Is the Underground Railroad in Indiana open to the public?
- Today, only a few Underground Railroad sites in Indiana are open to the public, including the Catherine and Levi Coffin home (called the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad“) in Wayne County and Eleutherian College in Jefferson County. Other sites have been identified with state historic markers, an ongoing effort.
Are there underground railroads in Indiana?
Today, only a few Underground Railroad sites in Indiana are open to the public, including the Catherine and Levi Coffin home (called the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad”) in Wayne County and Eleutherian College in Jefferson County.
Where in Indiana was the Underground Railroad?
Indiana’s Underground Railroad The routes in Indiana went from Posey to South Bend; from Corydon to Porter; and from Madison to DeKalb County, with many stops in between.
What part did eleutherian college play in the Underground Railroad?
The founders of Eleutherian College (Madison, Indiana) were active in the Underground Railroad as conductors, safe houses, and couriers. The founders of Eleutherian College (Madison, Indiana) were active in the Underground Railroad as conductors, operators of safe houses, and couriers.
Was Vevay Indiana part of the Underground Railroad?
Quick Description: The “Dungeon” was a place in the basement of the Switzerland County Courthouse that served on the Underground Railroad. Long Description: This historic courthouse in Vevay, Indiana served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
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.
What role did Indiana play in the Underground Railroad?
Indiana played a large role in the Underground Railroad, helping thousands of escaped slaves safely travel through the Hoosier state. A stone tunnel was built to lead slaves to Carpenter’s basement, where they could hide until they were ready to be moved farther north.
Did the Underground Railroad go through Kentucky?
Kentucky was the last state enslaved peoples needed to pass through on the Underground Railroad’s northern route to freedom. One of the hidden “stations” on the Underground Railroad was located at Lexington’s St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on North Upper Street.
Where is the Underground Railroad in Ohio?
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – “The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum of conscience, an education center, a convener of dialogue, and a beacon of light for inclusive freedom around the globe. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio.”
Is the series Underground Railroad based on fact?
Adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-award-winning novel, The Underground Railroad is based on harrowing true events. Directed by Barry Jenkins, the new Amazon Prime series is a loyal adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel of the same name.
7 Fascinating Places Around Indiana That Were Once Part Of The Underground Railroad
Published on February 20, 2018 in IndianaAttractions. A significant part in the Underground Railroad was performed by Indiana, which assisted thousands of fugitive slaves in their journeys across the Hoosier state. It is true that there are hundreds of locations around Indiana that sheltered persons fleeing slavery, but there are a few buildings that stand out as some of the most significant structures in the state. These 7 magnificent locations in Indiana were once key points on the Underground Railroad’s route across the state.
The Carpenter House is located in Evansville, Indiana.
It was previously owned by Willard Carpenter, a railroad entrepreneur who became well-known in this southern Indiana community after establishing himself there.
To transport slaves to Carpenter’s basement, a stone tunnel was constructed, allowing them to remain hidden until they were ready to be sent farther north.
- Several historians believe that Erastus purposefully designed his home with the Underground Railroad in mind, including the construction of a cupola at the top of the structure to serve as a watch point and an inside cistern to collect rainwater for slaves concealed within his walls.
- Eleutherian College – Madison is located on the campus of Eleutherian College – Madison.
- It was established in the early 1800s and is currently owned and operated by the Hoyt-Whipple family.
- Its address is 6927 IN-250, which puts it in the city of Madison, Indiana.
- Slippery Noodle Inn, located in Indianapolis This historic inn is the oldest tavern in the state, and it was here that escaped slaves were able to find safe passage through the Underground Railroad.
- This historic tavern can be found at 372 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46225, and it is open daily.
Westfield Shopping Center The city of Westfield was a major station on the Underground Railroad’s route across the United States.
While these residences are privately held, you may learn more about them at the Westfield Washington Historical Society Museum in Westfield, Massachusetts.
New Albany’s Town Clock Church is number six on the list.
This chapel, which was constructed in 1852, was seen as a beacon of hope for those traveling the Underground Railroad through the area.
The Levi and Catharine Coffin House is located near Fountain City, Missouri.
The mansion was owned by Catharine and Levi Coffin, and it is believed that over the twenty years that they lived there, they assisted nearly 2,000 slaves in escaping to freedom.
A fictitious version of the Coffins appears in the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” where they are depicted as the pair who assist runaway slave Eliza Harris.
Have you ever been to any of the important stops on the Underground Railroad in Indiana? If not, you should. Check out these magnificent National Landmarks in Indiana for additional information on the history of the Hoosier state.
Underground Railroad Sites in Indiana
The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes. Image courtesy of the National Park Service “The Underground Railroad” is depicted on the cover. Indiana has a long and illustrious history of involvement in the Underground Railroad. During the years leading up to and during the Civil War, a large number of runaway slaves journeyed across the state of Indiana. These fleeing men and women changed their routes and the places of their stops on a regular basis in order to reduce their chances of being apprehended and maybe recaptured by authorities.
Historians have been successful in locating various places that supported fleeing slaves in their journey to freedom, utilizing a broad variety of primary and secondary sources.
Indiana has hundreds of sites that have been identified.
Check back regularly to check if any new things have been added.
- Decatur County, Elkhart County, Floyd County, Fremont, Fort Wayne, Gibson County, Grant County, Hamilton County, Harrison County, Henry County, Jackson County, Knox County, Lake County, Lancaster, Madison, Madison County, Marion County, Michigan City, New Albany, Orland, Parke County, Ripley County, South Bend, Warrick County, and Wayne County are among the counties in Indiana.
The Underground Railroad in Indiana
Mary Schons contributed to this article. The 20th of June, 2019 is a Thursday. For 30 years before to the American Civil War, enslaved African Americans utilized the Underground Railroad to gain their freedom, a network known as the Underground Railroad (1861-1865). The “railroad” employed a variety of routes to transport people from slave-supporting states in the South to “free” states in the North and Canada. Sometimes abolitionists, or persons who were opposed to slavery, were responsible for organizing routes for the Underground Railroad.
- There was a great deal of activity on the Underground Railroad in the states that bordered the Ohio River, which served as a boundary between slave and free states.
- Not everyone in Indiana supported the emancipation of enslaved people.
- Because Indiana was a part of the Underground Railroad, its narrative is the tale of all states that had a role in it.
- However, while some people did have secret chambers in their homes or carriages, the great bulk of the Underground Railroad consisted of individuals surreptitiously assisting slaves who were attempting to flee slavery in whatever manner they were able to.
- The persons that were enslaved were referred to as “passengers.” “Stations” were private residences or commercial establishments where passengers and conductors seeking freedom might take refuge.
- If a new owner supported slavery, or if the residence was revealed to be a station on the Underground Railroad, passengers and conductors were obliged to locate a new station or move on somewhere.
- Only a small number of people kept records of this hidden activity in order to protect homeowners and others seeking freedom who required assistance.
People who were found assisting those who had fled slavery faced arrest and imprisonment.
No one knows exactly how the Underground Railroad received its name, nor does anybody care.
Another version of the story assigns the name to a freedom-seeker who was apprehended in Washington, D.C., in the year 1839.
A third narrative connects the name to an enslaved man called Tice Davids, who made the decision to pursue his freedom in 1831, according to the legend.
Unfortunately, there was no boat available to take us over the river.
His enslaver returned to Kentucky without him, claiming that Davids had vanished while traveling on a “underground railroad.” To put it another way, the name “Underground Railroad” had been widely accepted by the mid-1840s.
According to Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance, slavery was prohibited north of the Ohio River; however, the rule did not apply to enslaved persons who were already residing in the region.
Slavery was a common feature of life in the Northwest Territories at the time.
Indiana was established as a territory in 1800, with future United States PresidentWilliam Henry Harrison serving as the area’s first territorial governor.
Harrison and his followers also believed that permitting slavery in Indiana would increase the state’s population.
Their petition was refused by Congress.
The “contract holder” has the authority to determine how long the victim must be held in slavery.
When Indiana became a state in 1816, its stateConstitutioncontained wording that was comparable to Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance—new enslaved persons were not permitted, but existing enslaved people were allowed to continue in their current state of enslavement.
The term “slave” was still used to describe some Hoosiers as late as the 1820 census.
(White people were exempt from this requirement.) Indiana’s 1851 Constitution prohibited blacks from voting, serving in the military, or testifying in any trial in which a white person was accused of a crime.
All three pathways eventually went to Michigan and subsequently to Canada, although they took different routes.
Lewis Harding said in a 1915 history of Decatur County, Indiana, that the county was a spot where three roads came together after crossing the Ohio River at separate points in the county.
assisted the escaped slaves in every way imaginable,” he adds, using the injunction as an example.
As Harding says, “the sympathies of the majority of the residents of this nation were with the escaped slave and his rescuer.” Historians now feel that the path to independence resembled a spider’s web rather than three independent pathways to freedom.
While traveling, they had to avoid organized networks of patrolmen who grabbed freedom-seekers and held them hostage for ransom money.
Known as the “President of the Underground Railroad,” Coffin is credited for bringing slavery to Indiana in 1826.
In his memoir, Reminiscences, Coffin tells the story of two girls who escaped Tennessee and sought refuge with their grandparents in the Indiana county of Randolph.
They were not, however, destined to live in safety.
When the alarm went off, it attracted the majority of the settlement’s black people together in a single location.
Unknown to them, an uncle of the two girls rode up on his horse at the same time the enslaver was being held at bay by the grandmother’scorn knife.
They were not given any authorization to enter the premises or search for items, according to him.” The uncle remained at the doorway for as long as he could to continue the dispute with the enslaver.
According to the account, the girls were disguised as guys and sneaked past the crowd to where two horses were waiting for them.
The girls were able to make it to Coffin’s residence without incident.
Eliza Harris’s Indefatigable Escape Indiana is the scene of one of the most famous slave escapes in history, which took place in the state of Indiana.
Harris made the snap decision to flee to Canada with her infant son in tow.
There were no bridges, and there was no way for a raft to get through the thick ice.
Moving from one ice floe to another while carrying her child, she eventually made it to the other end.
Eliza, in fact, is the name of the character who travels across the frigid Ohio.
In order to recover from their ordeal, Harris and her child traveled to Levi Coffin’s Fountain City residence.
In 1854, Levi and Catherine Coffin were on a visit to Canada with their daughter when a woman approached Catherine and introduced herself.
God’s blessings on you!” It was Eliza Harris, who had safely migrated to Chatham, Ontario, Canada, when the call came through.
Illustration provided courtesy of The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information.
Examine the list of locations to determine if any are in your immediate vicinity.
But it was carried out according to a completely other set of rules.
Levi Coffin’s Reminiscences, published in 1880abet Help is a verb that refers to assisting in the committing of a crime.
abolitionist A person who is opposed to slavery as a noun.
authority Making choices is the responsibility of a nounperson or organization.
The payment of a fine or the performance of a contract under the terms of an agreement constitutes a bond, which is an unenforceable agreement.
cattle Andoxen are nouncows.
The American Civil War The American Civil War was fought between the Union (north) and the Confederacy between 1860 and 1865.
conductor A person who escorted slaves to safety and freedom on the Underground Railroad was known as a guide.
The House of Representatives and the Senate are the two chambers of the United States Congress.
convictVerb to find someone guilty of committing a criminal offense.
Municipality is a type of political entity that is smaller than a state or province, but often larger than a city, town, or other municipality.
defendantNounperson or entity who has been accused of committing a crime or engaging in other misconduct.
economy The production, distribution, and consumption of commodities and services are all referred to as a system.
enslave acquainted with the verbto completely control Adjectivewell-known.
forbidVerb to ban or prohibit something.
fugitive a noun or an adjective that has gotten away from the law or another limitation a system or order established by a country, a state, or any other political body; government Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American writer and abolitionist activist who lived from 1811 to 1896.
Nouna huge, flat sheet of ice that is floating on the surface of a body of water.
labor is a noun that refers to work or employment.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the term negronoun was frequently used to refer to persons of African descent.
During the American Civil War, the North was comprised of states that backed the United States (Union).
A portion of the modern-day states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota belonged to the Northwest Territory at the time of its creation.
The Ohio River is the greatest tributary of the Mississippi River, with a length of 1,580 kilometers (981 miles).
passenger A fugitive slave seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad is referred to as a noun.
Requests are made verbally, and are frequently accompanied by a document signed by the respondents.
prominentAdjectivethat is significant or stands out.
recover from an accident or strenuous activityVerb to recover from an injury or rigorous activity repeal a verb that means to reverse or reject anything that was previously guaranteed rouse a verb that means to awaken or make active.
Slavery is a noun that refers to the act of owning another human being or being owned by another human being (also known as servitude).
South During the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America (Confederacy) was backed or sympathized with by a huge number of states.
Supreme CourtNounin the United States, the highest judicial authority on questions of national or constitutional significance.
terminology A noungroup of words that are employed in a particular topic area.
Nounland that is protected against invaders by an animal, a person, or the government.
the southern hemisphere Geographic and political territory in the south-eastern and south-central sections of the United States that includes all of the states that sided with the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
unconstitutional Adjective that refers to a violation of the laws of the United States Constitution.
9th President of the United States of America, William Henry HarrisonNoun (1773-1841). (1841). word-of-mouth Informal communication, sometimes known as rumor or rumor mill. NounA official order issued by a government or other authoritative body.
Mary Schons contributed to this report. on the 20th of June in the year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ When enslaved African Americans attempted to gain their freedom in the 30 years preceding the American Civil War, they turned to the Underground Railroad for assistance (1861-1865). Slavery-supporting states in the South were served by a network of “railroads” that connected them to “free” states in the North and Canada. Sometimes abolitionists, people who were opposed to slavery, organized paths for the Underground Railroad.
- There was a great deal of activity on the Underground Railroad in the states that bordered the Ohio River, which served as a boundary between slave and free states.
- Despite widespread support for emancipation, not all Hoosiers were on board with it.
- Because Indiana was a part of the Underground Railroad, its history is the tale of all states that participated in it.
- To the dismay of many, the Underground Railroad did not consist of a network of underground passageways.
- Persons who traveled south to discover enslaved people who were looking for freedom were referred to as “pilots” in railroad jargon.
- “Passengers” were the term used to describe the slaves.
- With each change in ownership of the house, additional or fewer stations were added to the Underground Railroad network.
It was done in a discreet manner, by word of mouth, that the stations were being established.
Liberation aspirants would be compelled to return to servitude if they were apprehended and brought to justice.
Slavery was backed by both states that supported slavery and free states, and this extended to both groups.
According to one account, the term was coined by failed Pennsylvania patrolmen who attempted to abduct freedom seekers.
He said that he collaborated with others to flee to the North, where “the railroad went underground all the way to Boston,” after being tortured by his captors.
Eventually, Davids managed to get away from his Kentucky enslaver and make it to the Ohio River in time.
When Davids realized he was about to be captured, he swam over the river to the other side and slid out of sight.
To put it another way, the phrase “Underground Railroad” had become widely used by the mid-1840s.
When the new United States government formed the Northwest Territory in 1787, it included the area that would eventually become Indiana as part of that territory.
Even though no one else was permitted to be enslaved in 1787, people who were enslaved in 1787 remained such.
Vincennes and FloydCountyin the south, and as far north as La Porte, are two places where evidence of slavery has been found.
Because Harrison believed that slavery would help the economy flourish, he advocated its use.
For a period of ten years, the politicians and business leaders of Indiana petitioned Congress to remove Article 6.
Indiana Territory House of Representatives established a new legislation in 1805 that allowed persons to keep enslaved people who had been bought in the United States after they were brought to the country.
Property was extended to the enslaved person’s offspring, as well.
Indiana was a free state by 1816, yet it was not a welcoming environment for African-Americans.
) (This was not required of white folks.
Indiana’s Underground Railroad (also known as the Indiana Underground Railroad System) There were three primary lines of the Underground Railroad in Indiana, according to popular belief at the time of the discovery.
The slavery trade in Canada was prohibited in 1833.
Decatur County, Indiana, was described by Lewis Harding in his history of the county published in 1915 as a spot where three roads came together after crossing the Ohio River at various points.
assisted the escaped slaves in every way imaginable,” he adds, using the injunction as his source.
As Harding says, “the sympathies of the vast majority of the residents of this nation were with the escaped slave and his aid.” Rather than three different roads to independence, historians today believe the journey to freedom resembled a spider’s web.
While traveling, they had to avoid organized networks of patrolmen who grabbed freedom-seekers and held them hostage in exchange for ransom payments.
Levi Coffin of Newport, Indiana, was the most well-known Underground Railroad “station master” in the state (now called Fountain City).
The couple claimed to have hosted about 2,000 individuals over the course of two decades, spreading bedrolls on their kitchen floor to accommodate as many people as they could fit in.
“It was there that the girls stayed after their long and risky voyage of relishing their newly won independence and hoped that their master would never find out where they had gone.” They had no intention of remaining in safety, though.
Their captor, as well as a gang of men from Richmond and Winchester, were awakened by this event.
Around the grandparents’ hut, more than 200 people gathered to encircle and protect them from harm.
“He wanted to see the writ, which was provided to him by the officer,” Levi explains.
He denied that they were given any clearance to enter the residence and search for goods.” The uncle remained at the doorway as long as he could to continue the dispute with the enslaver.
According to the account, the girls were disguised as guys and sneaked past the throng to a location where two horses waiting for them.
To Coffin’s residence, the girls were able to make it without incident.
One of Eliza Harris’ children was sold for money in the winter of 1830, according to her enslaver, who she overheard that he was planning to sell another of her children for money.
Eventually, she managed to get free and flee to the Ohio River.
Harris leaped onto a slab of ice floating in the river after hearing her enslaver’s horse approaching.
It was in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book by Harriet Beecher Stowe, that Harris’ heroic escape was recounted.
It went on to become one of the most important novels in history, inspiring many Americans to sympathize with enslaved people and abolitionists as a result of reading it.
They then apparently spent some time in the adjacent town of Pennville, Indiana, before continuing their journey northwards.
“How are you, Aunt Katie?” the woman shouted as she snatched Catherine’s hand in her own.
God bless you!” It was Eliza Harris, who had successfully migrated to Chatham, Ontario, Canada, from her previous residence in the United Kingdom.
Thank you for using this illustration National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) (also known as the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)) The Underground Railroad Has Arrived.
Analyze the list of locations to determine whether any are in your immediate vicinity.
A completely new approach was taken in its execution.
1880abet, Levi Coffin wrote his reminiscences.
abolish is a verb that means to eliminate or eliminate something.
accommodate Provide or fulfill is a verb.
presumptive or presumptiveAdjectives that are asserted Roughly Adjective that refers to a figure that is either generic or close to accurate.
baffle verb to be perplexed and annoyed The payment of a fine or the performance of a contract under the terms of an agreement is referred to as a bond.
cattle ‘Nouncows’ are a kind of adverb.
In the American Civil War (also known as the American Revolutionary War), The American struggle between the Union (north) and the Confederacy between 1860 and 1865 is referred to as the American Civil War (south).
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate comprise the United States Congress.
Someone is found guilty of an illegal conduct when they are found guilty by a jury.
An administrative unit that is smaller than a state or province but often larger than a city, town, or other municipality.
DefendantNounperson or entity who has been accused of engaging in criminal activity or another type of misconduct dwell To reside in a certain location is the verb to reside.
encourage Verb to motivate or encourage someone or something.
forbidVerb to forbid or prohibit something from happening.
fugitive a noun or an adjective that has gotten away from a law or other constraint a system or order established by a country, a state, or any other political body Noun Abolitionist leader and author Harriet Beecher StoweNoun(1811-1896) was an American writer and activist who was active in the abolitionist movement.
- ice floe influential Important in terms of having the power to influence the thoughts or attitudes of others; influential in terms of being influential in terms of being influential.
- Nounwork or employment is defined as: labor.
- A network is a collection of interconnected linkages that allows for movement and communication.
- a region of the United States that stretched between the Mississippi River and Pennsylvania’s western border, and north of the Ohio River (from 1787 to 1803).
- novelNounA fictitious narrative or tale that is told in a fictional manner.
- ostensibly It is a noun that means to feign or show up.
pilot Person who traveled to slave states in search of slaves desiring freedom and willing to sacrifice their lives in order to obtain it was known as an informer on the Underground Railroad.
adjective significant or distinguishing itself from the rest of the crowd ransom Property release or return fees are referred to as nounfees.
repeal Something that was once assured is being overturned or rejected.
slave hunter Uncountable person who goes in search of fugitive slaves with the intention of forcing them back into servitude.
smuggle Take something secretly or steal it is the definition of the word “steal.” South An ill-defined geographic territory mostly consisted of states that either backed or were sympathetic to the Confederate States of America (Confederacy) during the American Civil War.
Those who identify with the Supreme CourtNounthe highest judicial authority in the United States on questions of national or constitutional significance To comprehend or share a feeling or emotion is to use the verb understand.
terrain Topographic features of a particular area are denoted by the noun.
a region in the southeastern United States a geological and political region in the south-eastern and south-central regions of the United States that includes all of the states that backed the Confederacy during the American civil war In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote an anti-slavery novel in 1852, which became known as the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Noun.
9th President of the United States, William Henry HarrisonNoun (1773-1841). (1841). word-of-mouth Informal communication, often known as rumor, NounA official order issued by a government or other authoritative authority.
Mary Schons is a writer who lives in New York City.
Kara West, Emdash Editing, Jeannie Evers, Emdash Editing
Kara West, Emdash Editing, Jeannie Evers, and Emdash Publishing
- User Permissions are set to expire on June 20, 2019. Users’ permissions are detailed in our Terms of Service, which you can see by clicking here. Alternatively, if you have any issues regarding how to reference something from our website in your project or classroom presentation, please speak with your instructor. They will be the most knowledgeable about the selected format. When you contact them, you will need to provide them with the page title, URL, and the date on which you visited the item.
If a media asset is available for download, a download button will show in the lower right corner of the media viewer window. If no download or save button displays, you will be unable to download or save the material.
The text on this page is printable and may be used in accordance with our Terms of Service agreement.
- Any interactives on this page can only be accessed and used while you are currently browsing our site. You will not be able to download interactives.
On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad : Coles’s On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis
IndianaSummary Royal, a freeborn black man, is in charge of transporting Cora to a farm in Indiana, where she is rescued by a group of African-American men. Royal and his accomplice Red had traveled to Tennessee in order to rescue Justin, another runaway slave who was traveling with them as the third person. When Royal learned that Cora had been taken into captivity by Ridgeway, he decided to postpone their return to Indiana in order to rescue her as well. Once in Indiana, Cora settles on a farm owned by John Valentine, a light-skinned African man who utilizes his white look to advocate for the cause of Africans in the United States of America.
- She also attends school alongside the farm’s children as well as with former slaves who are pursuing a higher degree.
- After an escaped slave who was near death landed on their doorstep, John and his wife, Gloria (whose freedom he acquired after meeting her on a plantation), decided to dedicate their property to abolitionist activities.
- The majority of fugitives that travel through the farm eventually make their way to Canada or another location after they have healed and prepared for their next voyage.
- Cora is unsuccessful.
- Similarly to her experience in South Carolina, Cora is unsure whether or not she should continue north.
- Cora begins to develop feelings for Royal, who continues to work for the underground railroad out of the Valentine farm, which serves as a base of operations.
- He eventually brings her to an abandoned station of the underground railroad that is nearby.
Royal informs her that he is unsure of the direction the route will take them.
The author recounts that even though his home was destroyed, he managed to flee north and continue his job with the underground railroad network.
Sam has received word that Terrance Randall has passed away.
A weekly meeting of the Valentine community is held, which includes feasting, dancing, and special performances by musicians, poets, and public speakers.
Mingo, who purchased his and his family’s freedom, is dissatisfied with Valentine’s treatment of fleeing slaves, and he is concerned that the existence of individuals like Cora is causing whites to get enraged.
Mingo makes the decision to create a discussion between himself and Lander in order to prove his point.
They ransack the property and set fire to the farmhouse, murdering or kidnapping everybody they come across along the way.
Royal’s final words to Cora are, “Go to the abandoned underground railroad station and find out where it leads.” Cora attempts to flee, but she is apprehended by Ridgeway and Homer.
Analysis Cora’s disastrous separation with Valentine is foreshadowed throughout this chapter.
However, there are many subtle foreshadowing instances that occur before this.
Cora is informed by him that she may be the one who discovers the truth.
After all, her internal debate over whether or not to continue traveling from Indiana is similar to the internal debate she had with herself in South Carolina, suggesting that the outcome this time will be the same: she will stay as long as she is able, until fate forces her to leave her current location.
- The option to flee is perhaps more enticing in this situation than it was in South Carolina earlier this year.
- Royal offers to accompany her to Canada.
- Cora’s urge to stop jogging, on the other hand, is much stronger than it was earlier.
- Cora grew up in South Carolina and has remained there ever since.
- Despite the fact that Lander’s claim that everyone should be accepted at Valentine is sympathetic, even Cora realizes that it is imprecise and may not be practical.
- Lander’s point of view appears to be desirable in Cora’s eyes.
It is this conflict in Valentine that reflects an ongoing discussion among free African Americans in antebellum America over the need of “respectability.” A number of people asserted that if Africans born free and legally freed learned to conduct themselves as respected members of white society, they would be able to demonstrate to white Americans that African races were not inferior to white races and, as a result, improve treatment for all blacks overall (and especially for themselves).
Others replied that adhering to the standards of white society was a means of validating the merits of those regulations in the first place.
Because of this, free blacks would be seen just as culpable in the institution of slavery as free white people were.
One of the reasons why many Southern states were concerned about the education of blacks was that it increased the probability of intellectual, articulate, anti-establishment voices like Lander’s being produced and heard in their communities.
During the episode, a character on Valentine says to Cora, “Master once told me that the only thing more deadly than an assassination attempt was an assassination attempt with a book.”
Myths About the Underground Railroad
When it comes to teaching African-American Studies today, one of the great delights is the satisfaction that comes from being able to restore to the historical record “lost” events and the persons whose sacrifices and bravery enabled those events to take place, never to be lost again. Among our ancestors’ long and dreadful history of human bondage is the Underground Railroad, which has garnered more recent attention from teachers, students, museum curators, and the tourism industry than any other institution from the black past.
- Nevertheless, in the effort to convey the narrative of this magnificent institution, fiction and lore have occasionally taken precedence over historical truth.
- The sacrifices and valor of our forefathers and foremothers, as well as their allies, are made all the more noble, heroic, and striking as a result.
- I think this is a common misconception among students.
- As described by Wilbur H.
- Running slaves, frequently in groups of up to several families, were said to have been directed at night on their desperate journey to freedom by the traditional “Drinking Gourd,” which was the slaves’ secret name for the North Star.
The Railroad in Lore
Following is a brief list of some of the most frequent myths regarding the Underground Railroad, which includes the following examples: 1. It was administered by well-intentioned white abolitionists, many of whom were Quakers. 2. The Underground Railroad was active throughout the southern United States. Most runaway slaves who managed to make their way north took refuge in secret quarters hidden in attics or cellars, while many more managed to escape through tunnels. Fourteenth, slaves made so-called “freedom quilts,” which they displayed outside their homes’ windows to signal fugitives to the whereabouts of safe houses and safe ways north to freedom.
When slaves heard the spiritual “Steal Away,” they knew Harriet Tubman was on her way to town, or that an ideal opportunity to run was approaching.
scholars like Larry Gara, who wrote The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad and Blight, among other works, have worked tirelessly to address all of these problems, and I’ll outline the proper answers based on their work, and the work of others, at the conclusion of this piece.
First, a brief overview of the Underground Railroad’s history:
A Meme Is Born
As Blight correctly points out, the railroad has proven to be one of the most “enduring and popular strands in the fabric of America’s national historical memory.” Since the end of the nineteenth century, many Americans, particularly in New England and the Midwest, have either made up legends about the deeds of their ancestors or simply repeated stories that they have heard about their forebears.
It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before diving into those tales, though.
Tice Davids was a Kentucky slave who managed to escape to Ohio in 1831, and it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was invented as a result of his successful escape.
According to Blight, he is believed to have said that Davids had vanished as though “the nigger must have gone off on an underground railroad.” This is a fantastic narrative — one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor — but it is improbable, given that train lines were non-existent at the time.
- The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., who was tortured and forced to testify that he had been taken north, where “the railroad extended underground all the way to Boston,” according to one report from 1839, was captured.
- constructed from Mason and Dixon’s to the Canada line, upon which fugitives from slavery might come pouring into this province” is the first time the term appears.
- 14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by others who claim that abolitionist Charles T.
Myth Battles Counter-Myth
Historically, the appeal of romance and fantasy in stories of the Underground Railroad can be traced back to the latter decades of the nineteenth century, when the South was winning the battle of popular memory over what the Civil War was all about — burying Lost Cause mythology deep in the national psyche and eventually propelling the racist Woodrow Wilson into the White House. Many white Northerners attempted to retain a heroic version of their history in the face of a dominant Southern interpretation of the significance of the Civil War, and they found a handy weapon in the stories of the Underground Railroad to accomplish this goal.
Immediately following the fall of Reconstruction in 1876, which was frequently attributed to purportedly uneducated or corrupt black people, the story of the struggle for independence was transformed into a tale of noble, selfless white efforts on behalf of a poor and nameless “inferior” race.
Siebert questioned practically everyone who was still alive who had any recollection of the network and even flew to Canada to interview former slaves who had traced their own pathways from the South to freedom as part of his investigation.
In the words of David Blight, Siebert “crafted a popular tale of largely white conductors assisting nameless blacks on their journey to freedom.”
Truth Reveals Unheralded Heroism
That’s a little amount of history; what about those urban legends? The answers are as follows: It cannot be overstated that the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement itself were possibly the first examples in American history of a truly multiracial alliance, and the role played by the Quakers in its success cannot be overstated. Despite this, it was primarily controlled by free Northern African Americans, particularly in its early years, with the most notable exception being the famous Philadelphian William Still, who served as its president.
- The Underground Railroad was made possible by the efforts of white and black activists such as Levi Coffin, Thomas Garrett, Calvin Fairbank, Charles Torrey, Harriet Tubman and Still, all of whom were true heroes.
- Because of the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, the railroad’s growth did not take place until after that year.
- After all, it was against the law to help slaves in their attempts to emancipate themselves.
- Being an abolitionist or a conductor on the Underground Railroad, according to the historian Donald Yacovone, “was about as popular and hazardous as being a member of the Communist Party in 1955,” he said in an email to me.
- The Underground Railroad was predominantly a phenomena of the Northern United States.
- For the most part, fugitive slaves were left on their own until they were able to cross the Ohio River or the Mason-Dixon Line and thereby reach a Free State.
- For fugitives in the North, well-established routes and conductors existed, as did some informal networks that could transport fugitives from places such as the abolitionists’ office or houses in Philadelphia to other locations north and west.
(where slavery remained legal until 1862), as well as in a few locations throughout the Upper South, some organized support was available.
I’m afraid there aren’t many.
Furthermore, few dwellings in the North were equipped with secret corridors or hidden rooms where slaves might be hidden.
What about freedom quilts?
The only time a slave family had the resources to sew a quilt was to shelter themselves from the cold, not to relay information about alleged passages on the Underground Railroad that they had never visited.
As we will discover in a future column, the danger of treachery about individual escapes and collective rebellions was much too large for escape plans to be publicly shared.5.
No one has a definitive answer.
According to Elizabeth Pierce, an administrator at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the figure might be as high as 100,000, but that appears to be an overstatement.
We may put these numbers into context by noting that there were 3.9 million slaves and only 488,070 free Negroes in 1860 (with more than half of them still living in the South), whereas there were 434,495 free Negroes in 1850 (with more than half still living in the South).
The fact that only 101 fleeing slaves ever produced book-length “slave narratives” describing their servitude until the conclusion of the Civil War is also significant to keep in mind while thinking about this topic.
However, just a few of them made it to safety.
How did the fugitive get away?
John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, as summarized by Blight, “80 percent of these fugitives were young guys in their teens and twenties who absconded alone on the majority of occasions.
Because of their household and child-rearing duties, young slave women were significantly less likely to flee than older slave women.
Lyford in 1896 reported that he could not recall “any fugitives ever being transported by anyone, they always had to pilot their own canoe with the little help that they received,” suggesting that “the greatest number of fugitives were self-emancipating individuals who, upon reaching a point in their lives when they could no longer tolerate their captive status, finally just took off for what had been a long and difficult journey.” 7.
What is “Steal Away”?
They used them to communicate secretly with one another in double-voiced discussions that neither the master nor the overseer could comprehend.
However, for reasons of safety, privacy, security, and protection, the vast majority of slaves who escaped did so alone and covertly, rather than risking their own safety by notifying a large number of individuals outside of their families about their plans, for fear of betraying their masters’ trust.
Just consider the following for a moment: If fleeing slavery had been thus planned and maintained on a systematic basis, slavery would most likely have been abolished long before the American Civil War, don’t you think?
According to Blight, “Much of what we call the Underground Railroad was actually operated clandestinely by African Americans themselves through urban vigilance committees and rescue squads that were often led by free blacks.” The “Underground Railroad” was a marvelously improvised, metaphorical construct run by courageous heroes, the vast majority of whom were black.
Gara’s study revealed that “running away was a terrible and risky idea for slaves,” according to Blight, and that the total numbers of slaves who risked their lives, or even those who succeeded in escaping, were “not huge.” There were thousands of heroic slaves who were helped by the organization, each of whom should be remembered as heroes of African-American history, but there were not nearly as many as we often believe, and certainly not nearly enough.
Approximately fifty-five of the 100 Amazing Facts will be published on the website African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. On The Root, you may find all 100 facts.
10 Things To Know About The Underground Railroad
Are you ready for some incredible tales and secrets? For Black History Month, we’ll be exploring the history of the Underground Railroad, which takes place in February. In order to get the month started off right, here are ten intriguing facts about this magnificent escape route that propelled the oppressed into freedom:
- The word “Underground Railroad” was first used in 1831, and it was a reference to a railroad that ran underground.
For decades, enslaved men and women have been able to flee their captors. Slavery had begun in the American colonies in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia, and the desire to flee and be free had been prevalent from the beginning of the institute’s existence to the current day. The network of safe houses, signals, and codes, on the other hand, began to take off in the nineteenth century. In 1831, the phrase “Underground Railroad” was first used to refer to a railroad that ran beneath the surface of the ground.
- Davids’s former master claimed that a “underground railroad” was responsible for getting him to freedom so quickly.
- reported the existence of a “underground railroad” that ran all the way from New York City to Boston, in the free state of Massachusetts, and back again.
- Quakers, on the other hand, have been running escape routes for decades.
- Quakers made up the vast majority of those who assisted fugitive slaves, deriving their motivation for their efforts from their religious convictions as well as their dedication to fighting for human rights.
- Quakers were very vocal in their support for abolition, rising to become some of the most influential figures in the early abolition movement.
- Laws in the 18th and 19th centuries compelled these clandestine activities in the name of freedom.
- As a result, in the eyes of the law, the men and women who decided to flee their captivity were considered criminals, and anybody who assisted them in their escape was also considered a criminal.
The Fugitive Slave Acts made it much more difficult for people to flee their homes and seek freedom.
Free states objected and issued counterlaws within their own jurisdictions, but the Supreme Court refused to recognize and invalidated these actions.
This law outraged many in the northern states and contributed to the success of the Underground Railroad in the final decade of the nineteenth century.
Making the option to run was a risky and ultimately fatal move.
It frequently included the danger of severe pain or death if discovered.
Despite the fact that the Underground Railroad assisted in the trip to escape, the route was still deadly.
Extremely enraged owners and slave catchers, as well as those searching for financial gain, wild animals, and a slew of other challenges, added to the risks of the trek.
” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” src=” alt=”” srcset=” 600w,150w,300w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px”> ” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” src=” alt=”” When Eliza takes the momentous decision to flee to freedom, this etching from the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” depicts the moment.
- They referred to the secret lines in terms of railroad terminology.
- No, there wasn’t a genuine train running beneath the city.
- The “conductors” were in charge of guiding the evacuees.
- The conductors come from a diverse range of backgrounds.
- Some were wealthy, while others were impoverished.
- Both white people and African Americans were employed by the Underground Railroad operation during its peak period.
The conductors were unfamiliar with the specifics of the full journey.
On the Underground Railroad, small things such as songs, chants, and poetry, as well as quilts and washing patterns on the wash line as well as tree markings, rock heaps, gestures, and a variety of other small features, came to symbolize the Underground Railroad.
Because of the Fugitive Slave Laws, many fugitive slaves were forced to go all the way to Canada because they could no longer be assured safety in free states.
Routes on the Underground Railroad were documented as running west through Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa, and occasionally as far as Canada, according to the documentation.
Even though many fugitives were successful in establishing themselves and thriving in the northern, free states, their freedom was tragically still at danger, whereas Canada provided more permanent independence.
” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” data-small-file=”” src=””h=392 alt=”” srcset=” h=392 676w,h=87 150w,h=174 300w,h=446 768w,1024w h=392 676w,h=87 150w,h=174 300w,h=446 768w,1024w Sizes are as follows: (max-width: 676px) 100vw, 676px “> The following is an example of a formalized formalized formalized The Underground Railroad’s known paths are depicted on this map.
Harriet Tubman was one of the most well-known conductors in history.
Harriet Tubman was one of the most well-known, as well as one who had a large bounty placed on her head by enraged slave hunters.
Her life and narrative will be explored in greater depth in the near future.
The Underground Railroad came to an end as a result of the Civil War.
Thousands of enslaved people gained their freedom as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was enforced by advancing Union soldiers.
To avoid being captured by free states or Canada, the fugitives fled to Union troops, where they began to form new towns and live their own lives. Miss Sarah, your historian, is here to help you.