White and black activists such as Levi Coffin, Thomas Garrett, Calvin Fairbank, Charles Torrey, Harriet Tubman and Still were genuine heroes of the Underground Railroad.
Who are some people who helped with the Underground Railroad?
These eight abolitionists helped enslaved people escape to freedom.
- Isaac Hopper. Abolitionist Isaac Hopper.
- John Brown. Abolitionist John Brown, c.
- Harriet Tubman.
- Thomas Garrett.
- 5 Myths About Slavery.
- William Still.
- Levi Coffin.
- Elijah Anderson.
What were the abolitionists in the Underground Railroad?
Conductors included former slaves, such as Frederick Douglass, a prominent abolitionist who directed activities in Rochester, New York, and Harriet Tubman, a fugitive who made 19 journeys back south to lead others north.
Who helped the most in the Underground Railroad?
Harriet Tubman is perhaps the best-known figure related to the underground railroad. She made by some accounts 19 or more rescue trips to the south and helped more than 300 people escape slavery.
Who is a famous abolitionist?
- Frederick Douglass, Courtesy: New-York Historical Society.
- William Lloyd Garrison, Courtesy: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Angelina Grimké, Courtesy: Massachusetts Historical Society.
- John Brown, Courtesy: Library of Congress.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe, Courtesy: Harvard University Fine Arts Library.
Who was in the abolitionist movement?
The abolitionist movement was the social and political effort to end slavery everywhere. Fueled in part by religious fervor, the movement was led by people like Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and John Brown.
How did the Quakers help the Underground Railroad?
The Quaker campaign to end slavery can be traced back to the late 1600s, and many played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad. In 1776, Quakers were prohibited from owning slaves, and 14 years later they petitioned the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery.
Why did Harriet Tubman became an abolitionist?
Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in the South to become a leading abolitionist before the American Civil War. She led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom in the North along the route of the Underground Railroad.
Who were the pilots of the Underground Railroad?
Using the terminology of the railroad, those who went south to find enslaved people seeking freedom were called “pilots.” Those who guided enslaved people to safety and freedom were “conductors.” The enslaved people were “passengers.” People’s homes or businesses, where fugitive passengers and conductors could safely
Who wrote the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin?
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) published more than 30 books, but it was her best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin that catapulted her to international celebrity and secured her place in history.
Was Frederick Douglass an abolitionist?
He rose to fame with the 1845 publication of his first book The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written By Himself. He fought throughout most of his career for the abolition of slavery and worked with notable abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison and Gerrit Smith.
Who abolished slavery first?
Britain abolished slavery throughout its empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (with the notable exception of India), the French colonies re-abolished it in 1848 and the U.S. abolished slavery in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Who was an active advocate of the abolition of slavery?
William Lloyd Garrison, American journalistic crusader who published a newspaper, The Liberator (1831–65), and helped lead the successful abolitionist campaign against slavery in the United States.
8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad
Isaac Hopper, an abolitionist, is shown in this image from the Kean Collection/Getty Images. As early as 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with a “organization of Quakers, founded for such reasons,” which had sought to free a neighbor’s slave. Quakers were instrumental in the establishment of the Underground Railroad. Slavery was opposed in especially in Philadelphia, where Isaac Hopper, a Quaker who converted to Christianity, created what has been described as “the first working cell of the abolitionist underground.” Hopper not only protected escaped slave hunters in his own house, but he also constructed a network of safe havens and recruited a web of spies in order to get insight into their plans.
Hopper, a friend of Joseph Bonaparte, the exiled brother of the former French emperor, went to New York City in 1829 and established himself as a successful businessman.
READ MORE: The Underground Railroad and Its Operation
2. John Brown
John Brown, an abolitionist, about 1846 GraphicaArtis/Getty Images courtesy of Similar to his father, John Brown actively participated in the Underground Railroad by hosting runaways at his home and warehouse and organizing an anti-slave catcher militia following the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which he inherited from his father. The next year, he joined several of his sons in the so-called “Bleeding Kansas” war, leading one attack that resulted in the deaths of five pro-slavery settlers in 1856.
Brown’s radicalization continued to grow, and his ultimate act occurred in October 1859, when he and 21 supporters seized the government arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an effort to incite a large-scale slave uprising.
3. Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she experienced repeated violent beatings, one of which involving a two-pound lead weight, which left her with seizures and migraines for the rest of her life. Tubman fled bondage in 1849, following the North Star on a 100-mile walk into Pennsylvania, fearing she would be sold and separated from her family. She died in the process. She went on to become the most well-known “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, participating in around 13 rescue missions back into Maryland and rescuing at least 70 enslaved individuals, including several of her siblings.
As a scout, spy, and healer for the Union Army, Tubman maintained her anti-slavery activities during the Civil War, and is believed to have been the first woman in the United States to lead troops into battle. Tubman died in 1865. When Harriet Tubman Led a Civil War Raid, You Should Pay Attention
4. Thomas Garrett
‘Thomas Garrett’ is a fictional character created by author Thomas Garrett. The New York Public Library is a public library in New York City. The Quaker “stationmaster” Thomas Garrett, who claimed to have assisted over 2,750 escaped slaves before the commencement of the Civil War, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, and Tubman frequently stopped there on her route up north. Garret not only gave his guests with a place to stay but also with money, clothing & food. He even personally led them to a more secure area on occasion, arm in arm.
Despite this, he persisted in his efforts.
He also stated that “if any of you know of any poor slave who needs assistance, please send him to me, as I now publicly pledge myself to double my diligence and never miss an opportunity to assist a slave to obtain freedom.”
5. William Still
William Still is a well-known author and poet. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive/Getty Images Many runaways traveled from Wilmington, the final Underground Railroad station in the slave state of Delaware, to the office of William Still in adjacent Philadelphia, which was the last stop on their journey. The Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which provided food and clothing, coordinated escapes, raised funds, and otherwise served as a one-stop social services shop for hundreds of fugitive slaves each year, was chaired by Still, who was a free-born African American.
Still ultimately produced a book in which he chronicled the personal histories of his guests, which offered valuable insight into the operation of the Underground Railroad as a whole.
His assistance to Osborne Anderson, the only African-American member of John Brown’s company to survive the Harpers Ferry raid, was another occasion when he was called upon.
6. Levi Coffin
Charles T. Webber’s painting The Underground Railroad depicts fleeing slaves Levi Coffin, his wife Catherine, and Hannah Haydock providing assistance to the group of fugitive slaves. Getty Images/Bettina Archive/Getty Images Levi Coffin, often known as the “president of the Underground Railroad,” is said to have been an abolitionist when he was seven years old after witnessing a column of chained slaves people being taken to an auction house. Following a humble beginning delivering food to fugitives holed up on his family’s North Carolina plantation, he rose through the ranks to become a successful trader and prolific “stationmaster,” first in Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, and subsequently in Cincinnati, Kentucky.
In addition to hosting anti-slavery lectures and abolitionist sewing club meetings, Coffin, like his fellow Quaker Thomas Garrett, stood steadfast when hauled before a court of law.
His writings state that “the dictates of humanity came in direct conflict with the law of the land,” and that “we rejected the law.”
7. Elijah Anderson
The Ohio River, which formed the border between slave and free states, was referred to as the River Jordan in abolitionist circles because it represented the border between slave and free states. Madison, Indiana, was an especially appealing crossing point for enslaved persons on the run, because to an Underground Railroad cell established there by blacksmith Elijah Anderson and several other members of the town’s Black middle class in the 1850s. With his fair skin, Anderson might have passed for a white slave owner on his repeated travels into Kentucky, where would purportedly pick up 20 to 30 enslaved persons at a time and whisk them away to freedom, sometimes accompanying them as far as the Coffins’ mansion in Newport.
An anti-slavery mob devastated Madison in 1846, almost drowning an agent of the Underground Railroad, prompting Anderson to flee upriver to Lawrenceburg, Indiana, where he eventually settled.
8. Thaddeus Stevens
Mr. Thaddeus Stevens is an American lawyer and senator. Bettmann Archive courtesy of Getty Images; Matthew Brady/Bettmann Archive Thaddeus Stevens, a representative from Pennsylvania, was outspoken in his opposition to slavery. The 14th and 15th amendments, which guaranteed African-American citizens equal protection under the law and the right to vote, respectively, were among his many accomplishments, and he also advocated for a radical reconstruction of the South, which included the redistribution of land from white plantation owners to former enslaved people.
Despite this, it wasn’t until 2002 that his Underground Railroad activities were brought to light, when archeologists uncovered a hidden hiding hole in the courtyard of his Lancaster house.
Seward, also served as Underground Railroad “stationmasters” during the era.
White Abolitionists · The Underground Railroad · The Underground Railroad in the Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana Borderland
John Rankin is a Scottish author and poet.
John Rankin was a Presbyterian clergyman who went from Tennessee to Kentucky before settling in Ripely, Ohio. He rose to prominence as a leader in the Underground Railroad network, which aided escaped slaves in their escape. Rankin was born on the 4th of February, 1793, in the state of Tennessee. Rankin was a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Ripley, and he welcomed African Americans seeking freedom into his home while he was there. His house was perched on a three hundred-foot-high hill with a panoramic view of the Ohio River.
He kept the fugitives hidden until it was safe for them to continue farther north on the ice highway.
According to Rankin, racial prejudice was a crime and a breach of the “law of love,” and he felt that disobedience to slavery was obedience to the will of God. Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin.
Levi Coffin is credited with establishing the white abolitionist movement in the Western United States. In 1826, Coffin relocated to Madison, Indiana, where he discovered that fugitives travelling through the area preferred safety among African Americans, rather than among whites. There were just a few regions where whites and free blacks worked together because they were wary of one other’s intentions. Coffin relocated to Cincinnati after successfully arranging a streamlined network of help for fugitives in Indiana.
The African American community served as the fugitive slaves’ initial point of contact once they escaped.
During this time, Coffin established the multi-racial Cincinnati Vigilance Committee, which raised finances to undertake opposition.
The Cincinnati Vigilance Committee was comprised of a number of notable white and black citizens in Ohio.
Calvin Fairbank, with the aid of Deila Webster, supported a fugitive in his attempt to flee. The following description, taken from Leiv Coffin’s book, details the hardship in Fairbanks. “As a result of taking my time to study the best path and becoming familiar with reputable sources of assistance, I arrived in Lexington, Kentucky, on the first day of September, almost one month after I had set out for Kentucky on August 24, 1844. Miss Delia Webster was a teacher in Lexington at the time. I looked into the matter of Berry’s wife, the slave lady, whom I had gone to the assistance of, but it was unlikely that I would be successful in removing her from the country.
- A series of interviews were conducted and preparations were made, and on the night of September 28th, Miss Webster and I, who were waiting in a rented hack outside the house of Cassius M.
- We were held up for about an hour in Millersburg, twenty-four miles away, because we had to substitute another horse for one that had failed us; and it was while we were here that we were identified by two colored men from Lexington, who had followed us.
- We crossed the Ohio River at nine o’clock the next morning in Maysville, Kentucky, and were shortly in Ripley, Ohio, where we were secure.
- Fairbank said that he had gotten more than 35 thousand and one hundred and five stripes from the lashing.
Levi Coffin’s recollections of his time as the rumored President of the Underground Railroad are included in Documenting The American South (accessed November 26, 2012).
Between 1830 and 1850, Stephen Myers rose to prominence as the most significant leader of a local underground railroad organization that spanned the United States and the world. Other notable persons came and left during this time period, but Myers remained in Albany the entire time. Stephen Myers is without a doubt responsible for assisting thousands of people to travel via Albany on the subterranean railroad to locations west, north, and east. First, in the early 1840s, he relied on his personal resources and those of the Northern Star Association, which he chaired and was responsible for publishing the publication of his journal.
- Some people considered the Albany branch of the underground railroad to be the best-run section of the railroad in the entire state when it was under his direction.
- Throughout his life, he worked as a grocer and a steamboat steward, but it was in 1842 that he began his journalistic career.
- He was a strong advocate for anti-slavery activism as well as for the rights of African Americans in the United States.
- He writes on temperance, the rights of African Americans, the necessity of abolishing slavery, and a variety of other topics in its pages.
- It is from Garland Penn’s book The Afro-American Press and Its Editors that the photograph of Stephen Meyers that is used to accompany this text was taken.
- Several pieces of information on him may also be found in the notes offered to one of the essays made by him that was published in The Black Abolitionist Papers, volume 3, edited by C.
- The Albany Evening Times published an article on Monday, February 14, 1870, in the evening.
This man, who was the oldest and most renowned of our colored inhabitants, passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning, at the age of eighty-one.
Myers has been eventful, since he has lived through the majority of the most important epochs in the history of our country.
He also worked as a steward on certain North River steamboats for a period of time during the early part of the twentieth century, which was a very significant role in those days.
He was a well-known figure among his race, having worked as an agent for the “Underground Railroad” before the war.
Years ago, he was THE representation of them in their dealings with the leaders of this state.
Mr. Myers was a devout Christian who died as a witness to the religion that he had lived. Wednesday afternoon’s burial will take place at the A M. E. Church on Hamilton Street.
Supporters of the Underground Railroad : Harriet Tubman
The Underground Railroad (UR) reached its zenith between 1850 and 1860, when it was at its busiest. When the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850, it made it more hazardous for individuals who assisted slaves in escaping or providing them with sanctuary. It is possible that you will go to jail or pay a large fine. There are some significant supporters of the UR who have been named in this list. Levi Coffin was born on October 28, 1798, and died on September 16, 1877. In recognition of the hundreds of slaves that traveled through his territory on their way north, Coffin was recognized as “President of the Underground Railroad” by his fellow Quaker abolitionists.
- He was a successful businessman, which enabled him to contribute to the UR’s activities by providing financial support.
- Harriet Tubman (c.1820 – March 10, 1913) was an American civil rights activist.
- Working with agents of the UR, she was able to assist them on their journey towards freedom.
- He worked as a chef, nurse, scout, and spy throughout the American Civil War.
- She has dedicated her life to assisting African Americans in achieving economic independence.
- In spite of being a free African American born in New Jersey, Still was a slave.
- Because he was not permitted to pursue a formal education, he taught himself how to read and write by reading and writing every day.
Following freedom, he created and helped in the Freedmen’s Aid Commission, co-founded the first YMCA for black youth, and established houses for the elderly and poor children, among other initiatives.
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery, and he learned to read and write while still a slave, thanks to the efforts of his master.
He moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, with the assistance of William Lloyd Garrison, who helped him establish himself as an agent and orator for the organization.
He published his own abolitionist newspaper, The North Star, and subsequently the Frederick Douglass Paper, which was published by his wife.
He died in Rochester in 1865.
He attempted to influence policy by meeting with President Abraham Lincoln.
He was an outspoken champion for women’s rights.
Garrett was an abolitionist and Quaker who was born in Pennsylvania.
His home was widely acknowledged to be the final stop on the UR’s journey through Delaware.
Harriet Tubman frequently used his home as a station, and he generously gave her with monies to enable her to continue her missions.
William Lloyd Garrison was born on December 12, 1805, and died on May 24, 1879.
He was also the founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, which was founded in 1833.
Following an eight-year association with the author Frederick Douglass, Garrison ended the relationship due to Douglass’ extreme political ideas.
Harriet Tubman was given the moniker “Moses” by Garrison.
After independence, he continued to write for civil rights for blacks and women in publications such as the Independent and the Boston Journal, as well as in the Woman’s Journal.
Truth was given the name Isabella Baumfree when she was born in Swartekill, New York.
In 1826, she managed to flee with her young daughter.
Truth did not actively participate in the Underground Railroad, but she did contribute by assisting slaves in their search for new homes.
John Brown was born on May 19, 1800, and died on December 2, 1859.
He was executed as a result of his participation in the failed Harper’s Ferry Raid.
Harriet Tubman, whom he referred to as “General Tubman,” was a friend of his.
Brown aided in the transportation of UR slaves to safety and the settling of the slaves in their new homes.
Mott was born on Nantucket, Massachusetts, and grew up as an American Quaker.
Mott was a pastor who was instrumental in the establishment of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Asa Drury was born on July 26, 1801 and died on March 18, 1870.
Drury was a Babtist pastor and a professor at the Granville Literary and Theological Institute in Granville, North Carolina. He was instrumental in the establishment of the UR station on the Granville campus, as well as the organization of the 1836 Ohio Abolition Convention.
Other interesting articles about slavery
Civil rights, Frederick Douglass, advocates of the Underground Railroad, underground railroad,rights, women’s and women’s suffrage are some of the terms that come to mind. Underground Railroad is a subcategory of the category Underground Railroad.
The Secret History of the Underground Railroad
Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race was the title of a series published by De Bow’s Review, a leading Southern periodical, a decade before the Civil War. The series was deemed necessary by the editors because it had “direct and practical bearing” on 3 million people whose worth as property totaled approximately $2 billion. When it comes to African Americans’ supposed laziness (“deficiency of red blood in the pulmonary and arterial systems”), love of dancing (“profuse distribution of nervous matter to the stomach, liver, and genital organs”), and extreme aversion to being whipped (“skin.
- However, it was Cartwright’s discovery of a previously undiscovered medical illness, which he coined “Drapetomania, or the sickness that causes Negroes to flee,” that grabbed the most attention from readers.
- Despite the fact that only a few thousand individuals, at most, fled slavery each year—nearly all of them from states bordering the free North—their migration was seen by many Southern whites as a portent of a greater calamity.
- How long do you think it will take until the entire cloth begins to unravel?
- Rather, it was intentionally supported and helped by a well-organized network that was both large and diabolical in scope.
- The word “Underground Railroad” brings up pictures of trapdoors, flickering lamps, and moonlit routes through the woods in the minds of most people today, just as it did in the minds of most Americans in the 1840s and 1850s.
- At least until recently, scholars paid relatively little attention to the story, which is remarkable considering how prominent it is in the national consciousness.
- The Underground Railroad was widely believed to be a statewide conspiracy with “conductors,” “agents,” and “depots,” but was it really a fiction of popular imagination conjured up from a succession of isolated, unconnected escapes?
- Which historians you trust in will determine the solutions.
One historian (white) questioned surviving abolitionists (most of whom were also white) a decade after the Civil War and documented a “great and complicated network” of agents, 3,211 of whom he identified by name, as well as a “great and intricate network” of agents (nearly all of them white).
- “I escaped without the assistance.
- “I have freed myself in the manner of a man.” In many cases, the Underground Railroad was not concealed at all.
- The journal of a white New Yorker who assisted hundreds of runaway slaves in the 1850s was found by an undergraduate student in Foner’s department at Columbia University while working on her final thesis some years ago, and this discovery served as the inspiration for his current book.
- One of the book’s most surprising revelations is that, according to the book’s subtitle, the Underground Railroad was not always secret at all.
- The New York State Vigilance Committee, established in 1850, the year of the infamous Fugitive Slave Act, officially declared its objective to “welcome, with open arms, the panting fugitive.” Local newspapers published stories about Jermain W.
Bazaars with the slogan “Buy for the sake of the slave” provided donated luxury items and handcrafted knickknacks just before the winter holidays, and bake sales in support of the Underground Railroad, no matter how unlikely it may seem, became popular fund-raisers in Northern towns and cities.
- Political leaders, especially those who had taken vows to protect the Constitution — including the section ordering the return of runaways to their proper masters — blatantly failed to carry out their obligations.
- Judge William Jay, a son of the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, made the decision to disregard fugitive slave laws and contributed money to aid runaway slaves who managed to flee.
- One overlooked historical irony is that, up until the eve of Southern secession in 1860, states’ rights were cited as frequently by Northern abolitionists as they were by Southern slaveholders, a fact that is worth noting.
- It was not recognized for its abolitionist passion, in contrast to places like as Boston and Philadelphia, which had deep-rooted reformer traditions—as well as communities in upstate New York such as Buffalo and Syracuse.
Even before the city’s final bondsmen were released, in 1827, its economy had become deeply intertwined with that of the South, as evidenced by a gloating editorial in the De Bow newspaper, published shortly before the Civil War, claiming the city was “nearly as reliant on Southern slavery as Charleston.” New York banks lent money to plantation owners to acquire slaves, while New York merchants made their fortunes off the sale of slave-grown cotton and sugar.
- Besides properly recapturing escapees, slave catchers prowled the streets of Manhattan, and they frequently illegally kidnapped free blacks—particularly children—in order to sell them into Southern bondage.
- The story begins in 1846, when a man called George Kirk slipped away aboard a ship sailing from Savannah to New York, only to be discovered by the captain and shackled while awaiting return to his owner.
- The successful fugitive was escorted out of court by a phalanx of local African Americans who were on the lookout for him.
- In this case, the same court found other legal grounds on which to free Kirk, who rolled out triumphantly in a carriage and made his way to the safety of Boston in short order this time.
- In addition to being descended from prominent Puritans, Sydney Howard Gay married a wealthy (and radical) Quaker heiress.
- Co-conspirator Louis Napoleon, who is thought to be the freeborn son of a Jewish New Yorker and an African American slave, was employed as an office porter in Gay’s office.
- Gay was the one who, between 1855 and 1856, maintained the “Record of Fugitives,” which the undergraduate discovered in the Columbia University archives and which chronicled more than 200 escapes.
One first-person narrative starts, “I ate one meal a day for eight years.” “It has been sold three times, and it is expected to be sold a fourth time.
Undoubtedly, a countrywide network existed, with its actions sometimes shrouded in secrecy.
Its routes and timetables were continually changing as well.
As with Gay and Napoleon’s collaboration, its operations frequently brought together people from all walks of life, including the affluent and the poor, black and white.
Among others who decamped to Savannah were a light-skinned guy who set himself up in a first-class hotel, went around town in a magnificent new suit of clothes, and insouciantly purchased a steamship ticket to New York from Savannah.
At the height of the Civil War, the number of such fugitives was still a small proportion of the overall population.
It not only played a role in precipitating the political crisis of the 1850s, but it also galvanized millions of sympathetic white Northerners to join a noble fight against Southern slaveholders, whether they had personally assisted fugitive slaves, shopped at abolitionist bake sales, or simply enjoyed reading about slave escapes in books and newspapers.
- More than anything else, it trained millions of enslaved Americans to gain their freedom at a moment’s notice if necessary.
- Within a few months, a large number of Union soldiers and sailors successfully transformed themselves into Underground Railroad operatives in the heart of the South, sheltering fugitives who rushed in large numbers to the Yankees’ encampments to escape capture.
- Cartwright’s most horrific nightmares.
- On one of the Union’s railway lines, an abolitionist discovered that the volume of wartime traffic was at an all-time high—except on one of them.
- The number of solo travelers is quite limited.” And it’s possible that New Yorkers were surprised to open their eyes in early 1864.
The accompanying essay, on the other hand, soon put their worries at ease. It proposed a plan to construct Manhattan’s first subway line, which would travel northward up Broadway from the Battery to Central Park. It was never built.
Eastern Illinois University : Teaching with Primary Sources
However, many of the intriguing and lesser known elements of the Underground Railroad are not included in many textbooks, despite the fact that it is an essential part of our nation’s history. It is intended that this booklet will serve as a window into the past by presenting a number of original documents pertaining to the Underground Railroad. Broadsides, prize posters, newspaper clippings, historical records, sheet music, pictures, and memoirs connected to the Underground Railroad are among the primary sources included in this collection.
- The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the United States.
- As a result, secret codes were developed to aid in the protection of themselves and their purpose.
- Runaway slaves were referred to as cargo, and the free persons who assisted them on their journey to freedom were referred to as conductors.
- These stations would be identified by a lantern that was lighted and hung outside.
A Dangerous Path to Freedom
Traveling through the Underground Railroad to seek their freedom was a lengthy and risky trek for escaped slaves. Runaway slaves were forced to travel long distances, sometimes on foot, in a short amount of time in order to escape. They accomplished this while surviving on little or no food and with little protection from the slave hunters who were rushing after them in the night. Slave owners were not the only ones who sought for and apprehended fleeing slaves. For the purpose of encouraging people to aid in the capture of these slaves, their owners would post reward posters offering monetary compensation for assisting in the capture of their property.
- Numerous arrested fugitive slaves were beaten, branded, imprisoned, sold back into slavery, or sometimes killed once they were apprehended.
- They would have to fend off creatures that wanted to kill and devour them while trekking for lengthy periods of time in the wilderness, as well as cross dangerous terrain and endure extreme temperatures.
- The Fleeing Slave Law of 1850 permitted and promoted the arrest of fugitive slaves since they were regarded as stolen property rather than mistreated human beings under the law at the time.
- They would not be able to achieve safety and freedom until they crossed the border into Canada.
- Aside from that, there were Underground Railroad routes that ran south, on their way to Mexico and the Caribbean.
- He was kidnapped from his northern abode, arrested, and prosecuted in Boston, Massachusetts, under the provisions of this legislation.
- After the trial, Burns was returned to the harshness of the southern states, from which he had thought he had fled.
American Memory and America’s Library are two names for the Library of Congress’ American Memory and America’s Library collections.
He did not escape via the Underground Railroad, but rather on a regular railroad.
Since he was a fugitive slave who did not have any “free papers,” he had to borrow a seaman’s protection certificate, which indicated that a seaman was a citizen of the United States, in order to prove that he was free.
Unfortunately, not all fugitive slaves were successful in their quest for freedom.
Harriet Tubman, Henry Bibb, Anthony Burns, Addison White, Josiah Henson, and John Parker were just a few of the people who managed to escape slavery using the Underground Railroad system.
He shipped himself from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a box that measured three feet long, two and a half feet deep, and two feet in diameter. When he was finally let out of the crate, he burst out singing.
Train conductors on the Underground Railroad were free persons who provided assistance to escaped slaves moving via the Underground Railroad system. Runaway slaves were assisted by conductors, who provided them with safe transportation to and from train stations. They were able to accomplish this under the cover of darkness, with slave hunters on their tails. Many of these stations would be in the comfort of their own homes or places of work, which was convenient. They were in severe danger as a result of their actions in hiding fleeing slaves; nonetheless, they continued because they believed in a cause bigger than themselves, which was the liberation thousands of oppressed human beings.
- They represented a diverse range of ethnicities, vocations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Due to the widespread belief that slaves were considered property, the freeing of slaves was perceived as a theft of slave owners’ personal belongings.
- Captain Jonathan Walker was apprehended off the coast of Florida while attempting to convey slaves from the United States to freedom in the Bahamas.
- With the following words from one of his songs, abolitionist poet John Whittier paid respect to Walker’s valiant actions: “Take a step forward with your muscular right hand, brave ploughman of the sea!
- She never lost sight of any of them during the journey.
- He went on to write a novel.
- John Parker is yet another former slave who escaped and returned to slave states in order to aid in the emancipation of others.
Rankin’s neighbor and fellow conductor, Reverend John Rankin, was a collaborator in the Underground Railroad project.
The Underground Railroad’s conductors were unquestionably anti-slavery, and they were not alone in their views.
Individuals such as William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur and Lewis Tappan founded the American Anti-Slavery Society, which marked the beginning of the abolitionist movement.
The group published an annual almanac that featured poetry, paintings, essays, and other abolitionist material.
Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who rose to prominence as an abolitionist after escaping from slavery.
His other abolitionist publications included the Frederick Douglass Paper, which he produced in addition to delivering public addresses on themes that were important to abolitionists.
Anthony was another well-known abolitionist who advocated for the abolition of slavery via her speeches and writings.
For the most part, she based her novel on the adventures of escaped slave Josiah Henson.
Efforts of Abolitionists Telling Their Story:Fugitive Slave Narratives
Henry Bibb was born into slavery in Kentucky in the year 1815, and he was the son of a slave owner. After several failed efforts to emancipate himself from slavery, he maintained the strength and persistence to continue his struggle for freedom despite being captured and imprisoned numerous times. His determination paid off when he was able to successfully escape to the northern states and then on to Canada with the assistance of the Underground Railroad, which had been highly anticipated. The following is an excerpt from his tale, in which he detailed one of his numerous escapes and the difficulties he faced as a result of his efforts.
- I began making preparations for the potentially lethal experiment of breading the shackles that tied me as a slave as soon as the clock struck twelve.
- On the twenty-fifth of December, 1837, the long-awaited day had finally arrived when I would put into effect my previous determination, which was to flee for Liberty or accept death as a slave, as I had previously stated.
- It took every ounce of moral strength I have to keep my emotions under control as I said goodbye to my small family.
- Despite the fact that every incentive was extended to me in order to flee if I want to be free, and the call of liberty was booming in my own spirit, ‘Be free, oh, man!
- I was up against a slew of hurdles that had gathered around my mind, attempting to bind my wounded soul, which was still imprisoned in the dark prison of mental degeneration.
- Furthermore, the danger of being killed or arrested and deported to the far South, where I would be forced to spend the rest of my days in hopeless bondage on a cotton or sugar plantation, all conspired to discourage me.
- The moment has come for me to follow through on my commitment.
- This marked the beginning of the construction of what was known as the underground rail route to Canada.
For nearly forty-eight hours, I pushed myself to complete my journey without food or rest, battling against external difficulties that no one who has never experienced them can comprehend: “not knowing when I might be captured while traveling among strangers, through cold and fear, braving the north winds while wearing only a thin layer of clothing, pelted by snow storms through the dark hours of the night, and not a single house in which I could enter to protect me from the storm.” This is merely one of several accounts penned by runaway slaves who were on the run from their masters.
Sojourner Truth was another former slave who became well-known for her work to bring slavery to an end.
Green and many others, including Josiah Henson, authored autobiographies in which they described their own personal experiences.
Perhaps a large number of escaped slaves opted to write down their experiences in order to assist people better comprehend their struggles and tribulations; or perhaps they did so in order to help folks learn from the mistakes of the past in order to create a better future for themselves.
What You Still Don’t Know About Abolitionists
The course of history is altered by the actions of both major and minor characters. When most people in the United States hear about the abolition of slavery during the American Civil War, they immediately think of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. When we commemorate Juneteenth, the day former slaves in Texas celebrated their freedom on June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived, it is especially essential to remember the major role played by those who had been enslaved themselves in the struggle to abolish slavery.
- They were only following in the footsteps of escaped slaves who had done so before the war: voting with their feet for liberation from slavery.
- While we are all familiar with the daring-do of Harriet Tubman, who will soon be featured on the front of the twenty-dollar bill, Tubman was not the only one who dared to accomplish what she did.
- In the years leading up to the Civil War, former slaves provided abolitionists with their most potent issue—the debate over how the North would handle runaway slaves—as well as its most active exponents, the fugitive slave abolitionists, to fuel the movement.
- Grimes later settled in Boston, where he served as pastor of the Twelfth Baptist Church, which was known as the “fugitive slave church” because so many of his congregation were fugitives from slavery.
- During the Civil War, Charles Torrey died in a damp Maryland jail, Jonathan Walker’s hand was tattooed with the letters SS for Slave Stealer in Florida, and Calvin Fairbanks was freed from a Kentucky jail only after the war began.
- John Parker, a freed slave from Alabama, was possibly one of the most daring conductors of the abolitionist underground along the Ohio River during the abolitionist movement’s heyday.
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Escaped slaves, with the assistance of antislavery vigilance organizations, antislavery attorneys, and politicians in the northern states, helped to bring the question of abolition into the public eye.
Following the adoption of the severe Fleeing Slave Act of 1850, which obliged Northern citizens to assist in the apprehension of fugitive slaves or anybody suspected of being a slave, the famous abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison criticized the criminalization of blackness.
“It outlaws me, and I outlaw it,” wrote the fleeing slave abolitionist Jermain Loguen of Syracuse, New York, of the institution of slavery.
During the 1850s fugitive slave rebellions erupted in Boston, Syracuse, Christiana, and Oberlin, which served as nodes of abolitionist movement.
It was the deeds of fleeing slaves that foreshadowed the defection of escaped slaves into the Union army ranks.
A long time before the sound of firearms could be heard, the slaves and their supporters were engaged in a protracted fight with slaveholders and their allies.
Slave narratives eventually came to comprise the literature of the abolitionist struggle.
Because he was telling and writing a personal account of his experience in slavery that elevated the famous black abolitionist Frederick Douglass to the forefront of the abolitionist movement.
When slaveholders and critics questioned Stowe’s portrayal of slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she included a list of the accounts from which she had drawn inspiration in herKey to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Slave resistance was at the heart of the situation.
The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition is written by Manisha Sinha, who is also the author of the book and the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. More TIME Magazine’s Must-Read Stories
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