Levi Coffin, (born October 28, 1798, New Garden [now in Greensboro], North Carolina, U.S.—died September 16, 1877, Cincinnati, Ohio), American abolitionist, called the “President of the Underground Railroad,” who assisted thousands of runaway slaves on their flight to freedom.
What was the Underground Railroad and who ran it?
- What Was the Underground Railroad? Who Ran the Underground Railroad? The Underground Railroad was a network of people, African American as well as white, offering shelter and aid to escaped enslaved people from the South. It developed as a convergence of several different clandestine efforts.
Who was president during Underground Railroad?
However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad began in the late 18th century. It ran north and grew steadily until the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 enslaved people had escaped via the network.
What race was Levi Coffin?
Levi Coffin was born in North Carolina on October 28, 1798 into a Quaker family who greatly influenced by the teachings of John Woolman a Quaker preacher, who believed slaveholding was not compatible with the Quaker beliefs and advocated emancipation.
How old was Levi Coffin when he died?
Historians have estimated that the Coffins helped approximately 2,000 escaping slaves during their twenty years in Indiana and an estimated 1,300 more after their move to Cincinnati. (Coffin didn’t keep records, but estimated the number to be around 3,000.)
How did Levi Coffin hide slaves?
A part of the legendary Underground Railroad for fleeing slaves of pre-Civil War days, this registered National Historic Landmark is a Federal style brick home built in 1839. Escaping slaves could be hidden in this small upstairs room and the beds moved in front of the door to hide its existence.
Is Levi Coffin black or white?
He was a white-American abolitionist and unofficial president of the Underground Railroad. Levi Coffin, from New Garden, N.C., was the only son among seven children. The young Levi received the bulk of his education at home, which proved to be good enough for Coffin to find work as a teacher for several years.
Who were Levi coffins parents?
Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”
What was Levi Coffin nickname?
Coffin’s active participation in the Underground Railroad caused his fellow abolitionists to nickname him the ” president of the Underground Railroad. ”
Where did Levi Coffin hide slaves?
The Coffins began sheltering fugitive slaves in Indiana during the winter of 1826–27, not long after their arrival at Newport. Their home became one of several Underground Railroad stops in a larger network of sites that provided aid to runaway slaves as they traveled north to freedom in Canada.
The President of the Underground Railroad
When Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852, the story of Eliza Harris’s harrowing escape from slavery across the ice floes of the Ohio River had been known for years among Quaker abolitionists in eastern Indiana, who had read about her ordeal in her journal. Levi and Catharine Coffin of Newport, Indiana—now Fountain City—had taken in the genuine Harris before she embarked on her trek to Canada, according to legend. Despite the fact that Levi did not publish his account of Harris’s escape until 1876 in hisReminiscences of Levi Coffin, the news had travelled to Cincinnati and reached the ears of Stowe, who resided in Cincinnati from 1832 to 1849 and was familiar with the area.
Levi’s biography recounted the experiences of fugitives he had assisted throughout his life, beginning when he was a little child in North Carolina and continuing through his years as a wealthy merchant and banker in the Midwest.
Located on Fountain City’s main street, the Coffins’ home is now a National Historic Landmark.
They constructed the home in 1839 for themselves and their four children, as well as, it appears, for the purpose of assisting fugitive slaves.
There is a secret entrance in an upper bedroom that leads to the attic.
The kitchen is placed in the basement, which allows for the preparation of huge meals for large groups of people at any time of day or night without attracting the attention of the neighbors.
When it came to summer kitchens in Indiana during that time period, “traditionally,” notes Hahn, “they would be in a separate structure behind the main home.” “We assume that the idea was that burying it beneath the house, combined with the well, would allow them to function on a 24-hour basis.” They would be able to accomplish whatever needed to be done, such as cooking meals or providing people, without having to worry about disturbing anyone on the main floor of the home.” Occasionally, parties of a dozen or more freedom seekers would converged on the Coffin home at the same time to seek refuge.
Similarly to Levi’s description of the usage of a comparable area in his Cincinnati home many years later, Hahn believes the huge attic was most likely utilized to host these gatherings of people.
In all of their years working with the Underground Railroad, the Coffins were never successful in apprehending a single fugitive under their care.
As one of the 12 new museums to visit in 2016, Smithsonianmagazine put it on the list with Pompeii, the new MOMA in San Francisco, and other worldwide institutions.
In order to portray the tale of the Underground Railroad, Hahn argues that there aren’t many artifacts to choose from: In addition to static exhibits, the museum offers interactive experiences such as listening to a poem by a mother who is attempting to describe what it is like to raise a child in slavery or experimenting with an interactive map that shows the proximity of Quaker and free black communities in Indiana.
When my daughter visits an exhibit, she gravitates toward one that allows visitors to pick from numerous personalities, including a freedom seeker and a conductor, and make decisions about where to go, where to hide, when to go, and with whom to provide information.
In his description of the home, Hahn highlights two aspects that make it compelling: first, the fact that the house hasn’t altered since it was erected 180 years ago, and second, the thorough record left by Levi.
“We’re talking about someone who was actively involved in the struggle against that system.” “I was actively involved in breaching the law at the time.” Without a doubt, according to Hahn, there were hundreds of additional people in that town who assisted Levi and Catharine in their endeavors to house fugitives.
Webber, created for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, depicts Levi and Catharine Coffin, along with Hannah Haddock, assisting a group of fugitive slaves. Image credit: Cincinnati Art Museum (courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum).
8 Key Contributors to the Underground Railroad
It had been known for years among Quaker abolitionists in eastern Indiana when Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852, but it was only then that the tale of Eliza Harris’s traumatic escape from slavery across the ice floes of the Ohio River was made public. In Newport, Indiana—now known as Fountain City—Levi and Catharine Coffin had taken in the genuine Harris before she embarked on her trip to Canada. Despite the fact that Levi did not write his account of Harris’s escape until 1876 in hisReminiscences of Levi Coffin, the news had travelled to Cincinnati and reached the ears of Stowe, who resided in Cincinnati from 1832 to 1849 and was a resident at the time.
- The experiences of fugitives he had assisted were described in Levi’s book, which spanned from his childhood in North Carolina through his years as a successful merchant and banker in the Midwest.
- Located on Fountain City’s main street, the Coffins’ home is now a National Historic Landmark.
- Their home in 1839 served as a home for themselves and their four children, as well as a safe haven for runaway slaves, according to historical accounts.
- There is a secret entrance leading to the attic from an upper bedroom.
- The kitchen is placed in the basement, which allows for the preparation of huge meals for large groups of people at any time of day or night without attracting the attention of the neighbors’ eyes.
- For Hahn, a summer kitchen was traditionally built behind the main home in Indiana during that time period, explaining that it was a tradition at the time.
- They would be able to accomplish whatever needed to be done, such as cooking meals or providing people, without having to worry about disturbing anybody on the main floor.” Freedom seekers flocked to the Coffin home in groups of a dozen or more at a time, on occasion.
In the barn, there’s a wagon with a false bottom, fashioned after the one Levi used for transporting fugitives from the law enforcement authorities.
This new interpretive center, which includes an orientation theater and interactive exhibits, is located right next to the original home, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In order to portray the tale of the Underground Railroad, Hahn adds that there aren’t a lot of items available.
When my daughter visits an exhibit, she gravitates toward one that allows visitors to pick from multiple personalities, including a freedom seeker and a conductor, and make decisions about where to go, where to hide, when to go, and with whom to share trust.
It is two aspects of the home that make it so interesting, according to Hahn: first, the fact that the structure has remained virtually unchanged since it was erected 180 years ago, and second, the meticulous record left by Levi.
” “What we’re talking about here is someone who was actively involved in the opposition to that system.
We shall never know the story of “unnamed individuals,” most of whom are likely to be African-American.
The Underground Railroad, a painting by Charles T. Webber for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, portrays Levi and Catharine Coffin, as well as Hannah Haddock, assisting a group of escaping slaves. Image courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum.
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
John Brown, an abolitionist, about 1846. Image via Getty Images courtesy of GraphicaArtis Following the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, John Brown, like his father before him, actively participated in the Underground Railroad, sheltering runaways at his home and warehouse and forming an anti-slave catcher militia. The next year, he and many of his sons took part in the so-called “Bleeding Kansas” war, leading one raid that ended in the death of five pro-slavery settlers. The next month, in December 1858, Brown raided three Missouri plantations, freeing 11 enslaved individuals, after which he and his fugitive companions embarked on a roughly 1,500-mile trip across the continent to Canada.
The next December, Brown was apprehended and convicted, and he was executed.
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.
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.
While carrying on his operations, he aided around 800 other fugitives before being arrested and imprisoned in Kentucky for “enticing slaves to flee.” Anderson was found dead in his cell on what some accounts claim was the exact day of his parole in 1861, raising suspicions about his death.
8. Thaddeus Stevens
River Jordan was the name given to the Ohio River by abolitionists because it marked the border between slave and free states and represented the border between slave and free states. The Underground Railroad cell established at Madison, Indiana, by blacksmith Elijah Anderson and several other members of the town’s Black middle class, served as a particularly appealing crossing point for enslaved persons on the run during the Civil War. With his fair skin, Anderson might have passed for a white slave owner on his repeated travels into Kentucky, where he reportedly picked up 20 to 30 enslaved persons at a time and whisked them away to freedom, sometimes accompanying them as far as the Coffins’ mansion in Newport, Kentucky.
Anderson escaped upriver to Lawrenceburg, Indiana, after being attacked by a mob of pro-slavery whites in Madison in 1846, almost drowning an Underground Railroad agent.
Anderson was found dead in his cell in 1861, on what some sources claim was the exact day of his parole, according to other accounts.
Levi Coffin – Ohio History Central
According to Ohio History Central Copper etched picture of Levi Coffin (1798-1877), a Quaker who sympathized with fleeing slaves and was shown in this photograph of the original copper engraving. From 1826 through 1846, he and his wife Catharine provided assistance to more than two thousand fleeing slaves at Fountain City, in Wayne County, Indiana. As a key actor in the Underground Railroad network that assisted thousands of runaway slaves in their attempts to escape to freedom in the years leading up to the American Civil War, Levi Coffin is remembered today.
- He belonged to the Society of Friends, which he founded.
- In fact, by the time he reached the age of fifteen, Coffin had already began assisting escaped slaves.
- In 1847, Coffin relocated to the city of Cincinnati.
- During this time, he also became a participant in the Underground Railroad.
- The majority of northern states had either banned slavery or passed legislation to phase down the practice gradually.
- As a result, the supporters of the Underground Railroad set up safe homes in both free and slave states to shield African Americans throughout their journey.
- In recognition of Coffin’s active engagement in the Underground Railroad, his fellow abolitionists dubbed him the “president of the Underground Railroad.” Levi Coffin also aided African Americans in a variety of different ways.
- During the Civil War, he exerted more pressure on the federal government to establish the Freedmen’s Bureau.
On September 16, 1877, he passed away in Cincinnati. A memorial commemorating Coffin’s accomplishments was raised above his tomb by African Americans in Cincinnati some years after his death to commemorate his achievements.
- According to the Ohio History Central website. Levi Coffin (1798-1877), a Quaker and a sympathizer with fugitive slaves, is depicted in this photograph as a copper engraved portrait. From 1826 to 1846, he and his wife Catharine provided assistance to more than 2,000 fugitive slaves at Fountain City, in Wayne County, Indiana. As a key actor in the Underground Railroad network that assisted thousands of runaway slaves in their attempts to escape to freedom in the years leading up to the American Civil War, Levi Coffin deserves to be remembered today. Coffin was born on October 28, 1798, in the North Carolina state of North Carolina, United States of America. He belonged to the Society of Friends, which he joined in 1924. His Christian views led him to become an outspoken opponent of African American slavery as a result of his activism. Coffin had already began assisting escaped slaves by the time he was fifteen years old. In 1826, he relocated to Indiana and started a company in the pork industry. Coffin relocated to the city of Cincinnati in 1847. He was assisted in opening a firm in Indiana that sold exclusively things manufactured by free laborers with the assistance of abolitionists. Along the way, he became involved in the Underground Railroad movement as well. Over three thousand slaves are said to have been assisted escape from their owners and achieve their freedom in Canada as a result of his efforts. During the Civil War, most northern states either banned slavery or passed legislation to phase out the institution gradually. The United States Constitution, as well as the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, allowed Southern slave owners to travel to free states such as Ohio and recapture fugitive slaves from their possession. This is why the supporters of the Underground Railroad established safe homes in both free and slave states to shelter African Americans during the American Civil War. There were large numbers of former slaves who fled to Canada, where their Southern owners had no legal authority to bring them back. Because of Coffin’s active engagement in the Underground Railroad, his fellow abolitionists dubbed him the “president of the Underground Railroad” by the press. There were additional ways in which Levi Coffin was of assistance to African Americans. The African American orphanage in Cincinnati, which he helped to establish in 1854, is named in his honor. His efforts to establish the Freedmen’s Bureau, which was a vital part of American civil rights during the Civil War, also had an impact. In addition, Coffin assisted African Americans in establishing their own enterprises and obtaining educational opportunities through his organization. Cincinnati, Ohio, was the location of his death on September 16, 1877. A memorial commemorating Coffin’s achievements was raised above his tomb by African Americans in Cincinnati some years after his death to commemorate his accomplishments.
When describing a network of meeting spots, hidden routes, passages, and safehouses used by slaves in the United States to escape slave-holding states and seek refuge in northern states and Canada, the Underground Railroad was referred to as the Underground Railroad (UR). The underground railroad, which was established in the early 1800s and sponsored by persons active in the Abolitionist Movement, assisted thousands of slaves in their attempts to escape bondage. Between 1810 and 1850, it is estimated that 100,000 slaves escaped from bondage in the southern United States.
Facts, information and articles about the Underground Railroad
Aproximate year of birth: 1780
1780 is a rough estimate.
Aproximate date of birth: 1780
Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. William Still is a well-known author and poet. Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. John Fairfield is a well-known author.
Harriet Tubman is a historical figure who lived during the American Civil War. She was a pioneer in the fight against slavery. William Still is an American author and poet. Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by the author Levi Coffin in the fictional world of the novel Levi Coffin John Fairfield is a well-known author and illustrator.
The Beginnings Of the Underground Railroad
Even before the nineteenth century, it appears that a mechanism to assist runaways existed. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with the assistance provided to one of his escaped slaves by “a organization of Quakers, founded for such purposes.” The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers as they are more officially known, were among the first abolitionist organizations to emerge. Their influence may have played a role in Pennsylvania becoming the first state to abolish slavery, which was home to a large number of Quakers.
In recognition of his contributions, Levi is often referred to as the “president of the Underground Railroad.” In Fountain City, Ohio, on Ohio’s western border, the eight-room Indiana home they bought and used as a “station” before they came to Cincinnati has been preserved and is now a National Historic Landmark.
The Underground Railroad Gets Its Name
Owen Brown, the father of radical abolitionist John Brown, was a member of the Underground Railroad in the state of New York during the Civil War. An unconfirmed narrative suggests that “Mammy Sally” designated the house where Abraham Lincoln’s future wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, grew up and served as a safe house where fugitives could receive food, but the account is doubtful. Routes of the Underground Railroad It was not until the early 1830s that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was first used.
Fugitives going by water or on genuine trains were occasionally provided with clothing so that they wouldn’t give themselves away by wearing their worn-out job attire.
Many of them continued on to Canada, where they could not be lawfully reclaimed by their rightful owners.
The slave or slaves were forced to flee from their masters, which was frequently done at night. It was imperative that the runaways maintain their eyes on the North Star at all times; only by keeping that star in front of them could they be certain that they were on their trip north.
Conductors On The Railroad
A “conductor,” who pretended to be a slave, would sometimes accompany fugitives to a plantation in order to lead them on their journey. Harriet Tubman, a former slave who traveled to slave states 19 times and liberated more than 300 people, is one of the most well-known “conductors.” She used her shotgun to threaten death to any captives who lost heart and sought to return to slavery. The Underground Railroad’s operators faced their own set of risks as well. If someone living in the North was convicted of assisting fugitives in their escape, he or she could face fines of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which was a significant sum at the time; however, in areas where abolitionism was strong, the “secret” railroad was openly operated, and no one was arrested.
His position as the most significant commander of the Underground Railroad in and around Albany grew as time went on.
However, in previous times of American history, the phrase “vigilance committee” generally refers to citizen organizations that took the law into their own hands, prosecuting and hanging those suspected of crimes when there was no local government or when they considered the local authority was corrupt or weak.
White males who were found assisting slaves in their escape were subjected to heavier punishments than white women, but both were likely to face at the very least incarceration.
The Civil War On The Horizon
A “conductor,” who pretended to be a slave, would sometimes accompany fugitives to a plantation in order to direct them on their journey. Harriet Tubman, a former slave who traveled to slave states 19 times and liberated more than 300 people, is one of the most well-known “conductors.” She used her shotgun to threaten the lives of those who lost hope and sought to return to slavery. The Underground Railroad’s operators faced their own set of perils while they worked. In the North, if someone was convicted of assisting fugitives in their escape, he or she could face fines of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which was a significant sum at the time; however, in areas where abolitionism was strong, the “secret” railroad operated in full view of the general public.
His position as the most prominent commander of the Underground Railroad in and around Albany grew as time went along.
However, in other eras of American history, the term “vigilance committee” was frequently used to refer to citizen groups that took the law into their own hands, prosecuting and lynching people accused of crimes when no local authority existed or when they believed that authority was corrupt or insufficient.
Stricter punishments were meted out to white males who assisted slaves in escaping than to white women, but both were likely to face at the very least incarceration.
The most severe punishments, such as hundreds of lashing with a whip, burning, or hanging, were reserved for any blacks who were discovered in the process of assisting fugitive fugitives on the run.
The Reverse Underground Railroad
A “reverse Underground Railroad” arose in the northern states surrounding the Ohio River during the Civil War. The black men and women of those states, whether or not they had previously been slaves, were occasionally kidnapped and concealed in homes, barns, and other structures until they could be transported to the South and sold as slaves.
Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime in behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives, who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, and many other incidents.
To provide you with the greatest convenience, citations are created automatically from bibliographic data. These citations may not be comprehensive or exact.
Chicago citation style:
Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. A collection of recollections of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; comprising a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave, as well as the stories of numerous fugitives who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, as well as numerous other incidents Web.
APA citation style:
The Memoirs of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, and many other incidents. Coffin, L. (1876). The Memoirs of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave. The following image was obtained from the Library of Congress:
MLA citation style:
Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin. A collection of recollections of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; comprising a brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave, as well as the stories of numerous fugitives who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, as well as numerous other incidents Web. Obtainable from the Library of Congress, lccn.loc.gov/13005748 (located on the Internet).
It was an informal network of individuals and residences across the United States that assisted runaway slaves – slaves who had fled from plantations in the South – in their attempts to seek safety in the northern tier of the country, Canada, and to a lesser degree, Mexico and the Caribbean It was not a railroad in the traditional sense, but rather a network of roads that slaves used to go from one place to another.
- However, in line with the image of a railroad, the persons who assisted the escape slaves were referred to as “conductors” or “station masters,” and their residences were referred to as “stations” or “depots,” respectively.
- Although the escaped slave was occasionally escorted by a conductor, in most cases the station master merely handed the fugitive slave with directions to the next station.
- fugitives, slave hunters, and abolitionists are all represented.
- Before the American Revolution, when slavery was legal in all of the colonies, the majority of escaped slaves sought refuge in communities in marshes, forests, and mountains.
- Abolitionists in the South who crossed the Mississippi River to the North, notably in the cities of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, could live as free men and women by the year 1810.
- The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made it a federal criminal for any free person to aid a fugitive slave in his or her escape.
- However, several northern states enacted legislation that either overrode or undercut the federal legislation.
Juries in the Northern United States frequently found in favor of fleeing slaves regardless of the evidence, thereby awarding them emancipation.
By the 1830s, there was a burgeoning abolitionist movement in the northern United States.
While the majority of abolitionist organizations were based in the North, a small number of Southerners thought that slavery was immoral and created abolitionist groups in their own localities as well.
Despite the fact that many individuals opposed slavery, only a small number of people were committed enough to the cause to assist runaway slaves in escaping their owners.
Sectional tensions and the Fugitive Slave Act are two issues that need to be addressed.
Abolitionist organisations were illegal in the South, and their publications were prohibited.
Individuals who hide fugitives may be subject to fines or imprisonment.
It was a shock to thousands of African Americans who had been living in freedom in the North that they were now at risk of being seized and returned to slavery in the South.
The Fugitive Slave Act, on the other hand, had a negative impact on most of the northern states.
Northerners who had previously turned a blind eye to the reality of slavery were now witnessing them play out in their own backyards and neighborhoods.
People were becoming more ready to aid fleeing slaves and provide them safe passage to Canada, where they would be out of reach of federal marshals and slave hunters, despite the hazards.
No single individual was familiar with all of the participants; each station master was simply aware of the location of the next station, who lived there, and whether or not there were any more stations in the vicinity.
The Underground Railroad’s informal and private character has left much of its history unknown to historians, who have only recently discovered it.
Levi Coffin is a fictional character created by author Levi Coffin.
He and his wife Catherine claimed to have assisted around 3,000 men and women in their attempts to escape slavery.
His ancestors were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), who were abolitionists against slavery.
Coffin was given the opportunity to aid escaped slaves when he was a young man.
Indiana was a free state, and Newport was home to a large number of Quakers as well as escaped slaves during the American Revolution.
The town’s strategic position, as well as the fact that it was populated by black and white people who were opposed to slavery, made it a popular destination for men and women fleeing enslavement.
In 1847, the Coffins relocated to Cincinnati, where he established a warehouse to enable him to sell items produced by free employees rather than slaves.
Following the Civil War, Coffin worked to gather funds in Europe and the United States’ northern states to assist African Americans in establishing businesses and farms following their freedom.
Levi Coffin was only one of many men and women who worked persistently to aid escaped slaves, and some historians believe that Levi Coffin inflated his achievements and that his celebrity was not wholly earned.
A free black man from New Jersey, William Still, acquired a similar title – “Father of the Underground Railroad” – and, in his own memoirs, commended the fortitude of the fugitives themselves, who took far more risks than the white abolitionists who assisted them.
A story of the Underground Railroad
Levi Coffin wrote about his experiences assisting escaped slaves in his memoirs, which was released after the Civil War. He also shared his story of how he initially became involved in assisting slaves in their escape to freedom.
Aboard the Underground Railroad- Levi Coffin House
President of the Underground Railroad: A Story about Levi Coffin (Creative Minds Biographies): Swain, Gwenyth, Ramstad, Ralph L.: 9781575055527: Amazon.com: Books
Grades 3-6-When Coffin was a youngster growing up in North Carolina, he witnessed slave coffles on their way to be sold to plantation owners. As Quakers, his family was opposed to slavery, and at the age of 15, the young man was assisting fugitive slaves fleeing to freedom. However, it wasn’t until a few years later, when he had a steady source of money, that he was able to provide them with food, clothes, home, and mode of transportation. When he relocated to Indiana, his residence was designated as a stop on the Underground Railway.
While this is an easily digestible tale (although one has to ask why the author found it essential to add details about Coffin’s wife’s brief affair for this readership), it does not soften the brutality and horrors of slavery, which are still present.
This biography of a little-known hero will serve as a valuable adjunct to historical studies of the time period.
Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
When Coffin was a youngster growing up in North Carolina, he witnessed slave coffles being loaded onto shiploads of slaves before being sent off to plantation owners. The young man’s family, who were Quakers, did not support slavery, and he became involved in the abolitionist movement by the age of 15. The fact that he could afford to provide them with food, clothes, housing, and transportation didn’t become apparent until several years later, when he began earning a living. In Indiana, when he relocated, his house became a stop on the Underground Railroad.
In spite of the fact that this is an accessible tale (although one may ask why the author found it essential to add details of Coffin and his wife’s short affair for this readership), the brutality and horrors of slavery are not toned down in any way.
In addition to historical studies, this biography of a little-known hero will be useful.
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The Underground Railroad
|The Underground Railroad, a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada, was not run by any single organization or person. Rather, it consisted of many individuals – many whites but predominently black – who knew only of the local efforts to aid fugitives and not of the overall operation. Still, it effectively moved hundreds of slaves northward each year – according to one estimate,the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850. An organized system to assist runaway slaves seems to have begun towards the end of the 18th century. In 1786 George Washington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes.” The system grew, and around 1831 it was dubbed “The Underground Railroad,” after the then emerging steam railroads. The system even used terms used in railroading: the homes and businesses where fugitives would rest and eat were called “stations” and “depots” and were run by “stationmasters,” those who contributed money or goods were “stockholders,” and the “conductor” was responsible for moving fugitives from one station to the next.For the slave, running away to the North was anything but easy. The first step was to escape from the slaveholder. For many slaves, this meant relying on his or her own resources. Sometimes a “conductor,” posing as a slave, would enter a plantation and then guide the runaways northward. The fugitives would move at night. They would generally travel between 10 and 20 miles to the next station, where they would rest and eat, hiding in barns and other out-of-the-way places. While they waited, a message would be sent to the next station to alert its stationmaster.The fugitives would also travel by train and boat – conveyances that sometimes had to be paid for. Money was also needed to improve the appearance of the runaways – a black man, woman, or child in tattered clothes would invariably attract suspicious eyes. This money was donated by individuals and also raised by various groups, including vigilance committees.Vigilance committees sprang up in the larger towns and cities of the North, most prominently in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. In addition to soliciting money, the organizations provided food, lodging and money, and helped the fugitives settle into a community by helping them find jobs and providing letters of recommendation.The Underground Railroad had many notable participants, including John Fairfield in Ohio, the son of a slaveholding family, who made many daring rescues, Levi Coffin, a Quaker who assisted more than 3,000 slaves, and Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom.|
The Underground Railroad in Indiana
Mary Schons contributed to this article. The 20th of June, 2019 is a Thursday. For 30 years before to the American Civil War, enslaved African Americans utilized the Underground Railroad to gain their freedom, a network known as the Underground Railroad (1861-1865). The “railroad” employed a variety of routes to transport people from slave-supporting states in the South to “free” states in the North and Canada. Sometimes abolitionists, or persons who were opposed to slavery, were responsible for organizing routes for the Underground Railroad.
- There was a great deal of activity on the Underground Railroad in the states that bordered the Ohio River, which served as a boundary between slave and free states.
- Not everyone in Indiana supported the emancipation of enslaved people.
- Because Indiana was a part of the Underground Railroad, its narrative is the tale of all states that had a role in it.
- However, while some people did have secret chambers in their homes or carriages, the great bulk of the Underground Railroad consisted of individuals surreptitiously assisting slaves who were attempting to flee slavery in whatever manner they were able to.
- The persons that were enslaved were referred to as “passengers.” “Stations” were private residences or commercial establishments where passengers and conductors seeking freedom might take refuge.
- If a new owner supported slavery, or if the residence was revealed to be a station on the Underground Railroad, passengers and conductors were obliged to locate a new station or move on somewhere.
- Only a small number of people kept records of this hidden activity in order to protect homeowners and others seeking freedom who required assistance.
People who were found assisting those who had fled slavery faced arrest and imprisonment.
No one knows exactly how the Underground Railroad received its name, nor does anybody care.
Another version of the story assigns the name to a freedom-seeker who was apprehended in Washington, D.C., in the year 1839.
A third narrative connects the name to an enslaved man called Tice Davids, who made the decision to pursue his freedom in 1831, according to the legend.
Unfortunately, there was no boat available to take us over the river.
His enslaver returned to Kentucky without him, claiming that Davids had vanished while traveling on a “underground railroad.” To put it another way, the name “Underground Railroad” had been widely accepted by the mid-1840s.
According to Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance, slavery was prohibited north of the Ohio River; however, the rule did not apply to enslaved persons who were already residing in the region.
Slavery was a common feature of life in the Northwest Territories at the time.
Indiana was established as a territory in 1800, with future United States PresidentWilliam Henry Harrison serving as the area’s first territorial governor.
Harrison and his followers also believed that permitting slavery in Indiana would increase the state’s population.
Their petition was refused by Congress.
The “contract holder” has the authority to determine how long the victim must be held in slavery.
When Indiana became a state in 1816, its stateConstitutioncontained wording that was comparable to Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance—new enslaved persons were not permitted, but existing enslaved people were allowed to continue in their current state of enslavement.
The term “slave” was still used to describe some Hoosiers as late as the 1820 census.
(White people were exempt from this requirement.) Indiana’s 1851 Constitution prohibited blacks from voting, serving in the military, or testifying in any trial in which a white person was accused of a crime.
All three pathways eventually went to Michigan and subsequently to Canada, although they took different routes.
Lewis Harding said in a 1915 history of Decatur County, Indiana, that the county was a spot where three roads came together after crossing the Ohio River at separate points in the county.
assisted the escaped slaves in every way imaginable,” he adds, using the injunction as an example.
As Harding says, “the sympathies of the majority of the residents of this nation were with the escaped slave and his rescuer.” Historians now feel that the path to independence resembled a spider’s web rather than three independent pathways to freedom.
While traveling, they had to avoid organized networks of patrolmen who grabbed freedom-seekers and held them hostage for ransom money.
Known as the “President of the Underground Railroad,” Coffin is credited for bringing slavery to Indiana in 1826.
In his memoir, Reminiscences, Coffin tells the story of two girls who escaped Tennessee and sought refuge with their grandparents in the Indiana county of Randolph.
They were not, however, destined to live in safety.
When the alarm went off, it attracted the majority of the settlement’s black people together in a single location.
Unknown to them, an uncle of the two girls rode up on his horse at the same time the enslaver was being held at bay by the grandmother’scorn knife.
They were not given any authorization to enter the premises or search for items, according to him.” The uncle remained at the doorway for as long as he could to continue the dispute with the enslaver.
According to the account, the girls were disguised as guys and sneaked past the crowd to where two horses were waiting for them.
The girls were able to make it to Coffin’s residence without incident.
Eliza Harris’s Indefatigable Escape Indiana is the scene of one of the most famous slave escapes in history, which took place in the state of Indiana.
Harris made the snap decision to flee to Canada with her infant son in tow.
There were no bridges, and there was no way for a raft to get through the thick ice.
Moving from one ice floe to another while carrying her child, she eventually made it to the other end.
Eliza, in fact, is the name of the character who travels across the frigid Ohio.
In order to recover from their ordeal, Harris and her child traveled to Levi Coffin’s Fountain City residence.
In 1854, Levi and Catherine Coffin were on a visit to Canada with their daughter when a woman approached Catherine and introduced herself.
God’s blessings on you!” It was Eliza Harris, who had safely migrated to Chatham, Ontario, Canada, when the call came through.
Illustration provided courtesy of The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information.
Examine the list of locations to determine if any are in your immediate vicinity.
But it was carried out according to a completely other set of rules.
Levi Coffin’s Reminiscences, published in 1880abet Help is a verb that refers to assisting in the committing of a crime.
abolitionist A person who is opposed to slavery as a noun.
authority Making choices is the responsibility of a nounperson or organization.
The payment of a fine or the performance of a contract under the terms of an agreement constitutes a bond, which is an unenforceable agreement.
cattle Andoxen are nouncows.
The American Civil War The American Civil War was fought between the Union (north) and the Confederacy between 1860 and 1865.
conductor A person who escorted slaves to safety and freedom on the Underground Railroad was known as a guide.
The House of Representatives and the Senate are the two chambers of the United States Congress.
convictVerb to find someone guilty of committing a criminal offense.
Municipality is a type of political entity that is smaller than a state or province, but often larger than a city, town, or other municipality.
defendantNounperson or entity who has been accused of committing a crime or engaging in other misconduct.
economy The production, distribution, and consumption of commodities and services are all referred to as a system.
enslave acquainted with the verbto completely control Adjectivewell-known.
forbidVerb to ban or prohibit something.
fugitive a noun or an adjective that has gotten away from the law or another limitation a system or order established by a country, a state, or any other political body; government Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American writer and abolitionist activist who lived from 1811 to 1896.
Nouna huge, flat sheet of ice that is floating on the surface of a body of water.
labor is a noun that refers to work or employment.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the term negronoun was frequently used to refer to persons of African descent.
During the American Civil War, the North was comprised of states that backed the United States (Union).
A portion of the modern-day states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota belonged to the Northwest Territory at the time of its creation.
The Ohio River is the greatest tributary of the Mississippi River, with a length of 1,580 kilometers (981 miles).
passenger A fugitive slave seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad is referred to as a noun.
Requests are made verbally, and are frequently accompanied by a document signed by the respondents.
prominentAdjectivethat is significant or stands out.
recover from an accident or strenuous activityVerb to recover from an injury or rigorous activity repeal a verb that means to reverse or reject anything that was previously guaranteed rouse a verb that means to awaken or make active.
Slavery is a noun that refers to the act of owning another human being or being owned by another human being (also known as servitude).
South During the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America (Confederacy) was backed or sympathized with by a huge number of states.
Supreme CourtNounin the United States, the highest judicial authority on questions of national or constitutional significance.
terminology A noungroup of words that are employed in a particular topic area.
Nounland that is protected against invaders by an animal, a person, or the government.
the southern hemisphere Geographic and political territory in the south-eastern and south-central sections of the United States that includes all of the states that sided with the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
unconstitutional Adjective that refers to a violation of the laws of the United States Constitution.
9th President of the United States of America, William Henry HarrisonNoun (1773-1841). (1841). word-of-mouth Informal communication, sometimes known as rumor or rumor mill. NounA official order issued by a government or other authoritative body.
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