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.
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 is the most famous person in the Underground Railroad?
HARRIET TUBMAN – The Best-Known Figure in UGR History 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 Michael in the Underground Railroad?
Another slave who lived within this impossible ethical paradox is Michael, the slave who could recite the Declaration of Independence. He was a “good” slave in the sense that he had memorized a sacred American document.
Was the Underground Railroad a railroad?
Despite its name, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad in the way Amtrak or commuter rail is. It wasn’t even a real railroad. The Underground Railroad of history was simply a loose network of safe houses and top secret routes to states where slavery was banned.
Who were some of the important figures in the Underground Railroad movement?
8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad
- Isaac Hopper. Abolitionist Isaac Hopper.
- John Brown. Abolitionist John Brown, c.
- Harriet Tubman.
- Thomas Garrett.
- 5 Daring Slave Escapes.
- William Still.
- Levi Coffin.
- Elijah Anderson.
Who was Captain James Nugent?
As an abolitionist, Captain James Nugent was active in the Underground Railroad. His name is listed as an operator in “The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom.” In 1852, Captain Nugent’s role as a conductor was documented when he aided runaways from Detroit to Canada.
What role did The Underground Railroad play?
The Underground Railroad provided hiding places, food, and often transportation for the fugitives who were trying to escape slavery. Along the way, people also provided directions for the safest way to get further north on the dangerous journey to freedom.
How old would Harriet Tubman be today?
Harriet Tubman’s exact age would be 201 years 10 months 28 days old if alive. Total 73,747 days. Harriet Tubman was a social life and political activist known for her difficult life and plenty of work directed on promoting the ideas of slavery abolishment.
Who ended slavery?
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “all persons held as slaves… shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free,” effective January 1, 1863. It was not until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, in 1865, that slavery was formally abolished ( here ).
Was Harriet Tubman 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 is Mingo in Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad (TV Series 2021– ) – Chukwudi Iwuji as Mingo – IMDb.
Who is John Valentine in the Underground Railroad?
John is the owner of Valentine farm and the husband of Gloria. He is light-skinned and passes for white, although he does not hide the fact that he is black among other black people.
Who is Homer in Underground Railroad?
Homer is a young black boy who is part of Ridgeway’s gang. Ridgeway purchased him for $5 before buying his freedom, but Homer still chooses to stay with Ridgeway and even voluntarily chains himself to Ridgeway’s wagon at night.
The Underground Railroad
Map. The Underground Railroad was a network of routes that enslaved African Americans used to escape to freedom in the 30 years leading up to the American Civil War (1860-1865). Subjects Geography and Human Geography are two terms that are used interchangeably. A network of enslaved black Americans utilized the Underground Railroad to gain their liberation in the 30 years leading up to the Civil War (1860-1865). 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.
In most cases, the network consisted of a succession of tiny, individual activities to assist runaway enslaved individuals.
The enslaved persons were referred to as “passengers.” ” Stations” were people’s houses or businesses where runaway passengers and conductors might take refuge in order to avoid capture.
Passengers and conductors were obliged to locate a new station if the new owner supported slavery or if the site was revealed to be a railroad station by authorities.
Only a small number of individuals maintained track of this clandestine operation in order to safeguard homeowners and fugitives in need of assistance.
Individuals who were detected assisting escaped enslaved people were subjected to arrest and imprisonment.
This extended to persons who lived in states that supported slavery as well as those who lived in free states.
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.
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. Torrey invented the phrase in 1842, according to abolitionist Charles T. Torrey. As David Blight points out, the phrase did not become widely used until the mid-1840s, when it was first heard.
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.
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.
Commentary: Do not forget Harriet Tubman’s courage on the Underground Railroad
While working on the Underground Railroad in the years before the Civil War, Harriet Tubman was considered to be one of the most accomplished conductors in the world. This individual was in charge of transporting slaves securely from the deep South to freedom in the Northern hemisphere. The Underground Railroad was not truly a railroad, but rather any path with safe stops, whether they were in a house, a barn, or a field, where slaves might conceal themselves while traveling to the North. Tubman was extremely pleased of the fact that she never lost track of a “passenger” and that she was able to guide everyone in her care to safety in the North.
- She was subjected to extreme abuse at the hands of one of her slave owners, which resulted in a devastating brain injury that left her with excruciating migraines for the rest of her life.
- As a result, her chances of enjoying a more pleasant life as a house slave were limited.
- Slave masters would occasionally loan their slaves to work for another master for a brief period of time in exchange for a price.
- It happened every now and then, when a master passed away, his estate would release the slaves, which was referred to as manumission.
- However, she made the decision to flee to the north with two of her brothers before being dispatched.
- Fugitive slave laws had been enacted, and if a runaway slave was apprehended, he or she would be returned to his or her enraged master, who would likely punish him or her severely for their actions.
- Tubman’s ideas on freedom, on the other hand, were never far from his thoughts.
She traveled at night, and the almost 90-mile journey took her between one and two weeks to complete.
“She examined my hands to see whether or not I was the same person.” There was such a radiance about everything; the sun shone like gold through the trees and out over the fields, illuminating everything.
She had to return to her home in order to save the rest of her family and friends.
Tubman was deft and resourceful in her escapes.
As part of another ruse, she walked around with two live chickens, as though she were conducting errands for her lord.
She was able to eliminate any lingering doubts in this manner.
Tubman made a total of around 13 journeys to assist 70 individuals in escaping to their freedom in the North.
SHERRY MARRON, a Newport Beach resident with a degree in American studies, is a scholar. She has previously worked as an instructor at the University of Connecticut and Orange Coast College.
While working on the Underground Railroad in the years before the Civil War, Harriet Tubman was considered to be one of the greatest conductors ever. This individual was in charge of transporting slaves securely from the deep South to freedom in the northern hemisphere. Instead of a train, the Underground Railroad could be any path with safe stops, whether it was a home, barn, or field where slaves could conceal themselves while traveling to the North. Tubman was extremely pleased of the fact that she never lost track of a “passenger” and that she was able to guide everyone in her care to safety in the Northern United States of America.
- She was subjected to severe cruelty at the hands of one of her slave owners, resulting in a crippling brain injury that left her with excruciating migraines for the rest of her life.
- As a result, she had less opportunities to be more comfortable as a house slave.
- In exchange for a price, some slave owners would loan their slaves to another master for a brief period of time.
- It happened every now and then that a master passed away, and his estate would release the slaves, which was referred to as manumission.
- Her decision to flee north with two of her brothers was made before she was taken away.
- Fugitive slave laws had been passed, and if a runaway slave was apprehended, he or she would be returned to his or her enraged master, who would likely punish him or her harshly.
- Despite this, Tubman’s ideas on freedom remained firmly entrenched.
Because she was traveling at night, she took between one and two weeks to complete the almost 90-mile trek.
“She examined my hands to see whether or not I was the same person.
‘It seemed as if I were in an other world.’ Her inability to control her emotions was beyond her control!
After a short while, she was directing them down safe paths of the Underground Railroad.
She once pretended to be reading a newspaper while riding the train so that she would not be observed by other passengers.
When she was staying at the home of an abolitionist along the way, she instantly got up a broom and began sweeping the porch as if she were a slave for the family that owned the home.
Finally, in another incident, while traveling north, she abruptly turned around and boarded a train bound towards the south, something that a runaway slave would never do in such circumstance.
As a result of Tubman’s willingness to share the information she had gained from her travels to the North, many others have emulated her success.
She has a degree in American studies and lives in Newport Beach with her husband. The University of Connecticut and Orange Coast College have both employed her as a lecturer.
Underground Railroad “Stations” Develop in Iowa
Iowa shares a southern border with Missouri, which was a slave state during the American Civil War. The abolitionist movement (those who desired to abolish slavery) built a system of “stations” in the 1840s and 1850s that could transport runaways from the Mississippi River to Illinois on their route to freedom. Activists from two religious movements, the Congregationalists and the Quakers, played crucial roles in the abolitionist movement. They were also involved in the Underground Railroad’s operations in the state of New York.
- According to one source, there are more than 100 Iowans who are participating in the endeavor.
- The Hitchcock House, located in Cass County near Lewis, is another well-known destination on the Underground Railroad in one form or another.
- George Hitchcock escorted “passengers” to the next destination on his route.
- Several of these locations are now public museums that are available to the general public.
- Individual families also reacted when they were approached for assistance.
- When the Civil War broke out and the Fugitive Slave Law could no longer be enforced in the northern states, a large number of slaves fled into the state and eventually settled there permanently.
- It was determined that segregated schools and discrimination in public accommodations were both unconstitutional in Iowa by the Supreme Court.
Iowa: A Free State Willing to Let Slavery Exist
Slavery has been a contentious topic in the United States since its inception, and it continues to be so today. As new states entered the Union, the early fights did not revolve over slavery in the South but rather its expansion. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 created an east-west line along the southern boundary of Missouri, which would remain in place for the rest of time, separating free and slave settlement. States to the south may legalize slavery, whilst states to the north (with the exception of slave state Missouri) were prohibited from doing so.
The majority of Iowans were ready to allow slavery to continue in the South.
They enacted legislation in an attempt to deter black people from settling in the state.
Iowa did have a tiny community of abolitionists who believed that slavery was a moral wrong that should be abolished everywhere.
This increased the likelihood that Nebraska, which borders Iowa on its western border, would become a slave state. The majority of Iowans were opposed to the idea. The Republican Party has evolved as a staunch opponent of any future expansion of slavery into western areas in the United States.
- $200 Reward: Poster for the Return of Formerly-Enslaved People, October 1, 1847 (Document)
- “Effects of the Fugitive-Slave-Law” Print, 1850 (Image)
- Fugitive Slave Law, 1850 (Document)
- Poster for the Return of Formerly-Enslaved People, October 1, 1847 (Document)
- Poster for the Return of Formerly-Enslaved People, October 1, 1847 (Do
How did runaway slaves rely on the help of abolitionists to escape to freedom?
- Article from the Anti-Slavery Bugle titled “William and Ellen Craft,” published on February 23, 1849 (Document)
- Anti-Slavery Bugle Article titled “Underground Railroad,” published on September 16, 1854 (Document)
- “A Presbyterian Clergyman Suspended for Being Connected with the Underground Railroad” Article published on November 8, 1855 (Document)
- William Maxson Home in West Liberty, Iowa, circa 1890 (Image)
How did some runaway slaves create their own opportunities to escape?
- A newspaper article entitled “The ‘Running of Slaves’ – The Extraordinary Escape of Henry Box Brown” published on June 23, 1849 (Document)
- The Henry “Box” Brown Song and the Engraved Box, published in 1850 (Image, Document)
- “The Resurrection of Henry ‘Box’ Brown at Philadelphia” illustration published in 1850 (Image)
- Robert Smalls: “The Steamer ‘Planter’ and Her Captor,” published on June 14, 1862 (Do
$200 Reward: Poster for the Return of Formerly-Enslaved People, October 1, 1847
- After escaping enslavement, many people depended on northern whites to guide them securely to the northern free states and eventually to Canadian territory. For someone who had previously been forced into slavery, life may be quite perilous. There were incentives for capturing them, as well as adverts such as the one seen below for a prize. More information may be found here.
“Effects of the Fugitive-Slave-Law” Illustration, 1850
- Written in strong opposition to the Runaway Slave Act, which was approved by Congress in September 1850 and expanded federal and free-state duty for the return of fugitive slaves, this letter is full of anger. The bill called for the appointment of federal commissioners who would have the authority to enact regulations. More information may be found here.
Fugitive Slave Law, 1850
- As a result of the Fleeing Slave Law of 1850, it became unlawful for anybody in the northern United States to aid fugitive slaves in their quest for freedom. This statute supplemented the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act with additional clauses addressing runaways, and it imposed even harsher sanctions for interfering with their escape. More information may be found here.
Anti-Slavery Bugle Article – “William and Ellen Craft,” February 23, 1849
- Following passage of the Fleeing Slave Law in 1850, it became unlawful for anybody in the northern United States to aid fugitive slaves in their quest for freedom. This statute amended the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act to include additional clauses about runaways, as well as tougher penalties for interfering with their escape. More information may be found at:
Anti-Slavery Bugle Article – “Underground Railroad,” September 16, 1854
- As a result of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, it became unlawful for anybody in the northern United States to aid fugitive slaves in their quest for freedom. This statute supplemented the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act with additional clauses addressing runaways, and it imposed even harsher penalties for interfering with their escape. More information may be found at
“A Presbyterian Clergyman Suspended for Being Connected with the Underground Railroad” Article, November 8, 1855
- This newspaper story was written in Fayettville, Tennessee, in 1855 and is a good example of historical journalism. When Rev. T. B. McCormick, a priest in Indiana, was suspended for his membership in the Underground Railroad, the article details his ordeal in detail. In the narrative, he is accused of supporting escaped slaves on their way to freedom. More information may be found here.
William Maxson Home in West Liberty, Iowa, 1890
- It was published in the Fayetteville, Tennessee, newspaper in 1855, and is a good example of historical journalism. When Rev. T. B. McCormick, a clergyman in Indiana, was suspended for his membership in the Underground Railroad, the article tells what happened. In the narrative, he is accused of supporting fugitive slaves on their way out of the country. More information may be found at:
“Fugitive Slave Case Was Tried” – A Daily Gate City Article, April 13, 1915
- This story, which was published in the Keokuk, Iowa, newspaper The Daily Gate City in 1915, is about a trial that took place in Burlington in 1850. Buel Daggs, the plaintiff, sought $10,000 in damages as recompense for the services of nine slaves who had fled from Missouri and had worked for him as slaves. More information may be found here.
“The ‘Running of Slaves’ – The Extraordinary Escape of Henry ‘Box’ Brown” Article, June 23, 1849
- It was published in the Keokuk, Iowa newspaper The Daily Gate City in 1915 and is about a trial that took place in Burlington, Iowa, in 1850 and was published in The Daily Gate City. Buel Daggs, the plaintiff, sought $10,000 in damages as recompense for the services of nine slaves who had escaped from Missouri and had been working for him. More information may be found at:
Henry “Box” Brown Song and the Engraved Box, 1850
- This story, which appeared in The Daily Gate Citynewspaper of Keokuk, Iowa, in 1915, was about a trial that took place in Burlington, Iowa, in the year 1850. Buel Daggs, the plaintiff, sought $10,000 in damages as recompense for the services of nine slaves who had fled from Missouri. More information may be found at
“The Resurrection of Henry ‘Box’ Brown at Philadelphia” Illustration, 1850
- Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who escaped from Richmond, Virginia, in a box measuring three feet long, two and a half feet deep, and two and a half feet broad, is depicted in a somewhat comical but sympathetic manner in this artwork. In the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society’s administrative offices. More information may be found here.
Robert Smalls: “The Steamer ‘Planter’ and Her Captor,” June 14, 1862
- The escape of Robert Smalls and other members of his family and friends from slavery was chronicled in detail in an article published in Harper’s Weekly. Smalls was an enslaved African American who acquired freedom during and after the American Civil War and went on to work as a ship’s pilot on the high seas. More information may be found here.
“A Bold Stroke for Freedom” Illustration, 1872
- The image from 1872 depicts African Americans, most likely fleeing slaves, standing in front of a wagon and brandishing firearms towards slave-catchers. A group of young enslaved persons who had escaped from Loudon by wagon are said to be shown in the cartoon on Christmas Eve in 1855, when patrollers caught up with them. More information may be found here.
- Harriet Tubman Day is observed annually on March 31. The statement issued by the State of Delaware on the observance of Harriet Ross Tubman Day on March 10, 2017 may be seen on the website. Governor John Carney and Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long both signed the statement. Harriet Tubman – A Guide to Online Resources A wide range of material linked with Harriet Tubman may be found in these digital collections from the Library of Congress, which include manuscripts, pictures, and publications. It is the goal of this guide to consolidate connections to digital materials about Harriet Tubman that are available throughout the Library of Congress website. Scenes from Harriet Tubman’s Life and Times The website, which is accessible through the Digital Public Library of America, contains portions from the novel Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, written by Sarah Bradford in 1869 and published by the American Library Association.
- Maryland’s Pathways to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in the State of Maryland On this page, you can find primary materials pertaining to Maryland and the Underground Railroad. Information from three former slaves, Samuel Green, Phoebe Myers, and others is included in this collection. “The Underground Railroad: A Secret History” by Eric Foner is a book on the history of the Underground Railroad. The author of this piece from The Atlantic discusses the “secret history” of the Underground Railroad, which he believes reveals that the network was not nearly as secretive as many people believe. Emancipation of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery According to “Documenting the American South,” this webpage focuses on how slaves William and Ellen Craft escaped from Georgia and sought asylum and freedom in the United States’ northern states.
Iowa Core Social Studies Standards (8th Grade)
The content anchor requirements for Iowa Core Social Studies that are most accurately reflected in this source collection are listed below. The subject requirements that have been implemented to this set are appropriate for middle school pupils and cover the major areas that make up social studies for eighth grade students in the United States.
- S.8.13.Explain the rights and obligations of people, political parties, and the media in the context of a range of governmental and nonprofit organizations and institutions. (Skills for the twenty-first century)
- SS.8.19.Explain how immigration and migration were influenced by push and pull influences in early American history. SS.8.21.Examine the relationships and linkages between early American historical events and developments in the context of wider historical settings
- In your explanation of how and why prevalent social, cultural, and political viewpoints altered over early American history, please include the following information: SS.8.23.Explain the numerous causes, impacts, and changes that occurred in early American history
- And The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, Washington’s Farewell Address, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty with France, the Monroe Doctrine, the Indian Removal Act, the Missouri Compromise, Dred Scott v. Sanford, and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo are examples of primary and secondary sources of information that should be critiqued with consideration for the source of the document, its context, accuracy, and usefulness.
Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the southern United States by providing them with refuge and assistance. It came forth as a result of the convergence of numerous separate covert initiatives. Although the exact dates of its inception are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy were carried out in a less-secretive manner until the Civil War ended.
The Society of Friends (Quakers) is often regarded as the first organized group to actively assist escaped enslaved persons. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Quakers for attempting to “liberate” one of his enslaved servants. Abolitionist and Quaker Isaac T. Hopper established a network in Philadelphia in the early 1800s to assist enslaved persons who were on the run from slavery. Abolitionist organisations founded by Quakers in North Carolina lay the basis for escape routes and safe havens for fugitive slaves during the same time period.
What Was the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:
How the Underground Railroad Worked
Enslaved man Tice Davids fled from Kentucky into Ohio in 1831, and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his release. This was the first time the Underground Railroad was mentioned in print. In 1839, a Washington newspaper stated that an escaped enslaved man called Jim had divulged, after being tortured, his intention to go north through a “underground railroad to Boston” in order to avoid capture. After being established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard fugitive enslaved individuals from bounty hunters, Vigilance Committees quickly expanded its duties to include guiding runaway slaves.
It was by the 1840s that the phrase “Underground Railroad” had become commonplace in the United States. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE READ THESE STATEMENTS. Harriet Tubman and other Underground Railroad fugitives used the following strategies to get away.
Fugitive Slave Acts
The Fugitive Slave Acts were a major cause for many fugitive slaves to flee to Canada. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved individuals from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the fleeing enslaved people. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in certain northern states to fight this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to reinforce the preceding legislation, which was perceived by southern states to be insufficiently enforced at the time of passage.
The northern states were still considered a danger zone for fugitives who had managed to flee.
Some Underground Railroad operators chose to station themselves in Canada and sought to assist fugitives who were arriving to settle in the country.
Harriet Tubman was the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad during its heyday. When she and two of her brothers fled from a farm in Maryland in 1849, she was given the name Harriet (her married name was Tubman). She was born Araminta Ross, and she was raised as Harriet Tubman. They returned a couple of weeks later, but Tubman fled on her own again shortly after, this time making her way to the state of Pennsylvania. In following years, Tubman returned to the plantation on a number of occasions to rescue family members and other individuals.
Tubman was distraught until she had a vision of God, which led her to join the Underground Railroad and begin escorting other fugitive slaves to the Maryland state capital.
In his house in Rochester, New York, former enslaved person and celebrated author Frederick Douglasshid fugitives who were assisting 400 escapees in their journey to freedom in Canada. Reverend Jermain Loguen, a former fugitive who lived in the adjacent city of Syracuse, assisted 1,500 escapees on their journey north. The Vigilance Committee was established in Philadelphia in 1838 by Robert Purvis, an escaped enslaved person who later became a trader. Josiah Henson, a former enslaved person and railroad operator, founded the Dawn Institute in Ontario in 1842 to assist fugitive slaves who made their way to Canada in learning the necessary skills to find work.
Agent,” according to the document.
John Parker was a free Black man living in Ohio who worked as a foundry owner and who used his rowboat to ferry fugitives over the Ohio River.
William Still was a notable Philadelphia citizen who was born in New Jersey to runaway slaves parents who fled to Philadelphia as children.
Who Ran the Underground Railroad?
The vast majority of Underground Railroad operators were regular individuals, including farmers and business owners, as well as preachers and religious leaders. Some affluent individuals were active, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who stood for president on two separate occasions. Smith acquired a full family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841 and freed them from their captivity. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, is credited with being one of the first recorded individuals to assist escaped enslaved persons.
Coffin stated that he had discovered their hiding spots and had sought them out in order to assist them in moving forward.
Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitive enslaved individuals no matter where he was.
Abolitionist John Brown worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and it was at this time that he founded the League of Gileadites, which was dedicated to assisting fleeing enslaved individuals in their journey to Canada. Abolitionist John Brown would go on to play a variety of roles during his life. His most well-known duty was conducting an assault on Harper’s Ferry in order to raise an armed army that would march into the deep south and free enslaved people at gunpoint. Ultimately, Brown’s forces were beaten, and he was executed for treason in 1859.
- The year 1844, he formed a partnership with Vermont schoolteacher Delia Webster, and the two were jailed for assisting an escaped enslaved lady and her young daughter.
- Charles Torrey was sentenced to six years in jail in Maryland for assisting an enslaved family in their attempt to flee through Virginia.
- After being apprehended in 1844 while transporting a boatload of freed slaves from the Caribbean to the United States, Massachusetts sea captain Jonathan Walker was sentenced to prison for life.
- John Fairfield of Virginia turned down the opportunity to assist in the rescue of enslaved individuals who had been left behind by their families as they made their way north.
- He managed to elude capture twice.
End of the Line
Operation of the Underground Railroad came to an end in 1863, during the American Civil War. In actuality, its work was shifted aboveground as part of the Union’s overall campaign against the Confederate States of America. Once again, Harriet Tubman made a crucial contribution by organizing intelligence operations and serving as a commanding officer in Union Army efforts to rescue the liberated enslaved people who had been freed.
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman led a daring Civil War raid after the Underground Railroad was shut down.
Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad? ‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented.
Inside Harriet Tubman’s Life of Service After the Underground Railroad
This year’s festival took place in Auburn, New York, which is located in the Finger Lakes section of the state. In the midst of the celebrations stood a woman who appeared to be frail and aged. According to The Auburn Citizen, “With the Stars and Stripes wrapped around her shoulders, a band playing national airs, and a concourse of members of her race gathered around her to pay tribute to her lifelong struggle on behalf of the colored people of America, agedHarriet Tubman Davis, the Moses of her race, yesterday experienced one of the happiest moments of her life, a period to which she has looked forward to for a score of years.” An increasingly frail Tubman had dreamed of establishing a rest home in New York City for old and infirm African-Americans for 15 years, and he had worked relentlessly to see it become a reality.
- The establishment of the Harriet Tubman Home, as it was officially known, was simply one more selfless deed in a life of service.
- “All I want is for everyone to work together, for together we stand, divided we fall.” Throughout the world, Tubman has long been renowned for her work as a bright and brave guide for the Underground Railroad, which she founded.
- NPR quoted Elizabeth Cobbs, author of The Tubman Command, as saying, “She’s 5 feet tall.” “She’s such a tiny little thing that a strong breeze might easily sweep her away.
- However, she must have had one of those looks that was always changing.
- The fact that she was able to sneak into and out of situations where someone else would have been stopped and assaulted was remarkable.” It was this flexibility that would enable Tubman to achieve success in her subsequent pursuits after leaving the Underground Railroad.
She was born in 1857 in New York City and raised in New Orleans. More information may be found at How Harriet Tubman and William Still Aided the Underground Railroad.
Tubman took care of ‘contrabands’ in the South during the Civil War
As Catherine Clinton, author of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, explains, Tubman first thought the commencement of theCivil War in April 1861 was an unneeded step on her journey to freedom. If President Abraham Lincoln would just release the enslaved people of the South, they would rise up and destroy the Confederacy from within, avoiding the need for thousands of pointless murders. President Abraham Lincoln The young woman confided in her friend Lydia Maria Child, saying, “This Negro can teach Mister Lincoln how to save the money and the young men.” “He can do this by releasing the Negroes.” After much disappointment and hesitation, Tubman – now in her late thirties – finally made it to the Union-controlled Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, Virginia, which overlooked the Chesapeake Bay in May 1861, despite her reservations.
Union-held facilities, like Fort Monroe, were being inundated by enslaved individuals, often known as “contrabands.” While cooking, cleaning, and nursing the sick back to health, Tubman completely ignored the very real danger she was under as a wanted runaway slave in the Southern states of America.
- Port Royal is located in Beaufort County, on the South Carolina coast.
- The sight at the Beaufort port was described by a white volunteer named Elizabeth Botume as follows: “Blacks, negroes, negroes.” They swarmed around each other like a swarm of bees.
- Every doorway, box, and barrel was strewn with them, as the arrival of a boat signaled the beginning of a period of great excitement.
- But after hard days working as a root doctor, nurse and chef she would instead create her own “pies and root beer” to sell and earn some extra money to help her family get by.
- READ MORE: Harriet Tubman’s Activist Service as a Union Spy (in English)
She led a group of emancipated Black Americans as Union spies
The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, effectively freed all enslaved individuals in the Confederate States of America. They understood that they had a vast network of liberated Black Americans who could be recruited as soldiers, munitions workers, and even rebel leaders, and they began to mobilize. Tubman’s incredible abilities as a spy and scout could now be put to the best possible use by the government. By early 1863, following ten months of service to the sick, Tubman had been granted the permission to assemble a group of infiltrators and survey the interior of the United States, according to Clinton.
- Several of them were trusted water pilots, such as Solomon Gregory, who were able to travel upriver by boat without being seen.
- Tubman and her spies immediately discovered that there were hundreds of recently released Black people all across the South who were ready to escape the low country and become citizens of the United States of America.
- According to Thomas B.
- Tubman herself was in command of the 150 Black Union troops and a trio of federal ships, which were under her command.
- People who had formerly been slaves were waiting all along the river, having heard that Moses was on his way.
Some of the ladies would arrive with twins dangling from their necks; I don’t recall ever seeing so many twins in my life; bags on their shoulders, baskets on their heads, and little children trailing after; everything was loaded; pigs screaming, hens screeching, and children shrieking.” Tubman, a superb storyteller, would later joke that she had such difficulty with two slippery pigs that she determined never to wear skirts on a mission again and wrote to her friends in the North to ask for bloomers, which they gladly provided.
The Confederates hurried to reply to the raid, but they were completely caught off guard by the attack.
Tubman (who was unable to write) dictated a summary of the raid to journalist Franklin Sanborn, who published it as follows: We were able to weaken the rebels on the Combahee River by seizing and transporting seven hundred and fifty-six head of their most valuable livestock, known in your region as “contrabands,” and we did so without losing a single life on our side, despite the fact that we had reasonable grounds to believe that a number of rebels perished.
- Following the raid’s success, Tubman was faced with the challenge of figuring out how to care for the influx of new refugees in Port Royale.
- Tubman’s companion Sanborn ultimately revealed Tubman as the famous Moses of the Underground Railroad and the United States Army in a July 1863 edition of the abolitionist periodical Commonwealth.
- In 1911, Harriet Tubman was photographed at her house in Auburn, New York.
- She sought leave to see her family in Auburn throughout the summer, since she was concerned about their well-being up there.
- Tubman, on the other hand, was the target of a racist attack while riding the train back to her hometown because railroad officials assumed her U.S.
- Her seat was asked to be vacated, according to Clinton.
- When she was unable to move, the conductor summoned aid.
She was put unceremoniously into the baggage car for the remainder of her journey, and she was only released from her captivity when she arrived at her destination.
She welcomed a network of parents, siblings, cousins, nephews, and nieces, with whom she was finally able to spend meaningful time after a long period of being apart.
She had quietly slithered off of her “rocking chair, flattened herself against the ground, and softly slithered up to the small girl to surprise her,” like she had done during her time on the Underground Railroad.
“For all these years, she has kept her doors open to anyone in need.
Every type of person has found refuge and acceptance,” one Auburn friend wrote.
“While Harriet has never been known to beg for herself, the cause of the poor will send her out with a basket on her arm to the kitchens of her friends, without a sign of reluctance,” wrote a friend.
Nelson Davis, a young and attractive Union soldier who was born and raised in North Carolina, became her new spouse.
It was claimed that the crowd was big, comprising mostly of the parties’ acquaintances as well as a considerable number of first families from the surrounding area.
During the ceremony, Rev.
Fowler made some very emotional and joyous allusions to their past hardships and the seeming smooth sailing the parties now enjoyed, when the ceremony came to a close amid the congratulations of the audience and the happy pair was formally launched on their life’s voyage.
In the words of a friend, “Harriet herself has few counterparts when it comes to raconteur.” The Underground Railroad was her job for eight years, and she was able to boast that she “never ran my train off the track or lost a passenger.” “I was conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors cannot — I never ran my train off the track or lost a passenger,” she once said.
Tubman also became a committed suffragette, attending local gatherings as well as national conventions to advocate for women’s rights.
Despite her exceptional efforts, the United States government refused to provide Tubman a pension for her work during the Civil War for more than 30 years.
Tubman’s final major dream, on the other hand, was not for herself, but for others.
It was here that Tubman herself died on March 10, 1913, after having moved into the residence in 1911. Tubman’s final words to her family were unsurprising: “I go, to prepare a home for you.” She had always been the caregiver and the leader, and her final words to them were no exception.