Which Abolitionist Group Was Based In Philadelphia To Aid The Underground Railroad? (The answer is found)

Quaker Abolitionists In the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia that helped enslaved people on the run.

What is the history of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia?

  • With a deep abolitionist history and large and vibrant free black population, Philadelphia and the surrounding region played a prominent role in the famed Underground Railroad. The loosely connected organization of white and black people helped hide and guide enslaved people as they sought freedom in the North and Canada.

Was Philadelphia part of the Underground Railroad?

Philadelphia, home of the 17th-century Quaker abolitionist movement and the city where a young Harriet Tubman found freedom, played a vital role in the Underground Railroad.

What groups made up the Underground Railroad?

Those who most actively assisted slaves to escape by way of the “railroad” were members of the free black community (including such former slaves as Harriet Tubman), Northern abolitionists, philanthropists, and such church leaders as Quaker Thomas Garrett.

What was an abolitionist in the Underground Railroad?

Conductors included former slaves, such as Frederick Douglass, a prominent abolitionist who directed activities in Rochester, New York, and Harriet Tubman, a fugitive who made 19 journeys back south to lead others north.

Why was Philadelphia important in 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.

Was the Underground Railroad in 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.

Who was in the abolitionist movement?

The abolitionist movement was the social and political effort to end slavery everywhere. Fueled in part by religious fervor, the movement was led by people like Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and John Brown.

Who made 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.

Who were some of the important figures in the Underground Railroad movement?

8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad

  • Isaac Hopper. Abolitionist Isaac Hopper.
  • John Brown. Abolitionist John Brown, c.
  • Harriet Tubman.
  • Thomas Garrett.
  • 5 Daring Slave Escapes.
  • William Still.
  • Levi Coffin.
  • Elijah Anderson.

Who is a famous abolitionist?

Five Abolitionists

  • Frederick Douglass, Courtesy: New-York Historical Society.
  • William Lloyd Garrison, Courtesy: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Angelina Grimké, Courtesy: Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • John Brown, Courtesy: Library of Congress.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Courtesy: Harvard University Fine Arts Library.

Why did Harriet Tubman became an abolitionist?

Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in the South to become a leading abolitionist before the American Civil War. She led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom in the North along the route of the Underground Railroad.

What is the abolitionist movement for kids?

In the late 1700s people who were opposed to slavery began a movement to abolish, or end, the practice. This was called the abolitionist movement. Followers of the movement were known as abolitionists. Europeans began using enslaved Africans in the late 1400s.

Where did Harriet Tubman go in Philadelphia?

During the 1800s, the home became vital to the Underground Railroad movement. Harriet Tubman was sheltered and fed here with the enslaved Africans she would often later guide to Lucretia Mott’s nearby home in Cheltenham.

Harriet Tubman

As an escaped enslaved woman, Harriet Tubman worked as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, guiding enslaved individuals to freedom before the Civil War, all while a bounty was placed on her head. But she was also a nurse, a spy for the Union, and a proponent of women’s rights. Tubman is one of the most well-known figures in American history, and her legacy has inspired countless individuals of all races and ethnicities around the world.

When Was Harriet Tubman Born?

As an escaped enslaved woman, Harriet Tubman worked as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, guiding enslaved individuals to freedom before the Civil War, even while a reward was placed on her life. Nevertheless, she worked as a nurse, a spy for the Union, and a proponent of women’s suffrage. Tubman is one of the most well-known figures in American history, and her legacy has inspired many individuals of all races and ethnicities throughout the country.

A Good Deed Gone Bad

Harriet’s yearning for justice first manifested itself when she was 12 years old and witnessed an overseer prepare to hurl a heavy weight at a runaway. Harriet took a step between the enslaved person and the overseer, and the weight of the person smacked her in the head. Afterwards, she described the occurrence as follows: “The weight cracked my head. They had to carry me to the home because I was bleeding and fainting. Because I was without a bed or any place to lie down at all, they threw me on the loom’s seat, where I stayed for the rest of the day and the following day.” As a result of her good act, Harriet has suffered from migraines and narcolepsy for the remainder of her life, forcing her to go into a deep slumber at any time of day.

She was undesirable to potential slave purchasers and renters because of her physical disability.

Escape from Slavery

Harriet’s father was freed in 1840, and Harriet later discovered that Rit’s owner’s final will and testament had freed Rit and her children, including Harriet, from slavery. Despite this, Rit’s new owner refused to accept the will and instead held Rit, Harriett, and the rest of her children in bondage for the remainder of their lives. Harriet married John Tubman, a free Black man, in 1844, and changed her last name from Ross to Tubman in honor of her new husband. Harriet’s marriage was in shambles, and the idea that two of her brothers—Ben and Henry—were going to be sold prompted her to devise a plan to flee.

Harriet Tubman: Underground Railroad

On September 17, 1849, Harriet, Ben, and Henry managed to flee their Maryland farm and reach the United States. The brothers, on the other hand, changed their minds and returned. Harriet persisted, and with the assistance of the Underground Railroad, she was able to journey 90 miles north to Pennsylvania and freedom. Tubman got employment as a housekeeper in Philadelphia, but she wasn’t content with simply being free on her own; she desired freedom for her family and friends, as well as for herself.

She attempted to relocate her husband John to the north at one time, but he had remarried and preferred to remain in Maryland with his new wife. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:

Fugitive Slave Act

The Runaway Slave Act of 1850 authorized the apprehension and enslavement of fugitive and released laborers in the northern United States. Consequently, Harriet’s task as an Underground Railroad guide became much more difficult, and she was obliged to take enslaved people even farther north into Canada by leading them through the night, generally during the spring or fall when the days were shorter. She carried a revolver for her personal security as well as to “encourage” any of her charges who might be having second thoughts about following her orders.

Within 10 years, Harriet became acquainted with other abolitionists like as Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, and Martha Coffin Wright, and she built her own Underground Railroad network of her own.

Despite this, it is thought that Harriet personally guided at least 70 enslaved persons to freedom, including her elderly parents, and that she educated scores of others on how to escape on their own in the years following the Civil War.

More information may be found at The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.

Harriet Tubman’s Civil War Service

The Runaway Slave Act of 1850 authorized fugitive and liberated laborers in the northern United States to be apprehended and enslaved in the southern United States. Consequently, Harriet’s role as an Underground Railroad guide became much more difficult, and she was compelled to take enslaved people even farther north into Canada by leading them through the night, generally during the spring or fall when the days were shorter. In addition to her personal security, she carried a revolver in order to “encourage” any of her charges who might be having second thoughts about joining her.

After that, Harriet became friends with other abolitionists like as Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, and Martha Coffin Wright, and she began to build up her own Underground Railroad network.

Despite this, it is thought that Harriet personally led at least 70 enslaved persons to freedom, including her elderly parents, and that she also trained scores of others on how to escape on their own in the years after her capture.

In her defense, she stated, “I never lost a passenger or ran my train off the track.” More information may be found at: The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.

Harriet Tubman’s Later Years

The Runaway Slave Act of 1850 authorized fugitive and liberated laborers in the northern United States to be apprehended and enslaved. Consequently, Harriet’s task as an Underground Railroad guide became much more difficult, and she was compelled to take enslaved people even farther north into Canada by leading them through the night, generally in the spring or fall when the days were shorter. She carried a rifle for her personal safety as well as to “encourage” any of her charges who might be having second thoughts about joining the army.

Over the next 10 years, Harriet became acquainted with other abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, and Martha Coffin Wright, and she began to build her own Underground Railroad network.

Despite this, it is thought that Harriet personally escorted at least 70 enslaved persons to freedom, including her elderly parents, and that she also trained dozens of others on how to escape on their own.

READ MORE: The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Connected the United States and Mexico

Harriet Tubman: 20 Dollar Bill

The SS Harriet Tubman, which was named for Tubman during World War I, is a memorial to her legacy. In 2016, the United States Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman’s portrait will be used on the twenty-dollar note, replacing the image of former President and slaveowner Andrew Jackson. Later, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (who previously worked under President Trump) indicated that the new plan will be postponed until at least 2026 at the earliest. President Biden’s administration stated in January 2021 that it will expedite the design phase of the project.

Sources

Early years of one’s life. The Harriet Tubman Historical Society was founded in 1908. General Tubman was a female abolitionist who also served as a secret military weapon during the Civil War. Military Times is a publication that publishes news on the military. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. Biography. Biography. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. Thompson AME Zion Church, Thompson Home for the Aged, and Thompson Residence are all located in Thompson. The National Park Service is a federal agency.

  1. Myths against facts.
  2. Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D.
  3. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure.
  4. National Women’s History Museum exhibit about Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman, “The Moses of Her People,” is a fictional character created by author Harriet Tubman. The Harriet Tubman Historical Society was founded in 1908. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. The Underground Railroad (Urban Railroad). The National Park Service is a federal agency.

Vigilant Committee and the Underground Railroad

The Vigilant Committee of Philadelphia was a covert auxiliary of the Vigilant Association that existed between 1837 and 1852 in the city of Philadelphia. The Vigilant Association was a group founded by Robert Purvis, an outspoken abolitionist, in August 1837 with the goals of publicizing antislavery doctrine and “creating a fund to relieve colored folks in need,” according to the group’s website. To accomplish this, the Vigilant Committee established offices, raised funds, and made resources readily accessible to aid escaped slaves while they were in Philadelphia or passing through the city.

  • During a meeting of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society the same year, a new Vigilance Committee was established, with Robert Purvis serving as the General Committee’s chairman and William Still serving as the committee’s vice chairman.
  • Throughout this section, students will learn about the Underground Railroad as a complex structure that was propelled by individual desire and resolve for freedom, with assistance and support from individuals in larger groups, notably free black communities.
  • Students can use the William Still diary and the Vigilance Committee expenditure records to create a profile of a runaway slave who is seeking assistance in the city of Philadelphia.
  • Additionally, these sites provide insight into another facet of the Underground Railroad: the financial burden of care.

Topics

AbolitionCivil WarPennsylvaniaAbolitionistsAfrican Americans PhiladelphiaSlavery ​

Big Ideas

Contextualization in History Pennsylvania’s illustrious past

Essential Questions

  • Setting the Scene in History Histories of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Concepts

  • Learning about the past and the many settings in which it occurred, each of which was affected by social, cultural, and political factors, prepares one for involvement as active, critical citizens in a democracy. To fully appreciate society in the Pennsylvania, it is necessary to examine both conflict and cooperation among social groups, organizations, and nation-states. Household instability, ethnic and racial tensions, labor disputes and unionization, immigration, wars, and revolutions are instances of societal conflict and collaboration.
See also:  How Did The Underground Railroad Began And The Reason For It? (Perfect answer)

Competencies

  • At particular, consider how historical and geographical factors influence the interplay of cultural economic and social interactions in a certain time and place. Explain how conflict and compromise have influenced current society throughout Pennsylvania’s history.

Background Material for Teacher

“Philadelphia County,” written by Charles Blockson. Pennsylvania’s Underground Railroad (also known as the Underground Railroad of the United States) Flame International, Jacksonville, North Carolina, 1981, pp. 8-32. A full historical backdrop of anti-slavery beliefs in Philadelphia County is provided in this excerpt from “The Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania” to the reader. The author goes into considerable depth regarding the paths of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia, the importance of the Vigilant Committee, and the effect of various anti-slavery organisations on the Underground Railroad movement.

  1. Joseph A.
  2. A variety of original sources from the Philadelphia Vigilant Committee, including the minutes of the committee’s sessions, are presented in this page for the benefit of the reader.
  3. 141-151.
  4. 141-151.

The book offers light on the role performed by clergymen as agents and conductors of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia throughout the nineteenth century. ​

End of Unit Assessment

Students should write in a diary, claiming to be a member of the Vigilant Committee, to demonstrate their understanding. The diary should be around four pages in length, with each journal entry being approximately a page in duration. The journal should satisfy the following requirements and provide satisfactory answers to the following questions: ​

  • Allowing the pupils to pretend to be members of the Vigilant Committee, they should write in a diary. There should be four pages in total, with each diary post being around one page in length. In order to be considered for publication, the magazine must satisfy or exceed the following requirements: ​

Students can utilize other sources to complete this assessment, but they will also be supplied with a copy of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and an excerpt from William Still’s journal to aid them in their efforts. Students should be allowed a substantial amount of time outside of the classroom to complete this end-of-unit evaluation in order to succeed. Their performance should be judged on the basis of how successfully they: ​

  • Comparing and contrasting the roles played by organizations and individuals from Pennsylvania in the social-political-cultural-economic development of the United States
  • Examine how conflict and collaboration among individuals and groups in Pennsylvania enabled them to have an impact on the outcome of slavery in the United States
  • And

Quakers & Slavery : Organizations

There are brief summaries of various notable antislavery organizations that existed in antebellum America on this page, with a particular emphasis on organizations centered in the Philadelphia region that had a significant number of Quaker members in their ranks.

American Anti-Slavery Society

Founded in Philadelphia in 1833, the American Anti-Slavery Society was a more radical alternative to thePennsylvania Abolition Society. The Anti-Slavery Society advocated a broadly based anti-slavery movement, and insisted upon immediate and complete emancipation without compensation for slaveholders. It published an official weekly newspaper, the National Anti-Slavery Standard. Auxiliary groups included thePennsyvlania Anti-Slavery Society, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, and the Young Men’s Anti-Slavery Society.

American Colonization Society

In December 1816, delegates met in Washington, D.C. and organized the American Colonization Society. They voted to begin seeking voluntary removal of U.S. blacks to Africa. That same year, thirty-eight African-American passengers were taken to Sierra Leone by a merchant named Paul Cuffee, a free black member of the Society of Friends. The Colonization Movement was controversial within the Society of Friends.

Free Produce Society of Pennsylvania

The free-produce movement was a boycott against goods produced by slave labor. In 1826, Friends in Wilmington, Delaware, drew up a charter for a formal free-produce organization and Baltimore Quaker Benjamin Lundy opened a store that sold only goods obtained by labor from free people. In 1827, the movement expanded with the formation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania of the “Free Produce Society” founded by Thomas M’Clintock and others. Though the free-produce movement was not intended as a sectarian response to slavery, most of the free-produce society were comprised of Quakers. See alsoPhiladelphia Free Produce Association of Friends.
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Friends Association for the Aid and Elevation of the Freedmen

Established by Hicksite Quakers in 1864, this association provided charitable assistance to recently freed slaves. It opened around the same time as an equivalent Orthodox Quaker group (Friends’ Freedmen’s Association), and about two years after the Women’s Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of the Freedmen—a largely but not exclusively Quaker group. TheNew York Association of Friends for the Relief of Those Held in Slavery and the Improvement of the Free People of Coloralso existed at the same time.

New York Association of Friends for the Relief of Those Held in Slavery and the Improvement of the Free People of Color

A Quaker society in New York City, organized in 1839. Its purpose was to support the abolition of slavery and educational charities for blacks. Similar organizations, including theFriends Association for the Aid and Elevation of the Freedmen, were founded in Philadelphia 25 years later.

The New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves,and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May Be Liberated

Formed in 1785— about a decade after the first American antislavery society, thePennsyvlania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery —the New York society opened the African Free School two years afterwards. Its original members included John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. Later, many members of the Society of Friends, including Isaac T. Hopper, joined the society.

Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society

TheAmerican Anti-Slavery Societywas organized in Philadelphia in 1833, but the separate Pennsylvania branch of the society was not opened until 1837.
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Pennsylvania Hall Association

The Pennsylvania Hall Association was a stockholders association formed in 1837 to erect a building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dedicated “to Liberty and the Rights of Man.” The Hall was erected on 6th Street, between Cherry and Race Streets. Many of the primary movers behind the Association were Quakers involved in the anti-slavery movement. The building was opened on May 14, 1838, but, as a symbol of the abolitionist movement, it was destroyed by an angry mob on May 17, 1838.

Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery

Commonly known as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, this was the first anti-slavery organization in the United States. Begun in Philadelphia in 1774 by the Quaker Anthony Benezet, its membership was substantially composed of Friends. It was reorganized in 1784, and again in 1787, when it was renamed the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, and for Improving the Condition of the African Race. In 1833, abolitionists frustrated with the slow pace and compromising attitude of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society founded the more radicalAmerican Anti-Slavery Societyand its subsidiaryPennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.

Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends

Opened at Old Kennett, Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1853 as a separation from meetings in the Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite). Progressive Friends were part of a reform movement which developed among Hicksite Friends in the 1840s, but also included many non-Quaker liberals and radicals. The largest group became formally organized as the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, which met at Longwood in Chester County, Pennsylvania, from 1853 to 1940. Progressive Friends advocated a religion of humanity which stressed the inherent goodness and perfectibility of humankind and promoted such reform causes as abolition of slavery, temperance, women’s rights, opposition to capital punishment, prison reform, homestead legislation, pacifism, Indian rights, economic regulation, and practical and co-educational schooling. A similar group organized in Waterloo, N.Y. as theYearly Meeting of Congregational Friends.
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Philadelphia Free Produce Association of Friends

The free-produce movement was a boycott against goods produced by slave labor. Though the free-produce movement was not intended as a sectarian response to slavery, most of the free-produce associations were Quakers: the idea of a boycott of slave produce dates from at least the mid 18th century when it was advocated by John Woolman, Joshua Evans and others. The Philadelphia Free Produce Association of Friends, founded in 1846, was a specificially Quaker organization.

Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was not a formal society, but a loosely-organized network of abolitionists dedicated to helping slaves escape to freedom. These “conductors” of the Underground Railroad hid runaways in safehouses along the route north, formed vigilance committees in major cities, and provided legal advice to runaways who were captured. It is impossible to pin down a precise start date, but one of the eariest references to runaway slaves receiving organized assistance comes from a letter written by George Washington in 1786. When a neighbor’s slave escaped, Washington wrote to Robert Morris that “a society of Quakers, formed for such purposes, have attempted to liberate him.acting repugnant to justice.in my opinion extremely impoliticly with respect to the State.” Quakers remained a dominant presence in the Underground Railroad network for almost two centuries, and many prominent Friends—includingIsaac T. Hopper,Thomas Garrett, andElijah F. Pennypacker —were known to be involved.

Yearly Meeting of Congregational Friends

Progressive Friends in the Scipio, Farmington and Michigan Quarterly Meetings separated in 1848 from Genesee Yearly Meeting: Waterloo Yearly Meeting of opened in 1849 under the Basis of Religious Association (1848). It was composed of the former Junius Monthly Meeting and other Friends separating from the Scipio Quarterly Meeting. It became the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Human Progress in 1854, and continued until approximately 1884. See alsoPennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends.
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Celebrate Harriet Tubman Day by Exploring Philly’s Underground Railroad Sites

The inscription on the Liberty Bell, a notoriously shattered symbol of the abolitionist cause, says, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the people thereof,” according to the Bible. In this exhibition, you can see how the bell became a worldwide symbol of freedom through exhibits and movies. As in February 2021, the Liberty Bell will be open everyday, with capacity restrictions in place to provide a safe tourist experience. Visit Philadelphia used this photograph by M.

Kennedy.

In 1796, one of them, Ona Judge, was able to escape bondage with the assistance of the Philadelphia community of free Blacks.

Visit Philadelphia used this photograph by P.

  1. Meyer.
  2. Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church is located on the oldest plot of property continuously held by African Americans and serves as its “mother” church.
  3. Harriet Tubman, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, and William Still all addressed the congregation from the pulpit of Mother Bethel.
  4. Tours of the museum are only available by appointment.
  5. During a self-guided tour of the site’s Underground Railroad Museum, visitors can explore historical items and hear tales about the site’s history, including the story of Cornelia Wells, a free African American woman who resided there during the Civil War.

Meyer for the City of Philadelphia African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876, a permanent exhibit at the country’s first institution sponsored and established by a major municipality to preserve, interpret, and show the legacy of African Americans, is on display at the Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia Museum of Art.

In addition, the museum features rotating art exhibitions that explore the contemporary Black experience.

After becoming the first licensed African American Methodist preachers in 1784, Reverends Richard Allen and Absalom Jones staged a walk-out when the authorities of St.

George’s Methodist Church refused to allow Black members to sit in the church’s sanctuary.

This Quakerburial site, established in 1703, is the ultimate resting place of abolitionists such as Lucretia Mott, Robert Purvis, and others.

It also serves as a center for environmental education.

Photo courtesy of R.

Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia of the Johnson House This house in Germantown, built in 1768, belonged to pious Quakers Samuel and Jennett Johnson, who, in the early 1800s, took in fugitive slaves from the South.

It is said that William Still and Harriet Tubman paid a visit to the residence, according to family history.

Volunteers at theKennett Underground Railroad Centergive tours of important places in this charming hamlet, which is located about an hour southwest of Philadelphia’s downtown core.

  1. While a timetable for guided bus tours is still being finalized for 2021, interested visitors can contact out through email to get a PDF for a self-guided tour in exchange for a $20 gift to the museum.
  2. Johnson The community of Bristol in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is home to a monument dedicated to Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, which stands along the Delaware River shoreline.
  3. More information may be found here.
  4. Enslaved persons were assisted in their trek north by churches, farms, pubs and other establishments in towns such as Yardley, Bristol, New Hope, and Doylestown, among others.
  5. The trip will include a stop to Collingdale’s Historic Eden Cemetery, which is the final resting place for some of the most famous people on the Underground Railroad, including William Still, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, James Forten, and many more.
  6. It includes a stop at Arlington Cemetery, formerly known as Riverview and Fernland Farms, both of which are located on National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom land and are managed by the National Park Service (National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom).
  7. click here to find out more

The Underground Railroad

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

Harriet Tubman

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was Harriet Tubman?

Some of the most common inquiries

The Underground Railroad and the Coming of War

The Underground Railroad served as a symbol for the abolition of slavery. Despite this, many textbooks refer to it as the official name of a covert network that formerly assisted fugitive slaves in their escape. The pupils who are more literal in their thinking begin to wonder whether these established escape routes were genuinely beneath the surface of the land. However, the phrase “Underground Railroad” is best understood as a rhetorical technique that was used to illustrate a point by comparing two entities that were diametrically opposed to one another.

  • Understanding the origins of the term has a significant impact on its meaning and use.
  • There could be no “underground railroad” until the general public in the United States became aware with genuine railways, which occurred throughout the 1830s and 1840s.
  • The term also draws attention to a particular geographic direction.
  • Even while slaves fled in every direction on a map, the metaphor delivered its most potent punch in areas that were closest to the nation’s busiest railroad stations.
  • Also, why would they want to compare and irrevocably link a large-scale operation to assist escaped slaves with a well-organized network of hidden railways in the first place?
  • Abolitionists, or those who pushed for the abolition of slavery as soon as possible, desired to publicize, and possibly even inflate, the number of slave escapes and the depth of the network that existed to help those fugitives in order to gain public support.
  • This appeared to be a potentially deadly game to several of the participants.

According to his Narrativein 1845, “I have never approved of the very public manner in which some of our western friends have conducted what they call theunderground railroad,” warning that these mostly Ohio-based (“western”) abolitionists were establishing a “upperground railroad” through their “open declarations.” The public’s awareness of slave escapes and open disobedience of federal law only grew in the years that followed, especially when the contentious Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed.

  1. Anxious fugitives and their accomplices retaliated with greater force this time around.
  2. A former slave called William Parker was aided to escape to Canada by him in September 1851 after Parker had organized a resistance movement in Christiana, Pennsylvania that resulted in the death of a Maryland slaveholder and the confusion of federal officials.
  3. The infamously strict statute was used to prosecute just around 350 fugitive slave cases between 1850 and 1861, with none of them taking place in the abolitionist-friendly New England states after 1854.
  4. Students sometimes appear to image escaped slaves cowering in the shadows, while cunning “conductors” and “stationmasters” constructed sophisticated covert hiding spots and coded communications to aid spirit fugitives on their route to freedom in the nineteenth century.
  5. An alternative explanation for the Underground Railroad should be offered in terms of sectional divisions as well as the onset of the Civil War.
  6. When American towns felt endangered in the nineteenth century, they turned to extra-legal “vigilance” clubs for assistance.
  7. Almost immediately, though, these organizations began providing protection to fugitive slaves who had escaped from their masters.

Many now-forgotten personalities such as Lewis Hayden, George DeBaptiste, David Ruggles, and William Still were instrumental in organizing the most active vigilance committees in cities such as Boston, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia during the era of the Great Depression.

It was via these vigilance groups that the Underground Railroad came to be regarded as the organized core of the network.

The vigilance concept was imitated during the 1840s, when William Parker established a “mutual protection” group in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and when John Brown established his League of Gileadites in Springfield, Massachusetts, respectively.

They kept their secrets close to their chests, but these were not clandestine operators in the way of France’s Resistance.

vigilance agents in Detroit crammed newspaper pages with information regarding their monthly traffic volume.

One entrepreneurial individual circulated a business card with the words “Underground Railroad Agent” written on the back.

In addition to being available for classroom use, a surprising amount of this covert material may be found online.

The book presents the fascinating materials he collected while serving as the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee’s head of research and documentation.

And the amount of literature about the Underground Railroad that is readily available is growing all the time.

How could they disclose their presence and run the danger of being apprehended if they kept documents detailing their illicit activities?

Aside from the security provided by state personal liberty statutes, those assisting fleeing criminals sometimes benefited from an overarching unwillingness across the North to support federal action or reward southern authority.

Attempts to pass personal liberty or anti-kidnapping legislation in northern states, led by Pennsylvania, began as early as the 1820s.

The Supreme Court ruled in two important instances, Prigg v.

Booth (1859), that these northern personal liberty guarantees were unconstitutional and hence unenforceable.

They may also be surprised to learn that a federal jury in Philadelphia found the primary defendant in the Christiana treason trial not guilty after only fifteen minutes of deliberation.

This was the popular mood that was utilized by northern vigilance committees in order to keep their problematic efforts on behalf of fugitives going for as long as possible.

No well-known Underground Railroad worker was ever killed or sentenced to a considerable amount of time in prison for assisting fugitives once they crossed the Mason-Dixon Line or the Ohio River in the course of their work.

The branding of Jonathan Walker, a sea captain convicted of transporting runaways, with the mark “S.S.” (“slave-stealer”) on his hand was ordered by a federal marshal in Florida in 1844 after he was apprehended.

What did occur, on the other hand, was an increase in rhetorical violence.

The threats became more serious.

Following that, the outcomes affected the responses that eventually led to war.

The hunt for fugitives and those who assisted them served as a major catalyst for the nation’s debate about slavery, which began in 1850.

When measured in words, however, as seen by the antebellum newspaper articles, sermons, speeches, and resolutions prompted by the fugitive-hunting issue, the “Underground Railroad” proved to be a metaphor that served to spark the American Civil War in the most literal sense.

In Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, published by the Anti-Slavery Office in Boston in 1845, page 101 is quoted ().

().

Campbell’s book, The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law: 1850–1860 (New York: W.

Norton, 1970), contains an appendix that discusses this topic.

See, for example, Graham Russell Gao Hodges’ David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City (David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City) (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

To learn more about this, see Fergus M.

409.

Douglass, Frederick, “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” in Park Publishing’s Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Hartford, CT: Park Publishing, 1881), p.

().

He is the author of Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home (2003) and the co-director of House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, both of which are located in Pennsylvania.

Walk Philly’s Black history with these two tours of the city’s antislavery sites

An allegory for the Underground Railroad was used. Despite this, many textbooks refer to it as the official name of a hidden network that previously assisted fugitive slaves in their escape from the plantation. The pupils who are more literal in their thinking begin to wonder whether these set escape routes were genuinely beneath the surface of the earth in the first place. Rather, the phrase “Underground Railroad” should be seen as a rhetorical technique that was used to illustrate a point by comparing two things that were diametrically opposed.

  1. Being aware of the phrase’s historical context alters its meaning in significant ways.
  2. As long as the American public was unfamiliar with railways, there could be no such thing as a “underground railroad”–that is, until the mid- to late-nineteenth century.
  3. A certain geographic direction is also highlighted by the term.
  4. Slaves fled in every direction, but the metaphor had the greatest impact in the villages that were nearest to the nation’s busiest railroad stations and train stations.
  5. And why would they want to compare and inexorably link a large-scale operation to assist runaway slaves with a well-organized network of hidden railways in the first place?
  6. It was the goal of abolitionists, or those who advocated for the quick abolition of slavery, for the number of slave escapes to be publicized and, in some cases, exaggerated, as well as the depth of the network that existed to help those fugitives.
  7. This appeared to be a risky game to some of the participants.

According to his Narrativein 1845, “I have never approved of the very public manner in which some of our western friends have conducted what they call theunderground railroad,” warning that these mostly Ohio-based (“western”) abolitionists were establishing a “upperground railroad” through “their open declarations.” Exodus stories and open disobedience of federal law gained widespread attention in the years that followed, particularly following the contentious Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

  1. Fugitives and their accomplices fought back with increased intensity now that they were no longer on the run from authorities.
  2. A former slave called William Parker was aided to escape to Canada by him in September 1851 after Parker had lead a resistance movement in Christiana, Pennsylvania, that resulted in the death of a Maryland slaveholder and the confusion of federal officials.
  3. The infamously strict statute was used to prosecute just around 350 fugitive slave cases between 1850 and 1861, with none occurring in abolitionist-friendly New England states after 1854.
  4. Many students have the impression that escaped slaves are cowering in the shadows, while cunning “conductors” and “stationmasters” have constructed complex hidden hiding spots and coded communications to aid spirit fugitives on their route to liberty.
  5. An alternative explanation for the Underground Railroad should be offered in terms of sectional divisions as well as the approaching Civil War.
  6. Every time a community felt endangered in the nineteenth century, it turned to extra-legal “vigilance” groups for help.
  7. The protection services provided by these organizations to escaped slaves were extended almost immediately.

Many now-forgotten personalities such as Lewis Hayden, George DeBaptiste, David Ruggles, and William Still were instrumental in organizing the most active vigilance committees in cities such as Boston, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia during the Great Depression.

It was through these vigilance groups that the Underground Railroad began to be regarded as the organized core of the movement.

When William Parker established a “mutual protection” group in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, or when John Brown established his League of Gileadites in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the 1840s, they were following in the footsteps of this vigilante concept.

Their secrets were well guarded, but they were not clandestine operators in the way of France’s Resistance.

vigilance agents in Detroit crammed newspaper pages with statistics on their monthly traffic flow.

“Underground Railroad Agent,” stated the business card of one industrious individual who spread it.

In addition to being available for classroom use, a surprising amount of this concealed evidence may also be found.

Visitors to the site maintained by social studies teacher Dean Eastman and his pupils at Beverly High School may learn how much it cost to assist runaways by seeing the account books of the Boston vigilance committee, which have been transcribed and uploaded online.

The question is, how could these northern vigilance groups get away with such blatant insubordination?

The answer assists in moving the plot into the 1840s and 1850s and provides a novel approach for teachers to engage students in discussions on the legal and political history of the sectional issue.

Or to put it another way, it was all about states’ rights—and particularly the rights of the northern states to exist.

These laws were intended to protect free black residents from kidnapping, but they had the unintended consequence of making enforcement of federal fugitive slave laws difficult (1793 and 1850).

Pennsylvania (1842) and Ableman v.

In the mid-1850s, the Wisconsin supreme court asserted the theory of nullification, which may come as a surprise to students who are accustomed to linking states’ rights with South Carolina.

These northern legislators and juries were, for the most part, unconcerned with black civil rights, but they were eager about protecting their own states’ rights in the years leading up to the American Civil War.

That is also why virtually none of the Underground Railroad operatives in the North were apprehended, convicted, or subjected to physical assault during their time in the country.

The renowned late-night arrests, long jail terms, torture, and, in some cases, lynchings that made the underground operation so deadly were really experienced by agents operating throughout the South.

It just did not happen in the North to subject people to such brutal punishment.

In the meantime, the battle of words continued to escalate.

Following that, the outcomes affected the responses that ultimately led to the war in Iraq.

As a significant catalyst for the national war over slavery, the pursuit of fugitives and those who assisted them was a major source of inspiration.

By comparison, the “Underground Railroad” proved to be a metaphor that contributed to bring about the American Civil War when measured in words—through the antebellum newspaper articles, sermons, speeches, and resolutions that arose in response to the fugitive-detention situation.

In his speech to the National Free Soil Convention in Pittsburgh on August 11, 1852, Frederick Douglass referred to the Fugitive Slave Law as “The Fugitive Slave Law” ().

Campbell’s book, The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850–1860 (New York: W.

Norton, 1970), contains an appendix that discusses this topic.

The book David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City, by Graham Russell Gao Hodges, is a good example of this (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

To learn more about this, see Fergus M.

409.

Douglass, Frederick, “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” in Park Publishing’s Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Hartford, CT: 1881), p.

().

At Dickinson College, he is the co-director of House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine and the author of Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home (2003).

Walk 1: Society Hill and Center City

After witnessing individuals being sold here, Thomas Paine penned an essay that was instrumental in igniting the anti-slavery campaign in the United States. The historic tavern served as a meeting place for merchants, ship owners, and political officials who came together to do business and socialize. Outside, enslaved Africans were being auctioned off on the open market. The auctions were visible from an upstairs window of the boarding house next door, where the English author Thomas Paine (1737-1809) resided and worked as a boarder.

» READ MORE: ‘It’s a part of our history,’ says a storyteller as he takes a trip of locations associated with Philadelphia’s slave trade

2. Anthony Benezet Home,325 Chestnut St. (now Buddakan restaurant)

Anthony Benezet pushed for the integration of Black schools and founded the first abolitionist association in the United States. Benezet (1713-1784) was a white Quaker teacher and abolitionist who lived during the American Revolutionary War. Benezet began teaching night sessions to Black youths in his house in 1750, and continued until his death in 1801. He established the first public school for females (all of whom were white and from notable families) and, in 1770, persuaded the Quakers to establish the first school for African-American children.

Benjamin Rush reorganized the group to become the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which is still in operation to this day.

3. Pennsylvania Hall,190 N. 6th St. (Current site of Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission)

A lynch mob, enraged that a gathering of Black and white men and women was taking place, set fire to the structure. This structure, which was the first to be built particularly for abolitionist gatherings, was dedicated on a Monday in May 1838. The Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women got underway the next day. Meetings were to be limited to white women exclusively, according to the city, since some people were uncomfortable with the concept of women speaking in public. The abolitionists were adamant.

A few days later, the structure was completely destroyed by fire.

4. The President’s House,Sixth and Market

While President George Washington was working to overthrow Pennsylvania’s Gradual Abolition Act, at least one of his servants managed to flee to freedom in the neighboring state of New Hampshire. When Philadelphia was the nation’s capital, the White House was located at the corner of Sixth and Market Streets in a house on Sixth Street. There were nine enslaved persons under George Washington’s control. He took use of a legal loophole to avoid complying with Pennsylvania’s 1780 Gradual Abolition Act, which stated that any enslaved person who remained in the state for six months would be freed from their bonds.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was signed here by George Washington. One lady, Oney Judge, is said to have sought out to abolitionists in 1796 in an attempt to escape slavery.

5. Congo Square, now Washington Square,210 W. Washington Square

While President George Washington was working to overthrow Pennsylvania’s Gradual Abolition Act, at least one of his servants managed to flee to freedom in New Hampshire, where he eventually settled down. An 18th-century palace on the corner of Sixth and Market streets functioned as the White House during the period when Philadelphia was the nation’s capital. There were nine enslaved persons that were kept there by George Washington. To avoid complying with Pennsylvania’s 1780 Gradual Abolition Act, which stated that any enslaved person who remained in the state for six months would be free, he used a legal gap in the law.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was signed here by Washington.

6. Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church,419 S. Sixth St.

This chapel served as a stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Bishop Richard Allen was born into slavery and was able to buy his way out of it. Allen went on to build Mother Bethel in 1794, which is located on the oldest tract of United States land continuously held by African Americans and is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the country. After becoming a stop on the Underground Railroad, the basement served as a safe haven for fugitives fleeing the United States.

African Episcopal Church of St.

James, was another Black church whose parishioners were participating in the Underground Railroad.) There is a commemorative plaque at that location.)

7. James Forten House,336 Lombard St.

James Forten was a prominent African-American merchant who contributed to the anti-slavery movement’s funding. James Forten (1766-1842), a free black man born in Philadelphia, was a pupil at the school that Anthony Benezet established for African-American children. Following the Revolutionary War, Forten worked as an apprentice with sailmaker Robert Bridges, eventually purchasing the business when Bridges retired. He was a rich entrepreneur and inventor who contributed to antislavery movements such as the publication of The Liberator newspaper by providing financial support.

8. William Still House,625 S. Delhi St.

He was known as the “Father of the Underground Railroad,” and he was instrumental in the emancipation of countless people from slavery. William Still (1821-1900) was a slave-rescuer who assisted hundreds of individuals in their escape from slavery. He was born free in Burlington County, New Jersey, to parents who were formerly slaves. When he was living in Philadelphia, he worked with the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, where he assisted fugitives such as his elder brother by concealing and supporting them.

9. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper House,1006 Bainbridge St.

This is where the mother of African American journalism grew up. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was an abolitionist, author, and poet who lived from 1825 to 1911. She was born in Baltimore to parents who were both free black. Her first collection of poems was published in 1845, and she is widely regarded as the “mother of African American journalism” for her work writing for abolitionist journals during the Civil War era. Her novel, Iola Leroy, about a mixed-race free woman who is sold into slavery, was published in 1892 and is still in print today.

She wrote the following words in her poem “Bury Me in a Free Land,” which was published in 1854:”I beg no monument, grand and towering, / To capture and hold the sight of passers-by; / All that my longing spirit desires, / Is that I be buried not in a land of slaves.”

10. Henry Minton House,204 S. 12th St.

There were gatherings here where abolitionist Frederick Douglass attended, and it is thought that John Brown slept the night here while preparing for his attack on Harpers Ferry. Henry Minton was a caterer who rose to prominence in Philadelphia’s free black society as a significant leader. Minton welcomed abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Still, who came to the town to speak. During his ill-fated attack on the Harpers Ferry arsenal in 1859, abolitionist John Brown is said to have spent the night in Minton’s residence on his way to liberate enslaved Black people by stealing their weapons.

The attack is regarded as a precursor to the American Civil War.

CHECK OUT THIS OTHER ARTICLE:Hey, Mayor Kenney: The following are the structures that Philadelphians desire to see maintained historically.

Walk 2: Northwest Philadelphia

Slavery-era artifacts like as chains and shackles are on display at the museum. J. Justin Ragsdale, the museum’s founder, began collecting artifacts associated with slavery more than 40 years ago. He and his wife, Gwen Ragsdale, now run the museum at the Germantown Historical Society, which they founded. Among the items on display at this museum are shackles, chains, coffles, branding irons, and other ironware that was used to punish and confine enslaved African Americans during the period of slavery.

Meetings for abolitionists were conducted here, and William Still and others were in attendance.

The Johnson family, who were members of the Society of Friends, lived in this house for five generations.

The home was in the line of fire during the Battle of Germantown in 1777, and the scars left by musket balls may still be seen on the walls today.

It has since been transformed into a museum that is open to the public and dedicated to the positive impact that ordinary people can have on their communities.» READ MORE:In Germantown, history, art, and place are used to build bridges of understanding between people.

3.Cliveden,6401 Germantown Ave.

This was one of the locations where abolitionist Richard Allen and his family were held as slaves, according to historians. He was born in 1760 into a slave-holding home under the tutelage of lawyer Benjamin Chew, who rose to the positions of attorney general and chief justice of the Supreme Court. Allen was the founder of the Mother Bethel African Methodist Church. It was his summer residence at Cliveden. When Allen was 7 or 8 years old, Chew sold his family to Stokley Sturgis, a farmer in Delaware, who in turn sold Allen’s parents and brothers to enslavers in the South farther down the Mississippi River.

Cliveden was also the main point of the Battle of Germantown, which took place in 1777.» READ MORE:Our top Philadelphia insider tips: Take a look at some of our most valuable stories.

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