The peak time for the Underground Railroad Freedom Movement was between 1820 and 1865. The term “Underground Railroad” is said to have arisen from an incident that took place in 1831.
How did the Underground Railroad start?
- The Underground Railroad started at the place of enslavement. The routes followed natural and man-made modes of transportation – rivers, canals, bays, the Atlantic Coast, ferries and river crossings, road and trails.
When did the Underground Railroad begin and end?
The Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century and reached its height between 1850 and 1860.
How did people travel during the Underground Railroad?
The free individuals who helped runaway slaves travel toward freedom were called conductors, and the fugitive slaves were referred to as cargo. The safe houses used as hiding places along the lines of the Underground Railroad were called stations. A lit lantern hung outside would identify these stations.
What year does Underground Railroad take place?
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.
How far did people travel on the Underground Railroad?
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.
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.
Where was the beginning of the Underground Railroad?
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.
Was the Erie Canal used in the Underground Railroad?
Underground Railroad – ERIE CANAL. The Canal towpath served as one of the routes of the Underground Railroad. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 almost paralleled the abolition of slavery in New York State in 1827. By the 1840s, Albany was the main depot for freedom seekers who came through New York City.
When was the Underground Railroad most active?
Established in the early 1800s and aided by people involved in the Abolitionist Movement, the underground railroad helped thousands of slaves escape bondage. By one estimate, 100,000 slaves escaped from bondage in the South between 1810 and 1850.
Can you hike the Underground Railroad?
Come to where the nation’s best-known “agent” of the Underground Railroad was born and raised. Miles of hiking and water trails within Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge allow visitors to explore the landscape Tubman traversed.
How long did slaves travel on the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was the network used by enslaved black Americans to obtain their freedom in the 30 years before the Civil War (1860-1865).
Introduction-Aboard the Underground Railroad
|The Underground Railroad refers to the effort -sometimes spontaneous, sometimes highly organized – to assist persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery.While most runaways began their journey unaided and many completed their self-emancipation without assistance, each decade in which slavery was legal in the United States saw an increase in the public perception of an underground network and in the number of persons willing to give aid to the runaway. Although divided, the abolitionist movement was successful in expanding the informal network known as the underground railroad and in publicizing it.The term “underground railroad” had no meaning to the generations before the first rails and engines of the 1820s, but the retrospective use of the term in is made so as to include incidents which have all the characteristics of underground railroad activity, but which occurred earlier.These activities foreshadowed and helped to shape the underground railroad.The origin of the term “underground railroad” cannot be precisely determined.What is known is that both those who aided escapees from slavery and those who were outraged by loss of slave property began to refer to runaways as part of an “underground railroad” by 1840.The “underground railroad” described an activity that was locally organized, but with no real center.It existed rather openly in the North and just beneath the surface of daily life in the upper South and certain Southern cities.The underground railroad, where it existed, offered local service to runaway slaves, assisting them from one point to another.Farther along, others would take the passenger into their transportation system until the final destination had been reached. The rapidity with which the term became commonly used did not mean that incidents of resistance to slavery increased significantly around 1830 or that more attempts were made to escape from bondage. It did mean that more white northerners were prepared to aid runaways and to give some assistance to the northern blacks who had always made it their business to help escapees from slavery. The primary importance of the underground railroad was that it gave ampleevidence of African American capabilities and gave expression to AfricanAmerican philosophy. Perhaps the most important factor or aspect tokeep in mind concerning the underground railroad is that its importanceis not measured by the number of attempted or successful escapes fromAmerican slavery, but by the manner in which it consistently exposedthe grim realities of slavery and -more important- refuted the claimthat African Americans could not act or organize on their own. The secondaryimportance of the underground railroad was that it provided an opportunityfor sympathetic white Americans to play a role in resisting slavery.It also brought together, however uneasily at times, men and women ofboth races to begin to set aside assumptions about the other race andto work together on issues of mutual concern. At the most dramatic level,the underground railroad provided stories of guided escapes from theSouth, rescues of arrested fugitives in the North, complex communicationsystems, and individual acts of bravery and suffering. While most ofthe accounts of secret passageways, sliding wall panels, and hiddenrooms will not be verified by historic evidence, there were indeed sufficientdramas to be interpreted and verified.Visitors may be interested inHistoricHotels of America, a program of the National Trust for HistoricPreservation, located near the places featured in this itinerary.List of Sites|HomeComments or Questions Last Modified:EST|
Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the southern United States by providing them with refuge and assistance. It came forth as a result of the convergence of numerous separate covert initiatives. Although the exact dates of its inception are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy were carried out in a less-secretive manner until the Civil War ended.
The Society of Friends (Quakers) is often regarded as the first organized group to actively assist escaped enslaved persons. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Quakers for attempting to “liberate” one of his enslaved servants. Abolitionist and Quaker Isaac T. Hopper established a network in Philadelphia in the early 1800s to assist enslaved persons who were on the run from slavery. Abolitionist organisations founded by Quakers in North Carolina lay the basis for escape routes and safe havens for fugitive slaves during the same time period.
What Was the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:
How the Underground Railroad Worked
The majority of enslaved persons aided by the Underground Railroad were able to flee to neighboring states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made catching fugitive enslaved persons a lucrative industry in the deep South, and there were fewer hiding places for them as a result of the Act. The majority of fugitive enslaved people were on their own until they reached specific places farther north. The escaping enslaved people were escorted by individuals known as “conductors.” Private residences, churches, and schools were also used as hiding places throughout the war.
The personnel in charge of running them were referred to as “stationmasters.” There were several well-traveled roads that ran west through Ohio and into Indiana and Iowa.
While some traveled north via Pennsylvania and into New England, or through Detroit on their route to Canada, others chose to travel south. More information may be found at The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.
Fugitive Slave Acts
The Fugitive Slave Acts were a major cause for many fugitive slaves to flee to Canada. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved individuals from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the fleeing enslaved people. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in certain northern states to fight this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to reinforce the preceding legislation, which was perceived by southern states to be insufficiently enforced at the time of passage.
The northern states were still considered a danger zone for fugitives who had managed to flee.
Some Underground Railroad operators chose to station themselves in Canada and sought to assist fugitives who were arriving to settle in the country.
Harriet Tubman was the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad during its heyday. When she and two of her brothers fled from a farm in Maryland in 1849, she was given the name Harriet (her married name was Tubman). She was born Araminta Ross, and she was raised as Harriet Tubman. They returned a couple of weeks later, but Tubman fled on her own again shortly after, this time making her way to the state of Pennsylvania. In following years, Tubman returned to the plantation on a number of occasions to rescue family members and other individuals.
Tubman was distraught until she had a vision of God, which led her to join the Underground Railroad and begin escorting other fugitive slaves to the Maryland state capital.
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?
In his house in Rochester, New York, former enslaved person and celebrated author Frederick Douglasshid fugitives and assisted 400 escapees in their journey to Canada. In addition to helping 1,500 escapees make their way north, former fugitive Reverend Jermain Loguen, who lived near Syracuse, was instrumental in facilitating their escape. The Vigilance Committee was founded in Philadelphia in 1838 by Robert Purvis, an escaped enslaved person who later became a businessman. 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 labor skills to support themselves.
Agent,” according to the document.
A free Black man in Ohio, John Parker was a foundry owner who used his rowboat to transport fugitives over the Ohio River.
William Still was a notable Philadelphia citizen who was born to runaway enslaved parents in New Jersey and raised as a free man in the city of Philadelphia.
Abolitionist John Brown worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was at this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, which was dedicated to assisting fleeing enslaved individuals in their journey to Canada. Abolitionist John Brown would go on to play a variety of roles during his life. His most well-known duty was conducting an assault on Harper’s Ferry in order to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people at gunpoint. Ultimately, Brown’s forces were beaten, and he was executed for treason in 1859.
- The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved lady and her young daughter.
- Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.
- After being apprehended in 1844 while transporting a boatload of freed slaves from the Caribbean to the United States, Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was sentenced to prison for life.
- John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to assist in the rescue of enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their families as they made their way north.
Fairfield’s strategy was to go around the southern United States appearing as a slave broker. He managed to elude capture twice. He died in 1860 in Tennessee, during the American Reconstruction Era.
End of the Line
Abolitionist He was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was during this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, an organization dedicated to aiding fleeing slaves in their journey to Canada. With the abolitionist movement, Brown would play a variety of roles, most notably leading an assault on Harper’s Ferry to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people under threat of death. Eventually, Brown’s forces were defeated, and he was executed for treason in 1859.
- The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two of them were jailed for aiding an escaped enslaved woman and her child escape.
- When Charles Torrey assisted an enslaved family fleeing through Virginia, he was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland.
- was his base of operations; earlier, he had served as an abolitionist newspaper editor in Albany, New York.
- In addition to being fined and imprisoned for a year, Walker had the letters “SS” for Slave Stealer tattooed on his right hand.
- As a slave trader, Fairfield’s strategy was to travel across the southern states.
- Tennessee’s arebellion claimed his life in 1860, and he was buried there.
Abolitionist John Brown worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was during this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, which was dedicated to assisting runaway enslaved persons in their escape to Canada. With the abolitionist movement, Brown would play a variety of roles, most notably leading an assault on Harper’s Ferry to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people at gunpoint. Brown’s soldiers were beaten, and Brown was executed for treason in 1859.
- In 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved woman and her child in their escape.
- Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their escape across Virginia.
- Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was jailed in 1844 when he was apprehended with a boatload of freed slaves who were on their way to the United States from the Caribbean.
- John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to rescue the enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their relatives as they made their way north.
Fairfield’s strategy was to travel around the southern United States while appearing as a slave broker. He managed to break out of jail twice. In 1860, he was killed in Tennessee during the American Reconstruction Era.
Underground Railroad in New York
Travel down New York’s Underground Railroad to commemorate the history and valor that carried America to freedom during the American Civil War era. Note: Please join I LOVE NY for a panel discussion with top experts from Underground Railroad tourist destinations. You can see it here. Why did New York play such a significant part in the Underground Railroad, which helped approximately 100,000 enslaved people escape to freedom in the northern United States and Canada during the American Civil War?
Visiting New York’s Underground Railroad system, which stretches from Brooklyn to Buffalo and everywhere in between, and learning the stories of America’s most courageous abolitionists along the route, is a popular tourist attraction.
For further information, please see the Underground Railroad page on the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation’s website.
The Secret History of the Underground Railroad
Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race was the title of a series published by De Bow’s Review, a leading Southern periodical, a decade before the Civil War. The series was deemed necessary by the editors because it had “direct and practical bearing” on 3 million people whose worth as property totaled approximately $2 billion. When it comes to African Americans’ supposed laziness (“deficiency of red blood in the pulmonary and arterial systems”), love of dancing (“profuse distribution of nervous matter to the stomach, liver, and genital organs”), and extreme aversion to being whipped (“skin.
- However, it was Cartwright’s discovery of a previously undiscovered medical illness, which he coined “Drapetomania, or the sickness that causes Negroes to flee,” that grabbed the most attention from readers.
- Despite the fact that only a few thousand individuals, at most, fled slavery each year—nearly all of them from states bordering the free North—their migration was seen by many Southern whites as a portent of a greater calamity.
- How long do you think it will take until the entire cloth begins to unravel?
- Rather, it was intentionally supported and helped by a well-organized network that was both large and diabolical in scope.
- The word “Underground Railroad” brings up pictures of trapdoors, flickering lamps, and moonlit routes through the woods in the minds of most people today, just as it did in the minds of most Americans in the 1840s and 1850s.
- At least until recently, scholars paid relatively little attention to the story, which is remarkable considering how prominent it is in the national consciousness.
- The Underground Railroad was widely believed to be a statewide conspiracy with “conductors,” “agents,” and “depots,” but was it really a fiction of popular imagination conjured up from a succession of isolated, unconnected escapes?
- Which historians you trust in will determine the solutions.
One historian (white) questioned surviving abolitionists (most of whom were also white) a decade after the Civil War and documented a “great and complicated network” of agents, 3,211 of whom he identified by name, as well as a “great and intricate network” of agents (nearly all of them white).
- “I escaped without the assistance.
- “I have freed myself in the manner of a man.” In many cases, the Underground Railroad was not concealed at all.
- The journal of a white New Yorker who assisted hundreds of runaway slaves in the 1850s was found by an undergraduate student in Foner’s department at Columbia University while working on her final thesis some years ago, and this discovery served as the inspiration for his current book.
- One of the book’s most surprising revelations is that, according to the book’s subtitle, the Underground Railroad was not always secret at all.
- The New York State Vigilance Committee, established in 1850, the year of the infamous Fugitive Slave Act, officially declared its objective to “welcome, with open arms, the panting fugitive.” Local newspapers published stories about Jermain W.
Bazaars with the slogan “Buy for the sake of the slave” provided donated luxury items and handcrafted knickknacks just before the winter holidays, and bake sales in support of the Underground Railroad, no matter how unlikely it may seem, became popular fund-raisers in Northern towns and cities.
- Political leaders, especially those who had taken vows to protect the Constitution — including the section ordering the return of runaways to their proper masters — blatantly failed to carry out their obligations.
- Judge William Jay, a son of the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, made the decision to disregard fugitive slave laws and contributed money to aid runaway slaves who managed to flee.
- One overlooked historical irony is that, up until the eve of Southern secession in 1860, states’ rights were cited as frequently by Northern abolitionists as they were by Southern slaveholders, a fact that is worth noting.
- It was not recognized for its abolitionist passion, in contrast to places like as Boston and Philadelphia, which had deep-rooted reformer traditions—as well as communities in upstate New York such as Buffalo and Syracuse.
Even before the city’s final bondsmen were released, in 1827, its economy had become deeply intertwined with that of the South, as evidenced by a gloating editorial in the De Bow newspaper, published shortly before the Civil War, claiming the city was “nearly as reliant on Southern slavery as Charleston.” New York banks lent money to plantation owners to acquire slaves, while New York merchants made their fortunes off the sale of slave-grown cotton and sugar.
- Besides properly recapturing escapees, slave catchers prowled the streets of Manhattan, and they frequently illegally kidnapped free blacks—particularly children—in order to sell them into Southern bondage.
- The story begins in 1846, when a man called George Kirk slipped away aboard a ship sailing from Savannah to New York, only to be discovered by the captain and shackled while awaiting return to his owner.
- The successful fugitive was escorted out of court by a phalanx of local African Americans who were on the lookout for him.
- In this case, the same court found other legal grounds on which to free Kirk, who rolled out triumphantly in a carriage and made his way to the safety of Boston in short order this time.
- In addition to being descended from prominent Puritans, Sydney Howard Gay married a wealthy (and radical) Quaker heiress.
- Co-conspirator Louis Napoleon, who is thought to be the freeborn son of a Jewish New Yorker and an African American slave, was employed as an office porter in Gay’s office.
- Gay was the one who, between 1855 and 1856, maintained the “Record of Fugitives,” which the undergraduate discovered in the Columbia University archives and which chronicled more than 200 escapes.
One first-person narrative starts, “I ate one meal a day for eight years.” “It has been sold three times, and it is expected to be sold a fourth time.
Undoubtedly, a countrywide network existed, with its actions sometimes shrouded in secrecy.
Its routes and timetables were continually changing as well.
As with Gay and Napoleon’s collaboration, its operations frequently brought together people from all walks of life, including the affluent and the poor, black and white.
Among others who decamped to Savannah were a light-skinned guy who set himself up in a first-class hotel, went around town in a magnificent new suit of clothes, and insouciantly purchased a steamship ticket to New York from Savannah.
At the height of the Civil War, the number of such fugitives was still a small proportion of the overall population.
It not only played a role in precipitating the political crisis of the 1850s, but it also galvanized millions of sympathetic white Northerners to join a noble fight against Southern slaveholders, whether they had personally assisted fugitive slaves, shopped at abolitionist bake sales, or simply enjoyed reading about slave escapes in books and newspapers.
- More than anything else, it trained millions of enslaved Americans to gain their freedom at a moment’s notice if necessary.
- Within a few months, a large number of Union soldiers and sailors successfully transformed themselves into Underground Railroad operatives in the heart of the South, sheltering fugitives who rushed in large numbers to the Yankees’ encampments to escape capture.
- Cartwright’s most horrific nightmares.
- On one of the Union’s railway lines, an abolitionist discovered that the volume of wartime traffic was at an all-time high—except on one of them.
- The number of solo travelers is quite limited.” And it’s possible that New Yorkers were surprised to open their eyes in early 1864.
The accompanying essay, on the other hand, soon put their worries at ease. It proposed a plan to construct Manhattan’s first subway line, which would travel northward up Broadway from the Battery to Central Park. It was never built.
If you’re watching ‘The Underground Railroad’ miniseries on Amazon, you need to visit these sites
There are literally dozens of sites throughout New York state that have connections to the network of trails, safe houses, and places of concealment that were used by the nearly 100,000 enslaved people who fled their captivity during the pre-Civil War years, roughly from 1810 to 1850, to avoid capture. A rocky shore on Lake Ontario, or a river landing below Rochester’s High Falls, might have served as the “end of the line” for passengers on The Underground Railroad case. The lines run deep into the South and may be traced across practically every state east of the Mississippi, across the Midwest and into Texas, as well as across the Caribbean islands and into the United States.
Tubman was the subject of a feature film of the same name that was released late in 2019 and which helped to rekindle interest and raise knowledge about her epic journeys for freedom.
In the words of the series’ critic at USA Today, the series was “overwhelming” and “triumphant.” Whitehead’s sixth novel makes use of the literary technique of magical realism to temper otherwise accurate representations of the cruelties of the system of slavery in order to make the institution of slavery seem less brutal.
If you live in our location, you won’t have to rely on your imagination to get by.
Here’s a quick tour to some of the most important destinations you may visit.
Rochester and Kelsey’s Landing
The Maplewood Rose Garden was a crucial place for the Underground Railroad in the region for a long period of time. The Maplewood Rose Garden, located above the site of the historic Kelsey’s Landing, served as a gathering place for fugitive slaves. Tina MacIntyre is a Canadian actress and singer. @tyee23, you’re right. The Maplewood Rose Garden, located above the historic Kelsey’s Landing, served as a gathering place for fugitive slaves. In this location, which was once known as Kelsey’s Landing, boats would pick up individuals on the Underground Railroad and transport them north up the Genesee River to Lake Ontario, where they would subsequently be transported to Canada or areas west of Rochester.
Sites in Monroe and Wayne County
Several locations in and around Rochester, as well as in the surrounding area east to Wayne County, relate important aspects of the Underground Railroad tale. (See also the video embedded below.)
The towns of Williamson and Pultneyville were the last stations on the Underground Railroad. Pultneyville and Williamson were two of the last sites on the Underground Railroad in the area, and both were located in the county. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle is a newspaper in Rochester, New York. Pultneyville and Williamson were two of the last sites on the Underground Railroad in the area, and both were located in the county. A pier projecting out into Lake Ontario is seen on a map of Pultneyville from the mid-nineteenth century.
Sites in Cayuga county
Harriet Tubman spent the last decades of her life at a mansion in Auburn, New York, which is now the centerpiece of a Historical National Park dedicated to her legacy. Her native state of Maryland also has a National Historical Park, which she visits frequently.
Rochester’s links to slavery
- How should the city of Rochester deal with the history of enslaved labor that was a part of its construction? The Founding Fathers of Rochester, and the history of the city that was based on slavery, are now part of a larger discourse about how to deal with racial injustice in our society. Shawn Dowd (@sdowdphoto) is a photographer. However, despite the fact that Rochester was a stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, its founding fathers were not themselves free of the shackles of slavery. Legacies of slave holding: Although the city of Rochester’s founders kept individuals in slavery, would a change in its name make up for this injustice in the past? Democrat and Chronicle reporter Justin Murphy discovered the following when researching the founding father’s legacy: “The 1810 Census shows Nathaniel Rochester with three slaves individuals in his household
- Others may have been rented out to other people.” He freed two of them shortly after, but this was not the end of the story,” says the author. A 14-year-old girl called Casandra was freed by Rochester on the same day in 1811 that Rochester agreed to hire her as an indentured servant for four years to “apprentice in the art and (mastery) of a Spinster (and) cook.” That is to say, he continued to utilize her for free as a family servant even after he had manumited her.”
Visit the Underground Railroad’s ‘great central depot’ in Syracuse, New York
An association is evoked by the names Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, which invokes memories of former slaves, abolitionists, and the fight for liberation for enslaved Africans. Tubman and Douglass were both native New Yorkers; Tubman was from Auburn and Douglass was from Rochester, and they were responsible for the emancipation of thousands of slaves. However, less is known about the role central New York played in the establishment of the ” underground railroad,” which was a network of safe houses and routes that stretched from points in the southern United States to the country’s northern borders and was used during the 1800s to transport runaway slaves to freedom in free states and Canada through the United States.
- Even before the Civil War, the city of Syracuse had an active “vigilance committee” that worked to prevent runaways from being re-enslaved.
- Syracuse was formerly responsible for producing 90 percent of the nation’s salt.
- Following the Civil War, the eclectic group of visitors shared groundbreaking views about how to live in America after the war.
- Because we are all created in God’s image, religious leaders thought, “This issue of chattel slavery is untenable if we are all made in God’s image, and so, how can we enslave others?” “Searing” is what he says.
- Jermain Loguen, who was dubbed the “Underground Railroad King,” had arrived in Syracuse from his home in New York.
- Loguen’s home was located in the 1400 block of East Genesee Street.
- William “Jerry” Henry made it safely to Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where he lived out the rest of his days as a free man until his death a few years later.
The “Jerry Rescue” monument, constructed in the 1990s, is one of such relics and locations.
According to Searing, there are perhaps a dozen Underground Railroad-related sites in the city, however many of them have been demolished, such as the house where Harriet Powell was held.
If you ask a passing stranger about Harriet Powell and her impact on history, you will almost certainly receive a puzzled look in return.
The news of Harriet Powell’s escape from slavery in 1839 traveled around the world, raising the prominence of Syracuse as a haven for those seeking freedom.
It is part of the association’s commitment to preserving and retelling the stories of the Underground Railroad and Syracuse’s role in the African American struggle for freedom.
Searing is still ecstatic with the play’s successes, even after all these years.
“It was fantastic to see the reactions.” “She was a slave who had the appearance of being white—a quadroon.” Her master, Davenport, put out a return flier for $200 in exchange for her return.
There, she meets Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who will go on to become a famous activist after meeting her.
With help from the Onondaga Historical Association, castings of molds were constructed from excavated faces found etched into the walls of the church’s basement.
Slaves, it is thought, were responsible for the faces, which predate the 1880s.
Syracuse is frequently referred to as the “Gateway to Freedom” because of its proximity to the Canadian border, despite the fact that midwestern territories such as Ohio received a large number of runaways from the Underground Railroad’s borderland, which included areas bordering slave and free states.
Westmoreland is a senior historian at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
They were quite useful in concealing fugitives.
Most people are unaware that the Underground Railroad was started by black individuals in southern states, who, despite their own enslavement, assisted others in crossing the border to freedom in “northern states,” according to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The Underground Railroad
It was far-reaching in scope, covering the whole United States and beyond, and profound in significance for a nation whose very existence was intertwined with the sale of human life. However, because of its secrecy, that history has proven to be a tough one to uncover.
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.
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.
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
Third Street between Market and Ferry Streets in downtown Pittsburgh is home to a barbershop and safehouse that serves the local community. It was a fresh start for the slaves on their journey to freedom in Canada. Using lists of famous hotel guests and advertisements made by those hunting for escaped slaves, historians have confirmed the hotel’s significance in the history of abolition. Daytime: A economic, social, and political club for the city’s white elites; nighttime: a stop on the Underground Railroad for slaves fleeing the slave trade.
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
Fourth Street between Wood and Market Streets in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania A station halt on the Underground Railroad.
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.
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 led him on purchasing excursions to the southern United States, where he became interested in the situation 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 passed away, his net worth was estimated to be $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.
With the exception of a few nostalgic old-timers, hardly one seemed to notice the demolition of the ancient building. Old-timers, on the other hand, believed that demolition of the structure signaled the end of a notable Pittsburgher’s dream.
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.
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
On Brownsville Road in Brentwood, there is a family-owned historic pub and restaurant that was originally used as a stopping point on the Underground Railroad. Slaves who had escaped were housed in the basement.
International Underground Railroad Month
September is International Underground Railroad Month, which recognizes the significance of the Underground Railroad, and all those who were involved in it, for their contributions to the abolition of slavery in the United States and as a cornerstone for the subsequent more comprehensive civil rights movement. It recognizes the amazing efforts of individuals from all over the world who have dedicated their lives to documenting, interpreting, and disseminating the history of the Underground Railroad to the general public.
Howard County’s Network to Freedom and Underground Railroad sites:
The Simpsonville Freetown Legacy Trail, created by the HCCAAC, commemorates the history of Simpsonville and Harriet Tubman’s role in the Underground Railroad. The trail is open to the public and may be accessed by car or on foot. However, while the Museum and Library are temporarily closed, virtual tours and other material may be accessed by visiting this link. Some of the locations are as follows: Locust Cemetery- According to oral history, Harriet Tubman and escaping slaves took refuge and repose at the gravesites of the Locust family.
- Middle Patuxent Creek is located at the bottom of the hill, on the south side of Rt.
- Tubman and other fugitive slaves are reported to have taken refuge on the bank of this creek, near the mouth of the creek.
- Part of the parcel of land known as “Atol Enlarged,” which later became known as “Freetown,” was located here.
- Currently, the only things that are remaining of the original plot are Freetown Road, part of Guilford Road dedicated to Harriet Tubman, and the Locust United Methodist Church and Cemetery.
The Howard County Center of African American Culture Museum is located in Howard County, Maryland. Children’s Book Collection 415-1921 5434 Vantage Point Road Columbia, MD 21044 410-715-1921
Howard County Historical Society Museum
At the museum, there are displays highlighting persons who were able to flee from slavery in Howard County. 410-480-3250 Howard County Historical Society Museum 9421 Frederick Road Ellicott City, MD 21042 Howard County Historical Society Museum 9421 Frederick Road Ellicott City, MD 21042
The 1843 Howard County Courthouse
The site of court hearings in situations involving persons accused of inciting slaves to flee their masters’ possession. When famed Underground Railroad agent William L. Chaplin of New York was transferred from Montgomery County to Howard County in 1850, it became the most famous case in the county’s history. These occurrences are described with an interpretative marker. In addition to the Howard County Courthouse 1843 at 8360 Court Avenue in Ellicott City, MD 21043, 410 313-2111 may be reached.
- The county of Howard was not an independent entity at the time, but rather a district within the county of Anne Arundel.
- According to historical records, the building dates to the 1820s and was owned by the Ellicott family.
- When the new courthouse was completed in 1843, this structure was converted back into a domestic home.
- This structure was completely destroyed during the flash flood that occurred on Main Street on May 27, 2018.
- There are currently no plans to rebuild the structure.
- The phone number is 410-313-0421.
- These items include: Maryland’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom: A Visitor’s Guide to the Route to Freedom Map, guidebook, and audio guide for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway Map of the Frederick Douglass Driving Tour
African American Heritage Sites
The Ellicott City Colored School, located at 8683 Frederick Road in Ellicott City, Maryland, has been restored. 410-313-0421 Construction of this schoolhouse began in 1880 as the first school for African-American pupils, and it was funded entirely by county monies. From the 1880s through 1953, the school was in operation. A museum has been established in the former schoolhouse, which documents African American history in Howard County, notably during the era of segregation and the several segregated schoolhouses that were in the county at the time.
- Historical Park dedicated to Benjamin Banneker Museum Museum is located at 300 Oella Avenue in Catonsville, Maryland.
- Banneker is widely regarded as the first African American man of science and is celebrated as such.
- The programs are centered on Banneker’s life and his relationship with the area where he occupied at the time of his death.
- Columbia, Maryland is located at 8775 Cloudleap Court, Suite 12.
- It is one of only three museums of its sort in the United States that is solely dedicated to the art of African civilizations.
- Among other accolades, it has been named “one of the State’s most regarded cultural institutions” and was named “one of the top ten places to visit in Howard County, Maryland” in 2013.
- 21043410-313-1945 The B O Ellicott City Station, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968, is the country’s oldest surviving railroad station and played a significant part in the American Civil War.
- Through displays such as an augmented reality experience, educational events, and living history programs, the site explores the history of transportation and travel in the modern era.
- Sites on the Civil War Trail As a result of its collaboration with communities since 1994, Civil War Trails® has been able to link tourists with little towns and huge tales throughout a network that now spans six states.
The Trails of the American Civil War transports travelers back in time to the time of the Generals, Soldiers, Citizens, and Enslaved who found themselves caught up in the heart of the Civil War.
- African American servicemen of World War II erected the Ellicott City Colored School after the war’s conclusion. In the course of the war, Union forces defended B O Railroad Station, which was built in 1831 and is considered to be the oldest railroad terminal in the United States. Today, it is a free museum
- Patapsco Female Institute– This is the location of a prestigious institution that had a significant impact on young girls from both the North and South. Today, it serves as a park and event location. Oakland Manor was home to the Shipley brothers, Moses, William, and Joseph, who worked as slaves on the estate and on surrounding fields. Today, it serves as a location for events. The Savage Mill was a cotton-weaving mill that was utilized for federal purposes in the late 1800s. The Thomas Viaduct, a crucial B O Railroad bridge to Washington that connected two cities in the theater of battle, is now a complex of specialized stores and restaurants encircled by a park and river walk. Located in the Orange Grove Area of Patapsco Valley State Park, this structure was built in 1908. More information about the Civil War Trails may be found here.
Credit for the artwork: The Harriet Tubman Mural by Michael Rosato, courtesy of the Maryland Office of Tourism. Nicole Caracia Photography is credited with this image.