Routes. Underground Railroad routes went north to free states and Canada, to the Caribbean, into United States western territories, and Indian territories. Some freedom seekers (escaped slaves) travelled South into Mexico for their freedom.
- Because it was dangerous to be in free states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, or even Massachusetts after 1850, most people hoping to escape traveled all the way to Canada. So, you could say that the Underground Railroad went from the American south to Canada.
What were the Underground Railroad routes?
During the era of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, places, and people that helped enslaved people in the American South escape to the North.
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.
Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?
Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.
What states was the Underground Railroad in?
Most of the enslaved people helped by the Underground Railroad escaped border states such as Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland. In the deep South, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made capturing escaped enslaved people a lucrative business, and there were fewer hiding places for them.
Does the Underground Railroad still exist?
It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.
How did slaves know where to go in the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was a secret system developed to aid fugitive slaves on their escape to freedom. 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 state ended slavery first?
In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery when it adopted a statute that provided for the freedom of every slave born after its enactment (once that individual reached the age of majority). Massachusetts was the first to abolish slavery outright, doing so by judicial decree in 1783.
Was Indiana part of the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad in Indiana was part of a larger, unofficial, and loosely-connected network of groups and individuals who aided and facilitated the escape of runaway slaves from the southern United States. It is not known how many fugitive slaves escaped through Indiana on their journey to Michigan and Canada.
Were quilts used in the Underground Railroad?
Two historians say African American slaves may have used a quilt code to navigate the Underground Railroad. Quilts with patterns named “wagon wheel,” “tumbling blocks,” and “bear’s paw” appear to have contained secret messages that helped direct slaves to freedom, the pair claim.
Where did slaves escape from Texas?
Turns out her great-great-grandparents, who are buried there, were agents in the little-known underground railroad that led through South Texas to Mexico during the 1800s. Thousands of enslaved people fled plantations to make their way to the Rio Grande, which became a river of deliverance.
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.
Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the South by providing them with refuge and assistance. A number of separate covert operations came together to form the organization. Although the exact dates of its creation are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy were carried out in a less-secretive manner until the Union was defeated.
What Was the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:
How the Underground Railroad Worked
The majority of enslaved persons aided by the Underground Railroad were able to flee to neighboring states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made catching fugitive enslaved persons a lucrative industry in the deep South, and there were fewer hiding places for them as a result of the Act. The majority of fugitive enslaved people were on their own until they reached specific places farther north. The escaping enslaved people were escorted by individuals known as “conductors.” Private residences, churches, and schools were also used as hiding places throughout the war.
The personnel in charge of running them were referred to as “stationmasters.” There were several well-traveled roads that ran west through Ohio and into Indiana and Iowa.
While some traveled north via Pennsylvania and into New England, or through Detroit on their route to Canada, others chose to travel south. The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.
Fugitive Slave Acts
The Fugitive Slave Acts were a major cause for many fugitive slaves to flee to Canada. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved individuals from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the fleeing enslaved people. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in certain northern states to fight this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to reinforce the preceding legislation, which was perceived by southern states to be insufficiently enforced at the time of passage.
The northern states were still considered a danger zone for fugitives who had managed to flee.
Some Underground Railroad operators chose to station themselves in Canada and sought to assist fugitives who were arriving to settle in the country.
Harriet Tubman 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?
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.
Ordinary individuals, farmers and business owners, as well as pastors, were the majority of those who operated the Underground Railroad. Several millionaires, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who campaigned for president twice, were involved. For the first time in his life, Smith purchased and freed a whole family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, was one of the earliest recorded individuals to assist fleeing enslaved persons. Beginning in 1813, when he was 15 years old, he began his career.
They eventually began to make their way closer to him and eventually reached him.
End of the Line
Operation of the Underground Railroad came to an end in 1863, during the American Civil War. In actuality, its work was shifted aboveground as part of the Union’s overall campaign against the Confederate States of America. Once again, Harriet Tubman made a crucial contribution by organizing intelligence operations and serving as a commanding officer in Union Army efforts to rescue the liberated enslaved people who had been freed. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.
Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad? ‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented.
What Was the Underground Railroad?
Historiography in the field of social studies
Have You Ever Wondered.
- What was the Underground Railroad
- Who was Harriet Tubman
- And what was the significance of the Underground Railroad. How many enslaved persons were rescued from slavery by use of the Underground Railroad
Ethan from Georgia provided the inspiration for today’s Wonder of the Day. “What exactly was the subterranean railroad?” Ethan inquires. Thank you for sharing your WONDER with us, Ethan! When you hear the word “railroad,” what images come to mind for you? Engines? Is that a line of boxcars? Which is more important, the conductor or the caboose? Is it possible to see the tracks running out into the distance? What do you think about a secret railroad? You could think of the subway system. Have you ever heard of the most renowned and significant Underground Railroad of all time, the Underground Railroad of the United States?
- Instead, it was constructed primarily of humans.
- They were compelled to till the land in the southern United States.
- However, breaking free from the constraints of servitude was not an easy task.
- They devised a system of secret routes, meeting locations, and safe homes to keep themselves safe.
- Some people assisted them in relocating even further north, to Canada.
- What is the origin of this moniker?
- It was also not constructed of tracks in the manner of a railroad.
They concealed their activities since they were in violation of the law.
There were “stations” and “depots” where passengers could take a break and refuel their batteries.
People from all around the world were involved in the Underground Railroad.
In reality, the majority of people participating were only aware of their specific role in the operation.
Every year, thousands of individuals find their way to freedom thanks to the Underground Railroad.
Despite this, it continued to be used, reaching a high point between 1850 and 1860.
First and foremost, people had to flee from their enslavers.
Enslaved individuals, on the other hand, had only themselves to rely on the majority of the time.
During the day, they would relax and eat, taking advantage of the opportunity to hide in various locations.
The distance traveled on the road to freedom varied, but it was usually between 500 and 600 kilometers.
Others may find themselves on a trip that lasts more than a year.
She was born into slavery in Maryland, and when she realized that she would be separated from her family and sold, she began planning her own escape.
She was able to make her way to Philadelphia with the assistance of others.
Tubman labored tirelessly in Philadelphia to save money in order to bring her family to safety.
“Moses” became a nickname for Tubman.
It was she who utilized song, Bible texts and folklore to alert people to the danger and lead them to safe havens and shelters.
Personen apprehended and brought back to the South might face criminal charges.
Those who assisted them in their journey via the Underground Railroad likewise incurred a significant risk.
In order for the Underground Railroad to be effective, both individuals who escaped and those who assisted them had to be courageous and overcome several challenges.
Standards: C3.D2.Civ.6, C3.D2.Civ.14, C3.D2.Geo.2, C3.D2.Geo.3, and C3.D2.Geo.8, C3.D2.His.”> Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.4,
Wonder What’s Next?
The Wonder of the Day for tomorrow will be one that you will remember for a long time!
Try It Out
It is likely that you will remember tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day!
- Take a look at this map of routes used by the Underground Railroad. You may read more about Harriet Tubman’s contributions to the emancipation of people from slavery by clicking on the pins. According to you, which roads on this map would be the most challenging to navigate? What locations on the map would be particularly difficult to navigate, and why? What strategies did Tubman and those she assisted use to overcome some of these difficulties
- The story of Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous heroines of the Underground Railroad, has already been told to you. A large number of other courageous individuals were also participating. Learn more about John Parker and Rev. John and Jean Rankin by reading their biographies. What similarities and differences did their stories have with those of Harriet Tubman? Explain what you’ve learnt to a friend or a member of your family Do you want to take on a challenge? Consider how a new Underground Railroad may operate in the 21st century, using today’s cutting-edge technologies. When individuals interact and move from one area to another, what methods do they use? If you feel the Underground Railroad still exists today, you should write or create a tale or graphic that describes how you believe current technology may be utilized to help those who are enslaved.
We’d like to thank Stephanie, Angel, and Ellisha from Kansas, as well as Kerrie and Sharon from Iowa, for your contributions to today’s Wonder subject! Continue to WONDER with us! What exactly are you puzzling over?
The Underground Railroad (1820-1861) •
The smuggling of fugitives during the winter season Charles T. Webber’s novel The Underground Railroad was published in 1893. Images that are in the public domain Underground Railroad was developed to assist oppressed persons in their journey from slavery to liberty. The railroad network was made up of dozens of hidden routes and safe houses that began in slaveholding states and extended all the way to the Canadian border, which was the only place where fugitives could be certain of their freedom.
- As part of the Underground Railroad, slaves were smuggled onto ships that transported them to ports in the northern United States or to countries outside of the United States.
- Though the number of persons who fled through the Underground Railroad between 1820 and 1861 varies greatly depending on who you ask, the most commonly accepted figure is roughly 100,000.
- The railroad employed conductors, among them William Still of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was likely the most well-known of the group.
- Slave-hiding spots were called stations, and stationmasters were individuals who hid slaves in their houses.
- The Underground Railroad functioned as a number of interconnected networks.
- Those responsible for leading the fugitive slaves north did so in stages.
- The “freight” would be transferred on to the next conductor once it reached another stop, and so on until the full journey had been completed.
When the Underground Railroad was successful, it engendered a great deal of hostility among slaveholders and their friends.
The law was misused to a tremendous extent.
Due to the fact that African Americans were not permitted to testify or have a jury present during a trial, they were frequently unable to defend themselves.
However, the Fugitive Slave Act had the opposite effect, increasing Northern opposition to slavery and hastening the Civil War.
A large number of those who escaped became human witnesses to the slave system, with many of them traveling on the lecture circuit to explain to Northerners what life was like as a slave in the slave system.
It was the success of the Underground Railroad in both situations that contributed to the abolition of slavery.
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Cite this article in APA format:
Masked assailants who sneak through the cold months A novel by Charles T. Webber, The Underground Railroad (1893). Imagery that is in the public domain Underground Railroad was developed to assist oppressed individuals in their journey from slavery to independence. The railroad was made up of dozens of hidden routes and safe houses that began in the slaveholding states and extended all the way to the Canadian border, which was the only place where fugitives could be certain of their freedom at all times.
Fugitive slave smuggling onto ships bound for ports in the northern United States or other countries was also a part of the Underground Railroad network.
Between 1820 and 1861, estimates of how many individuals were able to escape through the Underground Railroad vary greatly, but the figure that is frequently mentioned is about 100,000.
The railroad employed conductors, among them William Still of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was likely the most well-known of the lot at the time.
The conductors were the guides, agents assisted slaves in finding their way to the routes of the Underground Railroad, the stations were hiding places, which were usually homes, stationmasters were those who hid slaves in their homes, the cargo referred to escaped slaves, and stockholders were those who donated money to keep the Underground Railroad operational.
- This was a tremendously lengthy journey north, therefore the Underground Railroad supplied safe havens at several points along the way.
- It is impossible for a conductor to know the full route; he or she is only accountable for the short distances between stations.
- Both the escaped slaves and the integrity of the routes, which were often more than 1,000 miles long, were preserved by this restricted information.
- The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed as a result of the failure of previous measures to disrupt the slave escape system.
- Much of the law was being applied improperly.
- Because African Americans were not permitted to testify or have a jury present at a trial, they were unable to defend themselves in the majority of instances.
- However, the Fugitive Slave Act had the opposite effect, increasing Northern opposition to slavery and hastening the Civil War’s eveiling.
- Some managed to escape and were living witnesses to the slave system, with many of them traveling on the lecture circuit to describe the horrors of the servile institution to Northerners.
- When the Underground Railroad succeeded in both situations, the abolition of slavery was expedited.
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Donate the cost of a Coke bottle instead, and you will feel good about your contribution to making the information you have just learnt available to others. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, BlackPast.org has the tax identification number 26-1625373. Tax deductions are available for your gift.
Source of the author’s information:
“The Underground Railroad,” by William Still (Chicago, Johnson Publishing Company, 1970) Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2004); J. Blaine Hudson, Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2006); David W. Blight, Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center,
With hundreds of people participating in the Underground Railroad’s operation, which spanned from the Deep South all the way to Canada, it’s hardly surprising that the network of underground pathways and safe homes known as the Underground Railroad was so large in scope. Some, like as Harriet Tubman, served as “conductors,” directing rescue efforts, while others, such as John Brown, served as “station masters,” welcoming fugitives into their houses and facilitating their safe journey to safety after their capture.
1. William Still
William Still, who was born in 1821 to previously enslaved parents in New Jersey, traveled to Philadelphia when he was 23 years old and took up the abolitionist banner in more ways than one. As a result, he learned himself to read and write and obtained employment as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, where he rose through the ranks until he was appointed head of the organization’s new Vigilance Committee in the early 1850s. While in that role, Still administered the region’s network of safe houses, which included his own residence, and generated funds to support important rescue operations, including a number of those undertaken by Harriet Tubman.
The fact that he’s frequently referred to as “the Father of the Underground Railroad” is due to another factor.
Hopefully, the “amazing drive and ambition” displayed in the terrible stories will serve as an inspiration to Black Americans as they continue the fight for civil rights.
2. John P. Parker
When John P. Parker was 8 years old, a trader in Norfolk, Virginia, removed him from his enslaved mother and sold him to a doctor in Mobile, Alabama. John P. Parker was born into slavery. With the assistance of the doctor’s children, Parker worked as an apprentice in an iron foundry, where he also learned to read and write. Having persuaded one of the doctor’s patients to purchase him at the age of 18, he was given the opportunity to gradually reclaim his freedom with the money he earned from his foundry.
- While all of this was going on, Parker was making regular trips over the Ohio River to transport fugitives from Kentucky back to Ripley’s safe homes (one belonged to John Rankin, a prominent white abolitionist who lived less than a mile from Parker).
- He once anticipated that an enslaversuspecteda married couple would seek to flee, so he kidnapped their infant and placed him in his chamber to sleep.
- The enslaver awakened and chased after Parker, firing his gun, but Parker and his family were able to flee across the river and into Canada.
- Gregg during a series of interviews in the 1880s, but the manuscript remained undiscovered in Duke University’s archives until historian Stuart Seeley Sprague unearthed it and published it in 1996.
Parker’s rescues were recounted to journalist Frank M. Gregg during a series of interviews in the 1880s, but the manuscript remained undiscovered in Duke University’s archives until historian Stuart Seeley Sprague unearthed
3. and 4. Harriet Bell Hayden and Lewis Hayden
Lewis Hayden, who was born enslaved in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1812, witnessed enslavers tear his family apart not once, but twice throughout his lifetime. His brothers were sold to a different enslaver at first, and then his wife and son were purchased by Kentucky senator Henry Clay and sold someplace in the Deep South, according to historical records. Hayden never saw them or heard from them again. In the early 1840s, he married an enslaved lady called Harriet Bell, adopted her son, and began preparing their escape from the plantation where they had been held.
- The couple had returned to the United States by 1846, when they had settled in Boston’s Beacon Hill district, where they had founded a clothes business.
- Despite the fact that slavery had been outlawed in Massachusetts since 1783, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 declared that enslaved persons who had escaped to free states might still be apprehended and returned to their enslavers in the southern United States.
- Among those who have received considerable notice are Ellen and William Craft, who gained notoriety for their perilous escape from slavery in Georgia, which required Ellen impersonating a white man and William as a Black servant.
- The bounty hunters didn’t take any chances and returned home empty-handed.
- In 1873, he was elected to the Massachusetts General Assembly, where he served until his death in 1904.
- The estate of Harriet Tubman, who died in 1893, was bequeathed to Harvard Medical School for the aim of creating an annual scholarship for Black students, which is still in existence today.
5. Henrietta Bowers Duterte
As an enslaved child, Lewis Hayden witnessed his family torn apart by enslavers not once, but twice while growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1812. His siblings were sold to a different enslaver at first, and subsequently, his wife and son were purchased by Kentucky senator Henry Clay and sold someplace in the Deep South, according to historical records. Their whereabouts are unknown to Hayden. His first marriage was to an enslaved lady called Harriet Bell in the early 1840s, and he shortly after adopted her son and began preparing their escape from slavery.
- The couple had returned to the United States by 1846, when they established a garment business in Boston’s Beacon Hill district.
- The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 specified that enslaved persons who had escaped to free states may still be tracked down and returned to their enslavers in the South, despite the fact that slavery had been prohibited in Massachusetts since 1783.
- Among those who have received considerable notice is Ellen and William Craft, who gained notoriety for their perilous escape from slavery in Georgia, which required Ellen impersonating a white man and William as a Black servant.
- This time, the bounty hunters did not take a chance and fled with nothing in their possession.
On the occasion of his death, in 1889, the city council of Boston hailed him as “one of our country’s pioneers in its liberation from the burden of slavery.” The estate of Harriet Tubman, who died in 1893, was given to Harvard Medical School for the aim of creating an annual scholarship for Black students, which continues to this day.
6. David Ruggles
David Ruggles, who was born free in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1810, traveled to New York City when he was 17 years old and founded a grocery store, which he operated with liberated African Americans. Ruggles soon expanded his business to include lending and selling abolitionist books, pamphlets, and newspapers as well, making him the first Black bookshop proprietor in the United States. Ruggles and other local abolitionists formed the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835, which was an inter-racial group that, like the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, assisted people in their attempts to elude slavery.
- Frederick Douglass, who had escaped slavery and arrived in New York in 1838, impoverished and starving, was one of these temporary visitors.
- David Ruggles saved his life, as he revealed in his autobiography published in 1845.
- Ruggles’s alertness, kindness, and tenacity,” he wrote.
- Ruggles gave the couple $5 shortly after their wedding and arranged for them to go by steamer to New Bedford, Massachusetts.
- Ruggles distributed countless anti-slavery publications during his years as an Underground Railroad station master, and he advocated for “practical abolitionism,” which is the idea that each individual should actively participate in the emancipation of African-Americans.
- Not that he was without adversaries: his business was burned down on two occasions, and he was violently attacked on other times.
- Ruggles was able to restore some of his strength by hydrotherapy while he was there, and he subsequently founded his own hydrotherapy facility, where Douglass would frequently pay him a visit.
7. and 8. Harriet Forten Purvis and Robert Purvis
Robert Purvis, the son of a free Black woman and a free white man, was involved in virtually every aspect of Philadelphia’s anti-slavery movement from the 1830s to the Civil War, and he died in the Civil War. His work with prominent abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison to establish the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833 and the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society a few years later resulted in the formation of the Vigilant Association of Philadelphia and its Vigilance Committee, which provided fugitive fugitives with boarding, clothing, medical attention, legal counsel, and northern passage.
- Harriet, like Mott, would go on to become a prominent figure in the women’s suffragist movement.
- Their home on Lombard Street became a well-traveled corridor for fugitives on their way to the United States border with Canada.
- The eighth anniversary of slavery’s abolition in the British West Indies was being celebrated when a mob of Irish people, resentful of their own low social standing, attacked the revelers and began looting and setting fire to Black-owned businesses along the street.
- However, according to reports, a Catholic priest diverted the rioters off their intended route to the Purvises’ home, where Robert was armed and ready to confront them.
Robert estimated that he had assisted in the emancipation of around one person each day between 1831 and 1861 (though it’s probable that this figure includes his larger involvement with other anti-slavery organizations).
9. Samuel D. Burris
For more than a decade in the 1840s, Samuel D. Burris worked diligently to transport fugitives through his home state of Delaware and into Philadelphia, where he resided with his wife and children. Despite the fact that Burris was a free man, he might be imprisoned and sold into slavery if he was found assisting fugitives in Delaware—which is exactly what happened to him in 1847. Burris was detained while attempting to sneak a lady named Maria Matthews onto a boat, according to authorities. Because his bail was set at $5000 (equivalent to more than $157,000 today), he was compelled to spend months in jail while awaiting his trial.
Burris was found guilty on November 2, 1847, and he was sentenced to 10 more months in jail as well as a $500 fine.
A group of Philadelphia abolitionists raised $500 during Burris’ 10-month prison sentence and sent a Quaker named Isaac Flint to masquerade as a merchant and acquire Burris at an auction while Burris was serving his sentence.
In Still’s words, “he was not in the least conscious that he had fallen into the hands of friends, but on the contrary, he appeared to be under the assumption that his freedom had been taken away.” ‘The joyous news was whispered in Burris’s ear that everything was OK; that he had been purchased with abolition money in order to keep him from going south.’ The historian Robin Krawitz of Delaware State University told CNN that Burris continued to assist fugitives after his release, and enraged Delawareans petitioned the government to punish him even more severely after he was sentenced to prison.
Burris’ operations in Delaware were suspended when officials approved legislation that prescribed public flogging as a penalty for anyone caught a second time.
How Mainers helped slaves find freedom through the Underground Railroad
As seen from Mount Battie, Camden is a beautiful city. During the mid-1800s, Maine was considered to be one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad for many African-Americans who were attempting to flee slavery through the state. With the use of a network of safe houses, tunnels, and codes, Mainers helped escaped slaves make the last leg of their journey to Canada through inland and coastal routes in secrecy. As Maine author Mark Alan Leslie put it, “people haven’t valued the bravery of their forebears who took it upon themselves to help these individuals escape slavery, even at the risk of losing their homes as well as their lives and their riches.” Just how these Mainers contributed to the formation of the hidden network known as the Underground Railroad will be the subject of a lecture Leslie will give at the Camden Public Library on Tuesday as part of the library’s annual month-long history series, which runs through October.
- Leslie of Monmouth is the author of a number of works of fiction that are based on Maine history.
- The Underground Railroad was a complex network of individuals and locations that assisted slaves in their attempts to escape to free states or Canada via the Underground Railroad.
- “Once they got to Portland, they either headed along the coast or headed interior,” Leslie explained.
- According to Leslie, established anti-slavery groups existed in Lincoln County, Waldo County, Penobscot County, and Mount Desert Island, among other places.
- While some Mainers assisted slaves in achieving freedom, other Mainers were interested in cashing in on the prize associated with their capture, according to Leslie.
- “People who were putting themselves at danger of huge penalties and jail time,” Leslie explained.
You have to keep it a secret because your next-door neighbor may be reporting you in because they wanted a few extra dollars in their pocket.” According to Leslie, the effort to keep the movement of runaway slaves a secret evolved in a sophisticated network of routes that transported these individuals from one safe house to another and eventually to Canada.
Safe homes were occasionally identified by a white chimney with a black ring at the top, which could be seen up and down the coast as well as inland in Augusta, Bangor, and Brewer, according to Leslie.
In some cases, persons “riding” the Underground Railroad could identify whether the house was a safe place, which direction they should walk in, or even whether a slave catcher was in the vicinity by looking at the design on a quilt.
An evening talk about Maine’s link to the Underground Railroad will be held in Camden on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the most up-to-date news from Maine.
A contemporary street view photograph of the row home where conservationists think William Still and his wife Letitia originally lived, as captured by Google Street View. Google Maps in the public domain View from the street On their way northward, hundreds of freedom seekers sought refuge with William Still, a black abolitionist in the years preceding up to the Civil War, who provided them with food and shelter. Still’s narrow house in Philadelphia served as an important stop on the Underground Railroad, and as Meagan Flynn reports for the Washington Post, a team of preservationists believes they have finally identified the house where Still and his wife Letitia once lived.
- The Philadelphia Historical Commission decided earlier this month to place a row home on South Delhi Street (originally Ronaldson Street) on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, which assures that the building cannot be demolished or drastically changed in the future.
- A large number of nineteenth-century maps and city documents were searched through by preservationists in their pursuit of this important historic property.
- Then one of the historians, Jim Duffin, stumbled upon an advertising in a newspaper from 1851 for a dressmaking company “done in the nicest manner by Letitia Still,” which revealed Letitia’s address.
- During the 1840s, Still relocated from New Jersey to Philadelphia where he began working for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.
- Despite this, he remained engaged in the Committee at a perilous period for abolitionists, when the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act had introduced heavy sanctions for anybody found supporting freedom seekers.
- Jane Johnson and her two boys were among those who sought safety, and their dramatic narrative of escape was aired across the country.
- As they were prepared to board a boat to go from Philadelphia, Still and another abolitionist, Passermore Williamson, hurried over to Johnson and assured her that she would be able to become a free woman if she joined them on their journey.
- Williamson and Still were apprehended as a result of their courageous deeds, and the story of their exploits served to galvanize support for the abolitionist movement.
According to historianEric Foner, who wrote a letter of support for the campaign to save Still’s house, in the midst of a nationwide movement to demolish controversial Confederate monuments, it is critical to remember the importance of elevating sites that are significant to African American history.
about what aspects of our past we chose to honor and why,” says the author. History of African Americans Heritage of Cultural Values SlaveryRecommended VideosDiscoveriesSlavery