They learn that the Big Dipper was a very important constellation for a group of people called slaves. Slavery is described and escape to the North is introduced. The song Follow the Drinking Gourd is introduced as song sung by slaves. The slaves called the Big Dipper the Drinking Gourd.
What was the Underground Railroad and how did it work?
- During the era of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, places, and people that helped enslaved people in the American South escape to the North. The name “Underground Railroad” was used metaphorically, not literally. It was not an actual railroad, but it served the same purpose—it transported people long distances.
What star did the Underground Railroad follow?
As slave lore tells it, the North Star played a key role in helping slaves to find their way—a beacon to true north and freedom. Escaping slaves could find it by locating the Big Dipper, a well-recognized asterism most visible in the night sky in late winter and spring.
What star did Harriet follow?
Harriet Tubman, who grew up near the refuge in Dorchester County, Maryland, used Polaris as her guiding light as she and other escaped slaves fled north on the Underground Railroad, a path forged by freedom-seeking slaves and abolitionists in the 19th century.
Did slaves Follow the North Star?
In the years before and during the U.S. Civil War of the 1860s, escaped slaves fled northward, hiding by day and moving furtively at night. Often their only guide was Polaris, the North Star, which they found by tracing the handle of the Big Dipper constellation, or Drinking Gourd.
What did the slaves call the Big Dipper?
In the early-to-mid 19th century, countless American slaves used the Big Dipper—aka the Drinking Gourd —as a guide to finding the North Star in the night sky, which led them to the northern (freed) states.
Who followed the Northern Star?
As the well-known story in the Gospel of Matthew goes, three Magi, or wise men, followed the Star of Bethlehem to Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago.
Where is the Big Dipper constellation?
The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear). One of the most familiar star shapes in the northern sky, it is a useful navigation tool.
How did slaves navigate the Underground Railroad?
Conductors helped runaway slaves by providing them with safe passage to and from stations. They did this under the cover of darkness with slave catchers hot on their heels. Many times these stations would be located within their own homes and businesses.
Is the North Star part of the Big Dipper?
The Big Dipper itself isn’t a constellation, by the way. It’s an asterism, a recognizable pattern of stars on the sky’s dome. The Big Dipper is part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Greater Bear. Bottom line: Use the Big Dipper to find Polaris, the North Star.
What constellation is the drinking gourd?
Big Dipper – a very important constellation in the northern sky. The slaves called it the drinking gourd and used it to find their way north to freedom.
Is Orion the Big Dipper?
Orion is one of the best-known star patterns in the night sky, along with the Big Dipper. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the Big Dipper is always somewhere in the northern sky, because it is a “circumpolar constellation” — it lies close to the north celestial pole and circles the pole constantly.
How did Harriet Tubman find her way north?
Harriet Tubman traveled at night so that she would not be seen by slave catchers. Just as other fugitives, such as Frederick Douglass, she followed the North Star that guided her north.
What are 5 facts about Harriet Tubman?
8 amazing facts about Harriet Tubman
- Tubman’s codename was “Moses,” and she was illiterate her entire life.
- She suffered from narcolepsy.
- Her work as “Moses” was serious business.
- She never lost a slave.
- Tubman was a Union scout during the Civil War.
- She cured dysentery.
- She was the first woman to lead a combat assault.
What is a code song?
Coded songs contained words giving directions on how to escape also known as signal songs or where to meet known as map songs. Read more about Underground Railroad secret code language. Songs used Biblical references and analogies of Biblical people, places and stories, comparing them to their own history of slavery.
What did the slaves call the North Star?
What are some other ways escaping slaves could determine where “north” was? One of the best clues they could use to find north was to locate the North Star. The North Star is also called Polaris.
North Star to Freedom (U.S. National Park Service)
Harriet Tubman as a young woman, around 1860s, seen in a seated picture. The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information. The National Park Service tells the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who became an abolitionist, the Underground Railroad, and the many great Americans who lived throughout the 1800s whose daring deeds carried slaves to freedom and contributed to the abolition of slavery. The National Park Service (NPS) looks on the significance of the night sky in the lives of the founding fathers of our country as we commemorate our nation’s freedom.
Traveling under the cover of darkness generally provided the finest opportunities for escape.
The capacity of a runaway to safely get to a safe house, railroad station, or the woods without the aid of these equipment was frequently a matter of life and death.
NPS According to slave legend, the North Star played an important role in assisting slaves in their quest for freedom, serving as a light to the true north.
- This item’s form is similar to a dipping ladle or drinking gourd, as implied by its name.
- For millennia, celestial navigation knowledge (navigating by studying the stars and other patterns in the night sky) was passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition.
- Slaves were able to navigate their path without becoming disoriented as a result of this information.
- Many slave narratives and ballads made use of the Big Dipper and the North Star as symbols of freedom.
- The night sky is a canvas of storytelling that connects us to our ancestors and their history.
When you look up at the night sky, remember the story of the drinking gourd and those early Americans who placed their lives on the promise of freedom on a star. Follow the sheet music and fragments of the Drinking Gourd. The Texas Folklore Society was founded in 1928.
Follow the Drinking Gourd
Harriet Tubman as a young woman, roughly 1860s, shown in a seated position. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) (also known as the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)) The National Park Service tells the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who became an abolitionist, the Underground Railroad, and the many great Americans who lived throughout the 1800s and whose bold efforts helped slaves escape and bring slavery to an end. The National Park Service (NPS) looks on the significance of the night sky in the lives of the founding fathers of our country as we commemorate our nation’s independence day on July 4.
- Escaping under the cover of darkness was frequently the most effective strategy for many people.
- The capacity of a runaway to safely get to a safe house, railroad station, or the woods was frequently a matter of life and death without the assistance of these instruments.
- NPS According to slave legend, the North Star played an important role in assisting slaves in their quest for liberation, serving as a light to the true north and freedom.
- A dipping ladle or drinking gourd, as the name suggests, is the form of this vessel.
- From generation to generation, celestial navigation expertise (navigating by studying the stars and other night sky patterns) has been passed down for millenia.
- Slaves were able to navigate their way through the forest without becoming disoriented because of this information.
- Numerous slave legends and hymns made use of the Big Dipper and the North Star.
- A canvas of stories, the night sky serves as a link between ourselves and our ancestors.
Remember the story of the drinking gourd and those early Americans who risked their lives on a star the next time you look up at the night sky and look up at the night sky. Follow the sheet music for the Drinking Gourd fragment. In 1928, the Texas Folklore Society published a publication titled
- Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland
- The Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
- The Civil War
- Exploring Night Skies in National Parks
- Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland
- In the night sky, there are signs of spring
Julie West, Communications Specialist for the National Park Service’s Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, contributed to this article.
AstroFan: Tale of the Drinking Gourd
The Big Dipper is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known constellations in our night sky. But did you know that during the time of the Underground Railroad, this night-sky icon served as a beacon of hope for those seeking freedom in the United States? A large number of American slaves utilized the Big Dipper—also known as the Drinking Gourd—as a navigational aid to locate the North Star in the night sky, which brought them to the northern (freed) states during the early to mid-19th centuries.
Please take a look at the following excerpt, which appears to have come directly from a GPS navigational device: Following the drinking gourd is a good idea.
The path will be marked by dead trees.
It was only through being able to gaze to the stars for directional guidance that slaves were able to overcome these unfair setbacks and continue their journey towards liberation.
More About The North Star
An often-heard myth is that the North Star is the brightest star in the night sky. This is not true at all. This is completely false. It is actually just around the 50th brightest star in the sky! Despite the fact that it is not the brightest star in the sky, the North Star functioned as an excellent celestial guide for slaves since it stayed in the same location in the northern night sky throughout the year! As a result, the North star became a trustworthy method of determining which direction was due north at all times.
If you were to take a time lapse video of the night sky, you would see that all of the stars appear to be rotating around the sun.
Spotting The Drinking Gourd And The North Star
An often-heard myth is that the North Star is the brightest star in the night sky, although this is not the case. Unfortunately, this is not accurate. It is actually just approximately the 50th brightest star in the constellation! In spite of the fact that it is not the brightest star in the sky, it served as an excellent celestial guide for slaves since it remained visible all year in the same location of northern night sky. It became a dependable method of determining which direction was due north at all times as a result of this.
It appears that all of the stars are rotating around it if you were to take a time lapse of the scene. Because it is almost perfectly aligned with the Earth’s north celestial pole, the North Star seems to be completely stationary.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BIG DIPPER –
Take the path of the Drinking Gourd. Slaves who managed to flee had to make their way north. States in the north, such as New York and Massachusetts, had active abolitionist societies and charitable organizations — both black and white — that were willing to assist runaway slaves. The last destination for the slaves was Canada, which was located north of the United States border. Abolition of slavery was not authorized in the country, and American laws that allowed citizens to apprehend fugitive slaves were of little use there either.
- They were well aware that moss typically grew on the north faces of trees.
- Finding the North Star was one of the most important indicators they could use to determine their location in the north.
- It is unlike other stars in that it does not shift its position.
- People have historically relied on a constellation of stars to guide them to the North Star.
- People have said that the group resembles a Big Bear at times.
- The Drinking Gourd was the name given to this group of stars by slaves.
- The gourds had a similar appearance to long-handled cups.
- It was possible for persons traveling at night to always find the North Star by looking for the “drinking gourd” in the sky.
- Many people are familiar with the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” which was written in the 1960s.
- The song is a mashup of ancient concepts and fresh phrases created by a diverse group of musicians.
Underground Railroad Terminology
Written by Dr. Bryan Walls As a descendant of slaves who traveled the Underground Railroad, I grew up enthralled by the stories my family’s “Griot” told me about his ancestors. It was my Aunt Stella who was known as the “Griot,” which is an African name that means “keeper of the oral history,” since she was the storyteller of our family. Despite the fact that she died in 1986 at the age of 102, her mind remained keen till the very end of her life. During a conversation with my Aunt Stella, she informed me that John Freeman Walls was born in 1813 in Rockingham County, North Carolina and journeyed on the Underground Railroad to Maidstone, Ontario in 1846.
- Many historians believe that the Underground Railroad was the first big liberation movement in the Americas, and that it was the first time that people of many races and faiths came together in peace to fight for freedom and justice in the United States.
- Escaped slaves, as well as those who supported them, need rapid thinking as well as a wealth of insight and information.
- The Underground Railroad Freedom Movement reached its zenith between 1820 and 1865, when it was at its most active.
- A Kentucky fugitive slave by the name of Tice Davids allegedly swam across the Ohio River as slave catchers, including his former owner, were close on his trail, according to legend.
- He was most likely assisted by nice individuals who were opposed to slavery and wanted the practice to be abolished.
- “He must have gotten away and joined the underground railroad,” the enraged slave owner was overheard saying.
- As a result, railroad jargon was employed in order to maintain secrecy and confound the slave hunters.
In this way, escaping slaves would go through the forests at night and hide during the daytime hours.
In order to satiate their hunger for freedom and proceed along the treacherous Underground Railroad to the heaven they sung about in their songs—namely, the northern United States and Canada—they took this risky route across the wilderness.
Despite the fact that they were not permitted to receive an education, the slaves were clever folks.
Freedom seekers may use maps created by former slaves, White abolitionists, and free Blacks to find their way about when traveling was possible during the day time.
The paths were frequently not in straight lines; instead, they zigzagged across wide places in order to vary their smell and confuse the bloodhounds on the trail.
The slaves could not transport a large amount of goods since doing so would cause them to become sluggish.
Enslaved people traveled the Underground Railroad and relied on the plant life they encountered for sustenance and medical treatment.
The enslaved discovered that Echinacea strengthens the immune system, mint relieves indigestion, roots can be used to make tea, and plants can be used to make poultices even in the winter when they are dormant, among other things.
After all, despite what their owners may have told them, the Detroit River is not 5,000 miles wide, and the crows in Canada will not peck their eyes out.
Hopefully, for the sake of the Freedom Seeker, these words would be replaced by lyrics from the “Song of the Fugitive: The Great Escape.” The brutal wrongs of slavery I can no longer tolerate; my heart is broken within me, for as long as I remain a slave, I am determined to strike a blow for freedom or the tomb.” I am now embarking for yonder beach, beautiful land of liberty; our ship will soon get me to the other side, and I will then be liberated.
No more will I be terrified of the auctioneer, nor will I be terrified of the Master’s frowns; no longer will I quiver at the sound of the dogs baying.
All of the brave individuals who were participating in the Underground Railroad Freedom Movement had to acquire new jargon and codes in order to survive. To go to the Promised Land, one needed to have a high level of ability and knowledge.
Find stars used on the underground railroad with Oatland Island astronomy night
- A regular dosage of stargazing is beneficial to one’s mental health. An wide, starry night sky may help us to center ourselves in the midst of our hurried lives and to find our way both physically and spiritually. We pay tribute to the tale of Peg Leg Joe, who utilized the night sky to assist fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad, as part of Black History Month celebrations. In legend, he imparted advice to escaping slaves on how to find their way north to the safety of the Canadian wilderness. “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” a second-grade astronomy program at Oatland Island, addresses this history and science lesson by teaching students about stars, constellations, and direction via the use of celestial objects. We teach pupils how to recognize the Drinking Gourd, commonly known as the Big Dipper, and how to utilize it to locate the North Star (Polaris) in the same way that enslaved people used to do. The Drinking Gourd is not a constellation, but rather an asterism, or a smaller representation of the constellation known as the Big Bear, which is visible in the night sky (Ursa Major). We utilize pointer stars in the Big Dipper to locate the North Star, which is an asterism in the constellation Little Bear and forms the handle of the Little Dipper, which is an asterism in the constellation Little Bear (Ursa Minor). Because the North Star is not a particularly brilliant star and is difficult to identify on its own, most people rely on pointer stars to locate it. What is the significance of Polaris pointing north? The constellation Polaris is in perfect alignment with the axis of rotation of the Earth. When the Earth rotates, anything that is in line with this celestial pole will appear to have no apparent movement. As a result, the North Star stays in the northern hemisphere and may be used as a reference point for determining compass directions. Circumpolar constellations are those that are located near the poles, such as Ursa Major, and are defined as those that round the pole. Throughout the year, the Big Bear begins her trek at the same time every night. The location where she begins her stroll indicates seasonal cycles as well as the vast clockwork on which our forebears relied. During the winter, the bear climbs up out of the horizon and into the sky to the east of the equator. Her spring migration takes her across the sky from east to west, summer migration takes her down toward the Earth slightly west of north, and autumn migration takes her across the sky again, this time from west to east. It’s possible that there are more animals in the sky to contemplate. In the northern hemisphere’s winter night sky, Canis Major, Orion’s hunting hound, may be seen following him with steadfastness. Because it is the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, one of the stars in the constellation Canis Major, is sometimes mistaken for the North Star. It is the brightest star in the sky because it is one of the stars in the constellation Canis Major. It is sometimes mistaken for a planet since its magnitude and brightness are comparable to those of the planets. Oatland Island provides us with an opportunity to learn about astronomy through the use of a portable inflatable planetarium. However, as a result of the epidemic, it is temporarily inaccessible. This incredible resource allows us to investigate constellations such as Canis Major with the help of a powerful astronomy software package. We have the ability to travel through space and time, visiting moons, planets, and objects in deep space. Even while this resource is incredible, it is still only second to stargazing, which involves reclining on a blanket and gazing up at a dark sky region. The Oatland Island Wildlife Center urges everyone to go out and stargaze on a regular basis in order to become more familiar with the night sky. If you need some inspiration, come to our Family Astronomy Night on February 12 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. If the weather is clear, we will be outside, so please dress appropriately for the weather. Learn about the mythology associated with notable winter constellations such as Canis Major, Orion, and Ursa Major. Only $5 per person is required, but you must pre-register at the Friends of Oatland’s website in advance. We have a limited amount of space in distant space! Attendance is restricted in accordance with CDC rules, so don’t wait to register now! Join us and you will discover yourself in Space! Michelle Kelly works as a naturalist at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center in New Hampshire. oatlandisland.org or on Facebook at oatlandisland. If you decide to go, What: An evening of astronomy for the whole family Where: Oatland Island Wildlife Center, 711 Sandtown Road, Oatland Island, New York When: Feb. 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Preregistration is required at friendsofoatland.org for a $5 fee per participant.
Music Was The Secret Language Of The Underground Railroad
While in elementary school, we were all taught about the Underground Railroad, which was a network of hidden ways slaves used to escape to freedom from slavery. It continues to be one of the most intriguing examples of bravery and resistance in the history of the United States. In spite of this, many of us have little knowledge of how it truly worked. What was the best technique for escaping slaves to figure out which way to go? What method did people use to communicate across hundreds of miles before the Internet existed?
Because it was prohibited in most southern states to educate slaves to read or write, songs coded with secret messages were used to communicate information about the trip north.
In order to connect with visitors, Harriet Tubman, sometimes known as “Moses,” employed music.
Some historians are doubtful about the origins of these songs and their secret codes because there is no recorded confirmation of their existence or of their hidden codes.
Follow The Drinking Gourd
We all learned about the Underground Railroad and the network of hidden ways slaves used to flee to freedom while we were in elementary school. It is still considered to be one of the most intriguing displays of bravery and resistance in the history of the United States.” Despite this, many of us have little knowledge of how it actually worked when it was built. Is it possible to find out which way escaped slaves were heading? Without the Internet, how did individuals communicate across hundreds of miles?
Given that it was unlawful in most southern states to educate slaves to read or write, songs coded with secret messages were used to communicate information about the trip north.
In order to connect with visitors, Harriet Tubman, sometimes known as “Moses,” employed music.
A number of academics are suspicious of the songs’ origins because there is no recorded evidence that they exist or that they have hidden messages in them.
Wade In The Water
“Take a dip in the water. God is going to cause turmoil in the sea. What is the identity of those children who are all dressed in red? God is going to cause turmoil in the sea. They must be the ones who followed Moses. “God is going to cause turmoil in the sea.” Some believe that Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade In The Water,” which used Biblical imagery to avoid being suspected, to instruct runaway slaves on how to avoid capture and escape from slavery. If they were concerned that they were being followed, they might take cover in the water, which would keep bloodhounds off their trail.
It has been covered by a variety of artists, including Mavis Staples, Eva Cassidy, and Bob Dylan, since it was initially released as a song with words in 1901.
The title of the award-winning documentary ” Trouble The Water,” which is based on the lyrics of the song, was also inspired by lyrics from the song.
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
“Swing low, lovely chariot, coming for to bring me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home.” I looked around Jordan and what did I see coming for me to take me home, I don’t know. Coming after me is a group of angels who are determined to bring me home. ” Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ” is thought to be Harriet Tubman’s favorite song, and it is one of the most enduring tunes from this time period.
The Underground Railroad’s directors (sweet chariot) were known to as the “band of angels” since they would soon arrive from the south (swing low) to escort slaves up the railroad to freedom (carry me home).
Underground Music Today
While many of these songs are still well-known folk melodies today, others have fallen into obscurity as time has passed. John Legend, executive producer of WGN America’s “Underground,” is working to change that by re-recording African American folk music for a modern audience, according to the network. “Underground” combines spiritual melodies such as “Move, Daniel” and “I Got Shoes” with new music by Kanye West and The Weeknd in order to elicit a sense of resistance from the listener. John Legend is currently working on original music for the film ‘Underground.’ “I thought that all of the songs had to have a certain rawness to it,” Legend explained.
As the songs of the Underground Railroad continue to have an impact on contemporary music, we are reminded that the challenges of 1857 are not unlike from those of 2017.
“Follow the Drinking Gourd”: A Cultural History
|The American folksongFollow the Drinking Gourdwas first published in1928. TheDrinking Gourdsong was supposedly used by an Underground Railroad operative toencode escape instructions and a map. These directions then enabled fleeingslaves to make their way north from Mobile, Alabama to the Ohio River andfreedom. Taken at face value, the “drinking gourd” refers to thehollowed out gourd used by slaves (and other rural Americans) as a water dipper.But here it is used as a code name for the Big Dipperstar formation, which points to Polaris, the Pole Star, and North.In the ensuing 80 years, theDrinking Gourdplayed an important role in the CivilRights and folk revival movements of the 1950s and 1960s, and in contemporaryelementary school education. Much of theDrinking Gourd’senduring appeal derives from itsperceived status as a unique, historical remnant harkening back to the pre-CivilWar South � no other such map songs survive. But re-examining theDrinkingGourdsong ashistory rather than folklore raises many questions. And theDrinking Gourdas it appearsin roughly 200 recordings, dozens of songbooks, several award-winning children’sbooks and many other places is surely not “traditional.” The signature line inthe chorus, “for the old man is awaitin’ for to carry you to freedom,” could notpossibly have been sung by escaping slaves, because it waswritten by Lee Hays eighty years after the end of the Civil War.(1)|
The History of the Collection The Meaning of the LyricsCultural Background The Song as a Document of History Instances of Interpretation Throughout the Past Twenty Years What is the source of our knowledge? Afterword, or “Can You Tell Me If This Song Is ‘Authentic’?” Appendices Timeline and Gazetteer of Events The Sound Recordings Adult Literature and Stage Performance Children’s Literature a brief biographical sketch of H.B.Parks for use by teachers AdditionalMaterials for Teachers Search Engine Optimization (ca.
The Underground Railroad was a clandestine network of abolitionists that operated between 1861 and 1865. (people who wanted to abolish slavery). In order to get away from enslavement in the American South, they assisted African Americans in escaping to free northern states or Canada. The Underground Railroad was the most important anti-slavery emancipation movement in North America at the time of its founding. It was responsible for transporting between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitives to British North America (nowCanada).
Please check The Underground Railroad for a plain English explanation of the subject matter (Plain-Language Summary).
(people who wanted to abolish slavery).
The Underground Railroad was the most important anti-slavery emancipation movement in North America at the time of its founding.
It was responsible for transporting between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitives to British North America (now Canada). This is the full-length entry on the Underground Railroad that can be found here. Please check The Underground Railroad for a plain English overview of the story (Plain-Language Summary).
When the 1793 Act to Limit Slavery was passed, a clause specified that any enslaved person who made it to Upper Canada would be declared free upon arrival. In response to this, a limited number of enslaved African Americans in quest of freedom were urged to enter Canada, mostly on their own. During and after the War of 1812, word traveled even further that independence was possible in Canada. The enslaved slaves of US military commanders in the South carried news back to the North that there were free “Black men in red coats” in British North America, which was confirmed by the British.
It gave slavecatchers the authority to track down fugitives in northern states.
This underground network of abolitionists was established in the early nineteenth century, with the majority of its members being based in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Within a few decades, it had developed into a well-organized and vibrant network of organizations. The phrase “Underground Railroad” first appeared in the 1830s and has been in use ever since. It had already begun to take shape at that point, an informal covert network to assist escaping slaves. The Underground Railroad was not a real train, and it did not operate on actual railroad rails like other railroads.
abolitionists who were devoted to human rights and equality were responsible for keeping the network running.
Its members comprised free Blacks, fellow enslaved individuals, White and Indigenous supporters, Quakers, Methodists, and Baptists, residents of urban centers and farmers, men and women, from all over the world (including the United States and Canada).
Symbols and Codes
In order to conceal the clandestine actions of the network, railroad language and symbols were employed. This also assisted in keeping the general public and slaveholders in the dark. Escaped slaves were referred to as “conductors” by those who assisted them on their voyage. It was their job to guide fugitives via the Underground Railroad’s routes, which included numerous kinds of transit on land and sea. Harriet Tubman was one of the most well-known conductors in history. The names “passengers,” “cargo,” “package,” and “freight” all referred to fugitive slaves on their way to freedom.
Terminals, which were stations located in numerous cities and towns, were referred to as “terminals.” Occasionally, lighted candles in windows or strategically positioned lanterns in the front yard may be used to identify these ephemeral havens of safety.
“Station masters” were in charge of running the safe houses. They welcomed fugitives into their house and gave them with meals, a change of clothing, and a safe haven to rest and hide from the authorities. Prior to delivering them to the next transfer location, they would frequently give them money. WilliamStill, a black abolitionist who lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was in command of a station there. He accompanied a large number of freedom seekers on their way to Canada. He kept a list of the men, women, and children that came to his station, including Tubman and her passengers, and he transcribed their names.
- He was the owner and operator of a radio station in Syracuse, New York.
- Catharines, both in Upper Canada, from 1837 until 1841, when he decided to permanently move there.
- A large number of women worked as station masters as well.
- A large number of other women worked alongside their spouses to own radio stations.
“Ticket agents” assisted freedom-seekers in coordinating safe excursions and making travel arrangements by putting them in touch with station masters or conductors, among other things. It was not uncommon for ticket agents to be people who traveled for a living, such as circuit preachers or physicians, to work. They were able to hide their abolitionist operations as a result of this. Among those who served on the Underground Railroad were doctors such as Alexander Milton Ross (born in Belleville).
He also gave them with a few basic items so that they could get started on their escape.
Ways to the Promised Land
In order to assist freedom-seekers in contacting station masters or conductors, “ticket brokers” planned safe excursions and made travel arrangements on their behalf. People who traveled for a living, such as circuit preachers or physicians, were occasionally employed as ticket salesmen. Consequently, their abolitionist actions were kept under wraps. For example, the Belleville-born doctor Alexander Milton Ross was a member of the Underground Railroad. As he traveled around the southern states, informing enslaved individuals of the existence of the network, he used his bird-watching interest as a cover.
He also gave them with a few basic items so that they could get started on their getaway immediately after escaping. “Stockholders” were those who made contributions of money or materials to help in the emancipation of slaves.
The Canadian Terminus
During the last decades of enslavement in the United States, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 freedom seekers crossed the border into Canada. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 fugitives entered the Province of Canada between 1850 and 1860 alone. Because of this, it became the primary terminal for the Underground Railroad. The immigrants settled in various sections of what is now the province of Ontario. Among these were Niagara Falls, Buxton, Chatham, Owen Sound, Windsor, Sandwich (now a part of Windsor), Hamilton, Brantford, London, Oakville, and Toronto.
- Following this huge migration, Black Canadians assisted in the creation of strong communities and made significant contributions to the development of the provinces in where they lived and worked.
- The Provincial Freeman newspaper published a thorough report of a specific case in its publication.
- They were on the lookout for a young man by the name of Joseph Alexander.
- Alexandra was present among the throngs of people and had a brief verbal encounter with his previous owner.
- The guys were forced to flee town after the mob refused to allow them to steal Alexander’s possessions.
During the latter decades of enslavement in the United States, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 freedom seekers invaded Canada. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 fugitives crossed into the Province of Canada between 1850 and 1860 alone. It eventually became the primary terminal of the Underground Railroad in the United States. In the following decades, the immigrants established themselves in numerous locations throughout what is now Ontario. Among those were Niagara Falls, Buxton, Chatham, Owen Sound, Windsor, Sandwich (now a part of Windsor), Hamilton, Brantford, London, Oakville, and Toronto.
- During and after this wave of mass migration, Black Canadians contributed to the development of their communities and the advancement of the provinces in which they resided and worked.
- An in-depth examination of one particular instance was published in the Provincial Freeman newspaper.
- A young guy called Joseph Alexander was the subject of their investigation.
- Alexandra was there among the throngs of people, and he and his old owner exchanged pleasantries.
To the men’s offer of $100 to accompany them to Windsor, he said he would say no. Eventually, the men were forced to flee town because the throng would not allow them to take Alexander. Alexander was permitted to conduct his life in complete independence from the rest of society.
Follow the Drinking Gourd: An Underground Railroad Story
- During the latter decades of slavery in the United States, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 freedom seekers crossed the border into Canada. The Province of Canada received 15,000 to 20,000 fugitives between 1850 and 1860 alone. It eventually became the primary terminal for the Underground Railroad. The immigrants dispersed throughout what is now the province of Ontario. This encompassed the cities of Niagara Falls, Buxton, Chatham, Owen Sound, Windsor, Sandwich (now a part of Windsor), Hamilton, Brantford, London, Oakville, and Toronto. They also fled to other provinces and territories in British North America, including New Brunswick, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Following this huge migration, Black Canadians assisted in the formation of strong communities and the advancement of the provinces in which they resided and worked. Despite the fact that they were outside of their authority, a few bounty hunters crossed the border into Canada in order to track down escaped fugitives and return them to their Southern masters. A thorough report of one such occurrence was published in the Provincial Freeman newspaper. A slave proprietor and his agent traveled to Chatham, Upper Canada, which was predominantly populated by Black people who had been slaves in the United States at the time of the voyage. They were looking for a young man by the name of Joseph Alexander. Following the announcement of their arrival, a large gathering of Black members of the community gathered outside the Royal Exchange Hotel. Alexander was among the throngs of people, and he and his old owner exchanged pleasantries. He turned down the offer of $100 from the men to join them to Windsor. The men were forced to depart town after the mob refused to allow them to grab Alexander. Alexander was left to enjoy his life in peace.
During the latter decades of enslavement in the United States, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 freedom seekers crossed into Canada. Between 1850 and 1860, alone, 15,000 to 20,000 fugitives made their way to the Province of Canada. It eventually became the primary destination of the Underground Railroad. The immigrants settled in various sections of what is now Ontario. This encompassed the cities of Niagara Falls, Buxton, Chatham, Owen Sound, Windsor, Sandwich (now part of Windsor), Hamilton, Brantford, London, Oakville, and Toronto.
- Following this huge migration, Black Canadians contributed to the creation of strong communities and the advancement of the provinces in which they resided and worked.
- The Provincial Freeman newspaper published a thorough report of one such occurrence.
- They were on the hunt for a young guy by the name of Joseph Alexander.
- Alexander was among the throngs of people and had a brief verbal encounter with his old owner.
- The men were forced to flee town after the mob refused to allow them to grab Alexander.
- There are no other photos available for this product at the time of publication.
Follow the Drinking Gourd is a traditional American folk song that dates back to the 1920s. According to legend, a man named Peg Leg Joe taught slaves the song in order to aid them in their escape to freedom, and they utilized the Big Dipper and the North Star to direct them down the path to freedom.
|Text Type||Narrative Nonfiction|
|Subject||Social Studies,Language Arts|
|Series||Night Sky Stories|
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(Acceptable answers include –Birds, such as the quail are migratory, moving south in winter, and backnorth in spring and summer.
He tells them that some arrangementhas been made, a guide, an old man would be waiting to direct them tothe next step in the quest for freedom.)Step 3:Provide students with aFOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking themhow was it possible for the slaves to know what was an acceptable escaperoute even having knowledge of the location of the North Star.
(Acceptable answer: Peg Leg Joeteaches the slaves that as they walk along the river’s bank to look forhis symbol, a left footprint adjacent to a peg leg print.
(Acceptable answers: Joe tellsthe slaves that they will eventually reach the source of one river, betweentwo hills.
Provide students with aFOCUSFOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking the students to name the great big riverand the little river that the slaves followed north to freedom.
(Acceptable answers: slavesfollowed the Tennessee River until it joined the very wide Ohio River,where on the far bank, they would meet another guide from the UndergroundRailroad who took them north to the free states or Canada.)Please note that the escape to freedom often took over a year to accomplish.Peg Leg Joe encouraged the slaves to begin their travel in the winter.This fact enabled the slaves to walk across the frozen waters of the OhioRiver.In open discussion, ask your students to consider the following questionsrelating to the flight and plight of the slaves.
- Students should recordtheir answers on Data Sheet2 and be prepared to defend their answers.What would be the advantages or disadvantages for slaves traveling atnight?
- (In barns, hiddenin the tall grass, reeds or bushes, in safe houses.)Consider the advantages or disadvantages of weather and geographical conditionson the rate slaves could travel from one region to another?
- (Advantage:ability to walk across frozen rivers.
- (Raided farms, helped by Quakers,abolitionists, and free Blacks.)Step 6:Tell your students to this point in the lesson, they have learned somegeographic information that could have provided obstacles to the fleeingslaves.
Ask the students to draw possible slave escaperoutes on their maps of the U.S., starting from one of the slave states(such as Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North orSouth Carolina, Virginia, or Maryland) and ending at the Canadian Border.Students should keep in mind the possible obstacles that the slaves faced.Tell your students that they are going to log on toThe UndergroundRailroad Site–Underground Railroad Routes 1860at.Provide your students with aFOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, askingthem to compare their escape routes with the historical version foundat the Web site.
(The Web site shows students four possible escape routes:North along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers; West along the Gulf of Mexicoand into Mexico; South into Florida to live as refugees among the SeminoleIndians; Along the eastern seaboard into Canada.)There are several reasons why these four possible escape routes were themost popular.
Therefugee slaves also tended to use areas that were easier, known to themor more secretive to the patrollers and their dogs.
Provide your students with aFOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION,asking them under what conditions the peoples of Africa came to America.STARTthe video at a scene of a ship with a flag flapping in thebreeze anchored at a dock and a nameplate reading “hosted by LeVarBurton” appears on the screen.PAUSEthe video when the screenshows two hands, possibly a mother and child, separating.
(Slaves were keptin shackles in the belly of cargo ships.
The ship’s hold was dark.
The Africans missed their families, their villages, and theirhomes.) How did that make these people feel?
Provide your students with aFOCUSFOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to check their predictions againstwhat they hear on the video segment.PLAYthe video from its previousPAUSEuntil you hear the song “Follow The Drinking Gourd,”and the title of the text appears on the screen.STOPthe video.(Acceptable answers include: they were sold as property to the highestbidder; families were separated; Africans were bonded to the plantations;they worked from sun up to sun down, always tired and thirsty; Sundaywas the only day of rest, but at the master’s behest.
- Despite such hardships,slaves built new families and new communities.
- Music was the language of their greatestjoy and deepest sorrows.
- Provide your students with aFOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION,asking them what the ancestral Africans were able to see in the nightsky that allowed them to link the constellations to aspects of their dailylife.
- ToCHECKunderstanding, simply ask your studentsto tell you anything new they have learned about constellations from thesegment of video.
- These star pictures are called constellations.
- The position of the constellationsseems to change at different times of the year.
- During the year the Earth travels througha band of twelve constellations known as the Signs of the Zodiac.)Step 4:It is very important for your students to know that people across theworld also saw patterns in the stars of the night sky.
- Provideyour students with aFOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them tolisten carefully to the upcoming video segment and find answers to thefollowing questions.
- Is there another nameunder which the North Star can be found?STARTthe video as thewoman presenter with the night sky in the background states, “Inthe 1800s, before the Civil War, African-American slaves escaped to freedomunder the cover of night.
- It is always in a straight line from the outeredge of the bowl of the Big Dipper.
- Before calendars,people used the position of the Big Dipper to help them keep track ofthe seasons.
Should a slave seek to escape or stay on the plantation?Provide your students with aFOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, askingthem to try the on-site simulation activity in two ways, trying Yes, theslave wants to escape and then No, the slave wishes to stay on the plantation.In the “Yes” simulation, Harriet Tubman will tell them how tofollow the North Star to freedom.
Thelast slide shows escape routes based on Harriet Tubman’s actual journeys,and informs the player that escape to freedom could have taken anywherefrom a period of about two months to a period of about a year given weatherconditions.
Publisher: Alfred A.
Publisher: Alfred A.
From scraps of cloth she begins to sewa map of the land.
Publisher: Dial Books.Tanya loved listening to her grandmother talk about the patchwork quiltas she cut and stitched together the pieces of colorful fabric, whichall fit together to make a quilt of memories.Harriet and the Promised Land.
Publisher:Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.One of America’ most prominent African American artists turns his geniusto the inspiring story of Harriet Tubman.
The boyswrap the snowman in a cloth they find.
(This book can be used to motivate the Kente ChromatographyActivity)MATHEMATICS Select a slave state and calculate through the mathematics of map scalehow far that state is from Canada.Given the fact that a person can walk at about 8 to 10 minutes a mile,how long would it take a slave to go the distance between a slave stateand Canada?Compare this travel distance to traveling by car, boat, or plane.Construct graphs to show this relationship.TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL STUDIES Research the culture of the Ashanti peoples of Ghana.
From a story aboutfugitive slave escapes, create a map, using symbols, directional arrows,and geographic landforms to depict the journey.VISUAL ARTS Create geometric quilt patterns similar to those used by slaves to carrytheir coded messages (See the text Hidden In Plain View: A Secret Storyof Quits and the Underground Railroad.
Tobin, Jacqueline L. and RaymondG. Dobard, Ph.D. Published by Anchor Books, a division of Random House,Inc. New York.)
- Sites associated with the Underground Railroad may be found in communities including as Peekskill, White Plains, and Rochester in the state of New York. Consider taking a field trip to one of these locations. Find out by doing the following: Who was the first person to reside on these lands? What circumstances led to these individuals acting as good Samaritans to enslaved people? What was the location of the slaves’ hiding place? Approximately how long did slaves remain at these locations? What happened to the slaves when they were released? What if they were aware that the patrollers were in the vicinity? Did the slaves arrive as a group or as individuals? Take a digital camera with you to document your field experience. Prepare a slide presentation in Hyperstudio or PowerPoint to display your findings
- Visit the archives of your local newspaper to read first-hand tales of slavery in the United States or in your local region during this time period. Examine these tales to see if there is any prejudice. Who was it that assisted the escape slaves? What happened to those who aided them? Instruct a group of your classmates to act out these stories in role-playing sessions.