ruling of the United States Supreme Court in 1842, Congress enacted a harsher Fugitive Slave Law as part of the Compromise of 1850, which mandated federal officials to track down and return runaway slaves to their owners.
  • As a result of the Wrights’ ferry operation over the Susquehanna River, a whole rural hamlet known as Wright’s Ferry developed up around the ferry terminal.
  • With its near proximity to Maryland and easy access over the Susquehanna River, Wright’s Ferry attracted a considerable number of formerly enslaved people who eventually moved there.
  • During this early era, fugitives were carried across the river by ferry boats, and in 1812, officials constructed a bridge across the Susquehanna near the Wright home.
  • A detailed account of those actively participating in the local Underground Railroad is contained in his work on the subject, History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania, published in 1882.
  • A replica of Susanna Wright’s rebuilt home, which was built in 1738 by an English Quaker pioneer who never married but instead acquired land on what was then the frontier and became self-sufficient by operating a ferry service over the river.
  • She also raised silk worms and published a book on the subject, which is available online.
  • Whipper was the most significant conductor in the town during this period.

The following is an excerpt from Whipper’s biography, which was included in William Still’s book: “My residence was at the end of the bridge, and as I maintained the station, I was regularly summoned up in the middle of the night to take control of the passengers.” When they first arrived, most of them were starving and without money.

  • At this point, the path split; some were transferred west by ferry to Pittsburgh, while others.
  • From 1847 until 1860, I made a yearly contribution of one thousand dollars from my earnings.
  • Sarah Speakman married Presbyterian preacher James Miller McKim, who was also a famous abolitionist and the editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman, in 1840 in Philadelphia.
  • He also served as counsel in the numerous court cases that arose following the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
  • Sarah and her husband were also prominent advocates of the Underground Railroad during their time in the United States.
  • When abolitionist John Brown was sentenced to death in 1859, the McKims rallied around his wife, Mary Brown, and journeyed with her to Virginia.
  • Following that, the McKims and Frances Harper aided Mary in claiming her husband’s body and led her northward to the cemetery for the funeral ceremony and interment, respectively.

One of the outcomes of this conference was the formation of the Philadelphia Port Royal Relief Committee, which later became known as the Pennsylvania Freedman’s Relief Association when it expanded to include the entire state of Pennsylvania in 1863.

Besides abolitionist concerns, Sarah McKim was a staunch supporter of human rights, particularly women’s rights, as well as children’s rights and animal rights.

He also had a role in the establishment of The Nation, a journal dedicated to promoting the interests of recently liberated slaves.

From the time of its founding in the early 1800s, the town benefited from a plethora of road, canal, and train transportation.

Image: A map of the county of Indiana Western Pennsylvania is a region in the United States that includes the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

John Graff was a rich businessman who was concerned about abolition; he was a member of several abolitionist organizations and served as a stationmaster for the Underground Railroad (UGRR).

The chamber provided access to an underground tunnel that ran from the carriage house to the river underneath the building.

He worked as a stationmaster as well.

He established a new life in Blairsville with the assistance of Lewis Johnston, a conductor for the Underground Railroad and an African American community leader with whom Newman shared a home.

Stump claimed to have a federal warrant for Richard Newman, who had been residing in Blairsville for roughly six years at the time.

Just as Heck was about to arrive in Newman, an enraged throng of citizens flooded into the street and dragged Newman away to safety while driving Stump into the Pennsylvania Canal.

For a time, it poured down on the Negroes.

Stump was the one who got the ball rolling, and I was right behind him, heading for the old canal.

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We walked down the towpath, a horde of angry people following us.

I was lifted off the ground about every ten leaps I took because the number thirteen boots made such violent contact with the lower part of my anatomy that I was literally lifted off the ground.

Unless Andrew Jackson intervenes, I will never, ever, ever pursue another fugitive slave north of the fortieth degree.

Located in Chester County, Kennett Square served as the geographic center of a large and intricately connected Underground Railroad network in southeastern Pennsylvania.

A large number of Quaker conductors worked in collaboration with a smaller group of free black conductors, who were the most active members of the network.

Miller McKim and was based in Philadelphia.

Abolitionist activity grew in Kennett Square as a result of its proximity to slave states Delaware and Maryland.

White Horse Farm is a family-owned and operated farm in the town of White Horse.

With a gable roof, the mansion is a two-and-a-half-story stucco and stone construction.

Pennypacker made the decision to end his political career in 1839 in order to devote his full attention to the antislavery movement.

As a station on the Underground Railroad, he converted his house into a station in 1840.

Image courtesy of White Horse Farm Schuylkill Township is located in Pennsylvania.

During his time in charge, no slaves were ever arrested.

Edwin Fussell is a physician who practices in the United States.

Edwin Fussell (1813-1882), an abolitionist and conductor on the Underground Railroad, was also one of the founders of the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia, which he helped to build.

A witty description of the activities on the UGRR is provided by Dr.

No signs, grips, signals, or passes were known to exist by which fugitives could be identified, or by which they might safely reach the different friends of freedom and agents along the Underground Railroad’s route, according to my understanding.

As a result of the darkness, the North Star’s guidance, and the earnest souls of men and women who fought for freedom, nearly all of the trains on this remarkable road ran at night.

When it is feasible, clothing is changed, fetters are removed when required; wounds are healed, hungry people fed; weary limbs are rested, fainting hearts are strengthened; and then it is up and away for Canada.

The children learned that crying did not pay off because their slave mothers did not have time to attend to their infantile needs.

… This is a vast subject, and a thousandth portion of its pains and heartbreaks will never be published, but, due to the Father of the poor, the terror is no longer alive, the bloodhound is no longer on the track, and the Underground Railroad is no longer a thing of the past, SOURCES The Kennett Underground Railroad Center is located in Kennett, Pennsylvania.

In 1858, the Blairsville Underground Railroad was rescued. Sarah McKim is a staunch abolitionist. Activist for the rights of women, children, and animals. Dr. Edwin Fussell’s book, The Underground Railroad in Chester County, Pennsylvania, is now available online.

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

The Society of Friends (Quakers) is often regarded as the first organized group to actively assist escaped enslaved persons. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Quakers for attempting to “liberate” one of his enslaved servants. Abolitionist and Quaker Isaac T. Hopper established a network in Philadelphia in the early 1800s to assist enslaved persons who were on the run from slavery. Abolitionist organisations founded by Quakers in North Carolina lay the basis for escape routes and safe havens for fugitive slaves during the same time period.

What Was the Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.

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

Enslaved man Tice Davids fled from Kentucky into Ohio in 1831, and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his release. This was the first time the Underground Railroad was mentioned in print. In 1839, a Washington newspaper stated that an escaped enslaved man called Jim had divulged, after being tortured, his intention to go north through a “underground railroad to Boston” in order to avoid capture. After being established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard fugitive enslaved individuals from bounty hunters, Vigilance Committees quickly expanded its duties to include guiding runaway slaves.

It was by the 1840s that the phrase “Underground Railroad” had become commonplace in the United States. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE READ THESE STATEMENTS. Harriet Tubman and other Underground Railroad fugitives used the following strategies to get away.

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.

  • The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved lady and her young daughter.
  • Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.
  • After being apprehended in 1844 while transporting a boatload of freed slaves from the Caribbean to the United States, Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was sentenced to prison for life.
  • John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to assist in the rescue of enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their families as they made their way north.
  • 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.

  1. 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.
  2. When Charles Torrey assisted an enslaved family fleeing through Virginia, he was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland.
  3. was his base of operations; earlier, he had served as an abolitionist newspaper editor in Albany, New York.
  4. 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.


Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad? ‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented.

ExplorePAHistory.com – Stories from PA History

The cover of William Still’s The Underground Railroad, published by Porter in Philadelphia. During the course of his employment as a secretary for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, William Still encountered a former slave who identified himself as Peter Freedman and showed up at his Philadelphia office. The older fugitive had a fascinating story to tell, but the clerk was too preoccupied to pay attentively. Most anti-slavery campaigners were focused on the huge national discussion over slavery that was going place in Congress at the time, which took place in August of 1850.

  1. Suddenly, however, as William Still fidgeted uncomfortably behind his desk, he realized that the guy sitting across from him was, in fact, his brother.
  2. Eventually, the boys were sold to a plantation owner in the state of Alabama.
  3. Once released, the gifted slave made friends with two Jewish businessmen who agreed to purchase him and discreetly allowed him to strive towards his freedom.
  4. He was now in the position of seeing his younger brother, Peter Still, for the first time.
  5. William Still had the distinct impression that he had discovered his life’s purpose.
  6. However, he, like many other northerners who were active in the endeavor to assist escaped slaves, known as the “Underground Railroad,” failed to make any notes or save any records of their involvement.

Following this unexpected reunion, he pledged that he would not let the fear of punishment to keep him from gathering evidence that would aid in the reunification of some of slavery’s other “bleeding and torn hearts.” Still was instrumental in the organization of several Underground Railroad activities in Philadelphia throughout the 1850s.

  • The majority of the fugitives were from slave states close by, such as Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
  • Eastman Johnson’s A Ride for Liberty – The Fugitive Slaves was published in 1862.
  • It was partly because the state had a reputation of being anti-slavery that they chose to settle in Pennsylvania.
  • Furthermore, it had been the first northern state to safeguard its black people by the passage of personal liberty statutes, which were meant to prohibit slavecatchers from seizing free blacks in the first place.
  • In 1838, African-American men were denied the right to vote by the state of Georgia.
  • There were infrequent race riots or racially motivated assaults in Pennsylvania, regardless of where black people lived.
  • Webber in 1893, is a classic.
See also:  What Does Fugitive Mean Underground Railroad Term? (Perfect answer)

Nobody knows how many slaves managed to escape to freedom, but southerners grew increasingly outraged as time went on.

He withdrew from the Anti-Slavery Society and established himself as a trader, supplying goods to a neighboring Union army camp that was educating and training African-American troops.

As soon as the war was ended and slavery was abolished, he wrote a book in which he chronicled the workings of the Underground Railroad in detail, making it the most comprehensive first-person description of the Underground Railroad ever recorded.

Additionally, the significance of the Underground Railroad was eclipsed in the years after the American Civil War.

Many of the participants’ recollections were left undocumented.

The majority of the historical markers that support this tale were dedicated after 1980, accounting for about 80% of all such markers.

Every year, new initiatives to preserve the history of the Underground Railroad are urged to be undertaken. It is likely that there are many more stories like the Still family’s to be unearthed, all of which are as fascinating as the Still family’s.

Underground Railroad in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Wikipedia

Harrisburg’s position as a hub in the Underground Railroad (UGRR) was crucial and effective for a variety of reasons, one of which was the large number of free blacks who were willing to aid runaways and the several routes that passed through the city and surrounding region.


African American people migrated from farms in and around Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, as well as from Virginia and Maryland, according to historical records. Some were runaways, while others were liberated via the process of manumission. Beginning in 1817, churches and schools were constructed by black people, with some assistance from white individuals in the community who donated to the cause. Because of the availability of low-skilled employment options in Harrisburg, the city was a desirable destination to settle.

  • Aside from that, it provided chances for education, including the establishment by Thomas Dorsey of a school specifically for black students.
  • In 1836, a group dedicated to the abolition of slavery was established.
  • A public forum in front of the courthouse was organized for Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, who were invited to Harrisburg.
  • Several inhabitants of the city attempted to maintain control over blacks beginning in 1820, including establishing a citizen’s patrol, requiring all blacks to register with the city, and harassing persons of color in the press and by gangs of white people.

A key hub

It was located near to the Mason–Dixon line, which divided the slave states from the free states, and there were several roads that passed through the city. People could move throughout the region using a variety of modes of transportation, including roads, canals, ferries, and the train. These routes connected the cities of New York and Lancaster with the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It was also a vital center because of the large number of free blacks who were willing to assist runaways.


Shelter was found at the homes of free African Americans, such as the residences of a schoolteacher, Joseph Bustill, and a merchant and physician, William Jones, who were both free African Americans. Tanner’s Alley, located at the intersection of Walnut and Commonwealth streets, was a hotbed of Underground Railroad activity for many years. The Wesley Union African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church served as a station on the Underground Railroad of the United States.


Working with the Underground Railroad was always risky, but it was considerably more so in Harrisburg since the city’s proximity to the border between slave and free states enhanced the possibility of being captured by slave catchers, among other things. With the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, it became more dangerous to help runaways, and it became significantly more perilous for both enslaved and free individuals. If slave catchers entered free states, they were entitled to aid from law enforcement officials, regardless of how long or well-established they had been in a free state.

People who would abduct black people were well aware that it was extremely difficult for a free person to demonstrate that they were free.

John W.

Deshazer. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was the site of a Pennsylvania antislavery assembly in 1837 that included abolitionists who lived among its inhabitants.


  • Joseph Cassey Bustill
  • Harriet McClintock Marshall and her husband Elisha Marshall
  • J. Howard Wert
  • Judy Richards, a black community leader whose black neighborhood between Third and Mulberry Streets was known as “Judytown” because it was the epicenter of UGRR activity
  • And J. Howard Wert.


  1. ABCDEF “Road to Freedom: Harrisburg was a key station on the Underground Railroad’s journey to freedom.” TheBurg.com, January 31st, 2014. retrieved on the 19th of April, 2021
  2. Gerald G. Eggert’s abcdefEggert, Gerald G. (2010-11-01). Harrisburg Industrializes: The Arrival of Manufacturing Facilities in a Midwestern City. Tom Calarco, Cynthia Vogel, Kathryn Grover, Rae Hallstrom, Sharron L Pope, Melissa Waddy-Thibodeaux, Tom Calarco and Cynthia Vogel are co-authors of a book with the same title published by Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-04166-7. (2010-12-03). Places of the Underground Railroad: A Geographical Guide: A Geographical Guide is a guide to the Underground Railroad. Page 135, ISBN 978-0-313-38147-8
  3. Authors: McIlrath, Ian
  4. Ford, David
  5. Acevedo, Josh
  6. Publisher: ABC-CLIO (2020). “Harriet M. Marshall, conductor of the Old Eighth” is the title of the piece. Women of the Eighth Ward, Messiah University
  7. David AbFiske, Women of the Eighth Ward. Also tells the story of Solomon Northup, who was abducted and sold into slavery
  8. And it features the character “Freeman in Jail – Frank Jackson.” The Liberator, July 11, 1851, p. 2. Retrieved on April 23, 2021
  9. Switala, William J. The Liberator, July 11, 1851, p. 2. (2008). Pennsylvania was a stop on the Underground Railroad (2 ed.). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, ISBN 978-0-8117-4912-1, OCLC681280806
  10. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, ISBN 978-0-8117-4912-1, OCLC681280806

Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

With a long and illustrious abolitionist history as well as a sizable and active free black community, Philadelphia and the surrounding region played an important part in the infamous Underground Railroad network. It was a loosely linked group of white and black persons that assisted enslaved people on their journeys to freedom in the northern United States and Canadian territories. As documented by Robert Smedley in 1883, slaveholders began to refer to the “Underground Railroad” as early as the 1780s to describe covert activities in the Columbia, Pennsylvania region to aid fugitives from slavery.

  1. The city of Columbia came out of the little hamlet of Wright’s Ferry, which was formed by Quakers and other white people who were opposed to slavery and wanted to establish a free society.
  2. The Plymouth Friends Meetinghouse, which was built in 1708 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, functioned as a station on the Underground Railroad in conjunction with Abolition Hall, which was located on the other side of Germantown Pike on the opposite side of the street.
  3. In south central and southern Pennsylvania, as well as in southwestern New Jersey, runaway routes evolved, aided by strong Quaker abolitionist networks and flourishing free black communities, which assisted fugitives in their journeys farther north.
  4. The fugitives on the southeastern Pennsylvania route had a common planned goal of Phoenixville, where they hoped to find the residence ofElijah Pennypacker(1804-1888), who would assist them on their way to Philadelphia, Norristown, Quakertown, Reading, and other stations along the way.

Tense Borders

The “riot” in Christiana took place at the home of William Parker, a free black man who had assisted in the formation of a mutual defense group for the black people of the region. Upon arriving to Parker’s house, Edward Gorsuch and his men were greeted by a group of at least fifty men who had come to defend the fugitive slaves from capture. History of Pennsylvania (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). Interstate relations were heated as a result of this activity between border South states such as Maryland and border North states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  • Armed resistance was mounted against slaveholders’ attempts to recapture slaves, with abolitionists in many cases liberating the accused from courtrooms and jailhouses as a result.
  • However, although the rescuers in New Jersey were successful in freeing a black family from a professional slave catcher from Philadelphia, their counterparts in Carlisle were less successful, and the scenario ultimately resulted in the conviction of eleven rescues.
  • In spite of the increasing violence along the North/South border, escapes were still common during the 1850s.
  • The Vigilance Committee, led by notable black abolitionists like Robert Purvis(1810-98) in its early years and subsequently by William Still, provided further help to new immigrants in Philadelphia (1821-1902).
  • William Still (1821-1902), a New Jersey native, was a prominent member of the Vigilance Committee during the Civil War.
  • His wife, Letitia (George) Still (1821-1906), played a vital role in the operation by lending the Still family a place to stay and by utilizing her sewing abilities to create the garments and earn money to assist with the project’s funding.
  • Also at the Anti-Slavery Society office at 105 N.
  • 1816-97), who had been brought there from the South, and Still’s own brother Peter (1801-68).
  • According to his notebook, which is now housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, he assisted 485 fugitives in Philadelphia between 1852 and 1857, according to the journal.

Still’s labor and records demonstrate unequivocally the significance of the free black community to the functioning and success of the Underground Railroad, and they are well worth studying.

Philadelphia’s Aid Network

Even yet, the legacy of free black volunteers assisting fugitives was still being built upon. In Philadelphia, he joined the largest and wealthiest northern free black community, one that was home to a slew of churches, clubs, and mutual assistance groups, among them the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which he attended as a young boy. These institutions contributed to the development of a strong leadership class among African-Americans, who had already contributed to the establishment of Philadelphia as an epicenter of American abolition even before the American Revolution.

  • The Pennsylvania Abolition Society and the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society were established to fight against bondage and provide assistance to liberate black people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • In the 1850s, Pennsylvanians were occasionally hauled before the courts for assisting and hiding fugitives from slavery, and alleged fugitives were subjected to trials that may result in their being returned to slavery.
  • Because it compelled federal officials to seek runaway slaves and bystanders to engage in their apprehension when called upon, the 1850 legislation made it impossible to provide assistance to fugitives, particularly in the South.
  • The tale of the Underground Railroad serves as a powerful example of inter-racial cooperation in the struggle for social justice, which began in the colonial era and continues now in the United States.
  • Citizens from various walks of life who worked as guides and conductors along the train had come to see that the United States’ racial caste system was harmful to all Americans, and they took nonviolent direct action to combat the injustice they witnessed.

She is the author of Pennsylvania Hall: A “Legal Lynching” in the Shadow of the Liberty Bell (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Colonization and Its Discontents: Emancipation, Emigration, and Antislavery in Antebellum Pennsylvania (Colonization and Its Discontents: Emancipation, Emigration, and Antislavery in Antebellum Pennsylvania) (NYU Press, 2011).

She currently serves as an associate professor of history and assistant provost at the University of Houston-Victoria.

the State University of New Jersey (Rutgers University) Nat and Yanna Brandt are the authors of this work.

The University of South Carolina Press, in Columbia, South Carolina, published a book in 2007 titled The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850-1860, by Stanley Campbell.

The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, published this book in 1970.

Pennsylvania History28 (1961): 33-44.

In Gigantino, James J.

Stanley Harrold is a fictional character created by Stanley Harrold.

The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, published a book in 2010 titled McCurdy, Linda McCabe, and others.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1995.

The names Okur and Nilgun are derived from the Turkish words for “beautiful” and “nilgun.” Anadolu.

Journal of Black Studies, Volume 25, Number 5, May 1995, pages 537-557.

Siebert’s The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom is a must-read.

Smedley, R.C., “History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania,” in Smedley, R.C., History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania.

Smith, David G., et al.

Fordham University Press published a book in 2013 titled Nonetheless, William.

narrating the hardships, hair-breadth escapes, and death struggles of the slaves in their efforts to achieve freedom, as related by themselves and others or witnessed by the author; and sketches of some of the largest stockholders and most liberal aiders and advisers of the road.

The article “”Beautiful Providences”: William Still, the Vigilance Committee, and Abolitionists in the Age of Sectionalism” by Elizabeth Varon is available online.

In Richard Newman and James Mueller, eds., Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2011, pages 229-45.

The William Still Journals and the Pennsylvania Abolition Society Records are housed in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street in Philadelphia, and are open to the public.

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