Who Were Pilots In The Underground Railroad? (Question)

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

What were the people involved in the Underground Railroad called?

  • The people involved in the Underground Railroad used railroad jargon to refer to peoples roles in the escape network; these included conductors, station masters, and operators. This was devised to help maintain secrecy. The escaped slaves were called passengers or cargo.

Who was the best known rescuer on the Underground Railroad?

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the best-known figure related to the underground railroad. She made by some accounts 19 or more rescue trips to the south and helped more than 300 people escape slavery.

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.

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.

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.

Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?

Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.

What states was the Underground Railroad in?

Most of the enslaved people helped by the Underground Railroad escaped border states such as Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland. In the deep South, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made capturing escaped enslaved people a lucrative business, and there were fewer hiding places for them.

What happened to Cesar in the Underground Railroad?

While the show doesn’t show us what happens after their encounter, Caesar comes to Cora in a dream later, confirming to viewers that he was killed. In the novel, Caesar faces a similar fate of being killed following his capture, though instead of Ridgeway and Homer, he is killed by an angry mob.

Where was Captain James Nugent born?

He was born at East Boston, Massachusetts, November 16, 1845, in a district that was then largely given over to the building of the famous old clipper ships which made such a record on the seas in the days of the sailing vessels.

What role did the Great Lakes played in the Underground Railroad?

More than 150 years ago, the Great Lakes region played a key role in the Underground Railroad. Runaway slaves made their way to cities along the lakes and crossed the border to freedom in Canada. Today, thousands of asylum seekers who came to the U.S. are heading north, too.

Myths About the Underground Railroad

When it comes to teaching African-American Studies today, one of the great delights is the satisfaction that comes from being able to restore to the historical record “lost” events and the persons whose sacrifices and bravery enabled those events to take place, never to be lost again. Among our ancestors’ long and dreadful history of human bondage is the Underground Railroad, which has garnered more recent attention from teachers, students, museum curators, and the tourism industry than any other institution from the black past.

Nevertheless, in the effort to convey the narrative of this magnificent institution, fiction and lore have occasionally taken precedence over historical truth.

The sacrifices and valor of our forefathers and foremothers, as well as their allies, are made all the more noble, heroic, and striking as a result.

I think this is a common misconception among students.

As described by Wilbur H.

Running slaves, frequently in groups of up to several families, were said to have been directed at night on their desperate journey to freedom by the traditional “Drinking Gourd,” which was the slaves’ secret name for the North Star.

The Railroad in Lore

Following is a brief list of some of the most frequent myths regarding the Underground Railroad, which includes the following examples: 1. It was administered by well-intentioned white abolitionists, many of whom were Quakers. 2. The Underground Railroad was active throughout the southern United States. Most runaway slaves who managed to make their way north took refuge in secret quarters hidden in attics or cellars, while many more managed to escape through tunnels. Fourteenth, slaves made so-called “freedom quilts,” which they displayed outside their homes’ windows to signal fugitives to the whereabouts of safe houses and safe ways north to freedom.


When slaves heard the spiritual “Steal Away,” they knew Harriet Tubman was on her way to town, or that an ideal opportunity to run was approaching.

scholars like Larry Gara, who wrote The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad and Blight, among other works, have worked tirelessly to address all of these problems, and I’ll outline the proper answers based on their work, and the work of others, at the conclusion of this piece.

First, a brief overview of the Underground Railroad’s history:

A Meme Is Born

As Blight correctly points out, the railroad has proven to be one of the most “enduring and popular strands in the fabric of America’s national historical memory.” Since the end of the nineteenth century, many Americans, particularly in New England and the Midwest, have either made up legends about the deeds of their ancestors or simply repeated stories that they have heard about their forebears.

It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before diving into those tales, though.

Tice Davids was a Kentucky slave who managed to escape to Ohio in 1831, and it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was invented as a result of his successful escape.

According to Blight, he is believed to have said that Davids had vanished as though “the nigger must have gone off on an underground railroad.” This is a fantastic narrative — one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor — but it is improbable, given that train lines were non-existent at the time.

  • The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., who was tortured and forced to testify that he had been taken north, where “the railroad extended underground all the way to Boston,” according to one report from 1839, was captured.
  • constructed from Mason and Dixon’s to the Canada line, upon which fugitives from slavery might come pouring into this province” is the first time the term appears.
  • 14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by others who claim that abolitionist Charles T.
  • Torrey.

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.
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(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.

The True Story of ‘The Underground Railroad’ is One of Courage, Triumph and Trauma

In Harriet Tubman’s words: “Here was one of the two things in this world that I had a right to, liberty or death; and if I couldn’t have one, I’d take the other.” The subterranean railroad is nearly mythological in the eyes of many individuals in the United States. Many consider it a brave act of defiance against a violent and barbaric institution of punishment. It appears in children’s novels as well as popular recollections of the nineteenth century, among other places. Soon, one of the most famous “pilots” on the route, Harriet Tubman, will take the place of slave-owning genocidaire and Donald Trump’s favorite president, Andrew Jackson, on $20 notes.

The railroad mainly assisted individuals in their efforts to leave slavery and seek refuge in northern “free states” and Canada, with up to 1,000 persons per year at its peak.

The majority of persons participating are unknown to us; we do know that certain religious groups were involved and that free Black people played a key role, but many participants are likely to have taken their secrets to their graves out of fear of retaliation, which is understandable.

Unlike the version of the railroad depicted in Colson Whitehead’s novel – which has been adapted for a 10-part television series by Moonlightdirector Barry Jenkins – there are no ledger records of everyone who passed to freedom through the railroad’s secret basements and backstreets, nor are there any records of the people who assisted them in their journey.

As a result of this structure, the entire network was protected from being compromised, but it has also made it difficult to document and understand the full extent of the work done by abolitionists and free Black people to liberate others from the inhumane institution on which much of the United States economy had relied for more than 100 years.

  1. MPI Photographs courtesy of Getty Images In general, slave populations in southern states were significantly greater than those in northern states during the Nineteenth Century.
  2. Agriculture in the southern states would not have been lucrative without slavery, and without those institutions, significant areas of the southern states would have been little more than marshy backwaters.
  3. States in the north were more likely than southern states to find themselves in an economic situation that was less based on slavery, and as a result, they were more sympathetic to the abolition of the slave trade inside their own borders.
  4. For obvious reasons, southern governments invested far more resources in apprehending fugitive slaves than their northern counterparts.

This legislation not only permitted the arrest of runaway slaves, but also the kidnapping and slavery of free Black people who had very limited methods of demonstrating they were free, and who were subjected to a legal system that did not even allow them to speak during their own court proceedings.

  1. Amazon The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes.
  2. The vast majority of fugitives traveled in tiny groups on foot or by wagon.
  3. Due to the fact that women were seldom permitted to leave the plantation, making escape impossible, and since children were difficult to keep quiet on the train ride, males constituted the vast majority of the railroad’s passengers.
  4. The trek to Canada was difficult, but many of individuals made it to the country.

Everyone in the United States knows something about the Underground Railroad, but far too much of the history is told through children’s books and stories, which overlook the incredible bravery of enslaved people and those who assisted them in their journey to freedom, as well as the complicity of the vast majority of the population and law enforcement in the enslavement of millions of people of African descent.

  1. The Underground Railroad was a network of underground railroads that connected slaves to freedom in the United States.
  2. The subtleties of the railroad’s routes, like many of its stories, were lost with the people who were forced to keep its secrets under penalty of death.
  3. Pilots flew south to assist enslaved persons in their attempts to escape and get to freedom.
  4. She later recalled that after she arrived in Philadelphia and was free, she felt like a “alien in a foreign world,” and she later recalled that “my father, my mother, my siblings and sisters, and friends were all waiting for me.” “But I was free, and they should be free,” says the author.
  5. Atsushi Nishijima is a Japanese actor and director.
  6. Because the winter evenings were longer and inclement weather kept individuals who owned homes indoors, she traveled at this time of year.
  7. When asked about her 13 rescue missions and 70 rescues, she stated that she had “never lost a passenger,” however she did threaten to shoot a passenger who had lost hope and wanted to turn around in one occasion.

While serving as an armed spy and scout for the Union throughout the battle, she was captured and imprisoned.

However, while we are all familiar with Harriet Tubman’s narrative, there are hundreds of additional tales of bravery, valor, and tremendous brutality that have gone untold.

Slaves who managed to flee the Confederacy and make it to the Union were released by the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued in 1863.

Black people continue to die at a higher rate than white people at the hands of police, who can trace their origins back to the same Fugitive Slave Acts that compelled Tubman and others to embark on the long, difficult, and ongoing journey toward equality.

The underground railroad served as a symbol of resistance to that state.

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BiblioChatt: the Underground Railroad in Chattanooga, TN

The Editor’s Note: BibiloChatt is a series in which NOOGAtoday editors explore historical themes picked by readers and conduct their research solely utilizing resources from the Chattanooga Public Library. Chattanooga has a rich history of railroads, but one that isn’t often mentioned is the Underground Railroad, which ran beneath the city. One possible explanation is that the Southern system of freedom networks worked in a similar fashion to the Underground Railroad, but it was not known as such since the name “Underground Railroad” was only used north of the Ohio River.

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What was different?

  • Leaders or fugitives were referred to be “pilots” or “guides” rather than “conductors” instead. The locations along the network where fugitives were apprehended were referred to as “safe homes,” rather than “stations.” The pilots in the Southeast employed their own codes and signals that were only known by those who lived in that area. A large number of the pilots were also slaves.

Local networks

In the book “Chattanooga: Tennessee’s Gateway to the Underground Railroad,” on page 45, you may find a map of Underground Railroad routes in East Tennessee.

Northeast to Kentucky

The Ridge + Valley route travelled through East Tennessee before heading north to Kentucky; there were several hiding spots and safe homes along this route as a result of its location. Members of the Beck family were the most active operators in Chattanooga, according to the FBI. Unfortunately, because of their illicit activities, there isn’t much information available on the Becks. However, we do know that they donated property to be used as a cemetery for inhabitants of the Civil War-era refugee camp, which is located on the north bank of the Tennessee River.

North to Kentucky

Another route, which climbed up via the Sequatchie Valley, was made famous by a fantastic pilot called Richard Flynn of Flynn’s Cove, who was known by the code name “Red Fox” for his exploits in the air. Richard was a seasoned hunter and woodsman who was well-versed in the whole region from Chattanooga to Kentucky. Hundreds of fugitives were rescued thanks to the assistance of other operations along the road. Only Richard and his family were able to navigate their way through the tangle of trees that surrounding his house on the Sequatchie Valley route, which was the first stop on the trip through the Sequatchie Valley.

Safe houses + hiding places

Chapter 39 of “Chattanooga: Tennessee’s Gateway to the Underground Railroad” contains a photograph of the Griffits’ home.

Bradley County

Subterranean houses, also known as “artificial caves,” were built on slopes in woods that were not often visited by fugitives in this area, and they were known as “subterranean houses or artificial caverns.” These subterranean hiding places were essentially square or rectangular trenches that were covered with sturdy poles across the top Plus those poles were covered with planks, rails, or more poles that served as a temporary roof to provide protection from the elements.

The space was then covered with leaves, bushes, or pine to serve as a decoy in case passing travelers came upon it.

In addition, a trap door coated with pitch, moss, and leaves would be constructed in one of the roof’s four corners. The construction would be so well-built that a cavalier would be able to ride over it and not notice any difference between it and the surrounding countryside.

North of the Hiwassee River

A farmhouse in McMinn County, according to oral tradition, had chambers carved into the walls, which made it ideal for concealing fugitives from law enforcement officers. The William Giffits House, built in 1854 and located just beyond the McMinn county border in Loudoun County, was a popular tourist attraction. Individual family members were leaders in the Quaker society, and their home is widely regarded as an essential safe haven for slaves attempting to emancipate themselves. Aside from it, the same family gave sanctuary to Cherokees who were fleeing relocation via the “Trail of Tears” in the 1830s.

Located in a cave near the town of Friendsville, William J.

After the Civil War, a significant Black settlement called the Greenback Community settled in the region, and one of the caves is located close it.

Sequatchie Valley

Polly Hand, James S. Garrison, and J. W. Farmer were among the prominent pilots in this region; they avoided interaction with fugitives in favor of stocking caves and fence corners with food and goods. TVA archaeologists discovered a cave near Dunlap a few years ago, with hollow rocks within that contained food, according to their findings.

Keep learning

The Bessie is an excellent spot to visit if you want to learn more about the history of enslaved people in Chattanooga. Among the exhibitions are artifacts, time lines, and interactive exhibits. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Books I consulted at the Chattanooga Public Library

  • “Chattanooga: Tennessee’s Gateway to the Underground Railroad” by E.M. “Chattanooga: Tennessee’s Gateway to the Underground Railroad” by E.M. RAYMOND EDWARDS
  • “African Americans of Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes,” written by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, is a history of African Americans in Chattanooga.

Key People

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Throughout his life, he worked as a grocer and a steamboat steward, but it was in 1842 that he began his journalistic career.
  3. He was a strong advocate for anti-slavery activism as well as for the rights of African Americans in the United States.
  4. He writes on temperance, the rights of African Americans, the necessity of abolishing slavery, and a variety of other topics in its pages.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Harriet Tubman: Escaped slave, underground railroad leader, abolitionist. But did you know she also helped win the Civil War?

The face of Harriet Tubman, escaped slave and heroic abolitionist, will replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 note, as you may have heard. The new design will be introduced in 2020 and will include the face of escaped slave and courageous abolitionistHarriet Tubman. During the years leading up to the Civil War, Tubman is most renowned for her efforts in the South, when she returned often to escort family members and others to freedom in the North. Her service to the Union throughout the war, on the other hand, is deserving of recognition on an equal level.

Despite the fact that her public role was to aid the soldiers in dealing with the hundreds of runaway slaves who had taken sanctuary there, her covert mission was to work as a scout, spy, or nurse in order to gather information on Confederate activity in the surrounding region.

First, she assembled a group of “nine dependable black scouts, riverboat pilots who were well-versed in the area’s waterways, and taught them in the tactics of gathering intelligence.” In addition to scouting and mapping the shorelines and islands of South Carolina, the crew, which Tubman paid for the cash made available to her, offered crucial information to Union officials.

  • She was tasked with accompanying three gunboats up the Combahee River in order to destroy Confederate supply routes and deactivate mines that had been put in the waterway.
  • When she tracked them down, they led her to the location of the bombs.
  • James Montgomery, who was in command of around 300 black men.
  • Meanwhile, Montgomery ordered soldiers to Fields Point in order to disperse the Confederate sentinels, while Tubman directed the ships across the minefields.

According to historians, the attack was a great military success since it “damaged Confederate food supplies and exposed the river to Union boats, which might now shut off additional Confederate supplies.” It also provided Montgomery with roughly 200 fresh recruits for his unit, which was greatly appreciated.

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Tubman also received a pension from the military.

Nelson Davis, who fought in the 8th United States Colored Infantry, she was entitled to a pension of $5 a month, according to documentation in the National Archives.

In December 1899, Congress decided to raise her pension by $20 a month, but it only recognized her service as a nurse, not her other contributions to society.

Why Harriet Tubman’s Heroic Military Career Is Now Easier to Envision

Upon initially viewing the new photograph of Harriet Tubman (seen above in detail), Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, remarked that the woman appeared to be “young!” National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Library of Congress Harriet Tubman made history for the second time on June 1 and 2, 1863. Because to her successful escape from slavery in 1849, as well as her subsequent rescue of more than 70 other slaves while working as an Underground Railroad conductor, she became the first woman in American history to command a military attack.

  • As a nurse and spione for the Union troops, Tubman collaborated with Col.
  • In addition to helping to catch the Confederate forces off guard, her espionage activity made it possible for a group of African American soldiers to invade plantations, stealing or destroying significant property in the process.
  • However, until recently, it was impossible to imagine this diminutive but mighty heroine since the most famous Tubman portrait, taken in 1885, depicted an old lady rather than the determined explorer described in her history.
  • “She did all of these brave things, but not having a visual image of her that would connect her experiences and what she did with that older woman was almost an oxymoron,” says Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress.
  • Tubman was photographed around 1868 or 1869, some five years after the Combahee raid, and the image was just acquired.
  • Tubman and her work are discussed in further depth in a recent episode of the National Portrait Gallery’s podcast series,Portraits, which examines the photograph’s influence on how we think about Tubman and her work.
  • The “first known image of Harriet Tubman” prompted a phone call from someone who informed her, “She’s YOUNG!” concerning the “first known portrait of Harriet Tubman.” Tubman was around 45 years old at the time of the photograph.

It is this photograph, which has been long buried in an album kept by a Quaker abolitionist and teacher, that exposes the fiery lady who has been lauded throughout history.

Listen to the National Portrait Gallery’s “Portraits” podcast

With Carla Hayden and Kasi Lemmons, “Growing Younger with Harriet Tubman” is a historical drama. Kasi Lemmons, the director of the upcoming film Harriet, discusses her initial response to the recently discovered photograph in the podcast episode: “It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that when I saw this photo of Harriet Tubman, I fell head over heels in love.” Tubman’s fortitude, as well as her grace, left an impression on Lemmons. “She appears to be comfortable in her own skin.” She’s gazing directly at the camera with a very direct expression.

  • What you perceive is despair, and what I see is righteousness, and I see strength.
  • Despite the fact that her life lends itself intrinsically to an adventure narrative, we were unable to reconcile the image of her as an ancient, almost kindly appearing, slightly austere old lady with the stories we were familiar with of her heroism.
  • “It’s basically a love tale,” Lemmons says of the film’s plot.
  • It was only after that that she was able to save her people, which was practically by accident.
  • The fact that she achieved success as an African-American woman during a time when both African-Americans and women had restricted positions in a society predominated by white males is remarkable.
  • In the aftermath of these blackouts, she has described seeing visions and communicating with God on occasion.
  • Her understanding of roots and plants came in handy while she was working as a nurse, caring for both troops and runaway slaves in the South.

She established relationships with slaves in the region, and in January 1863, she was awarded a grant of $100 from the Secret Service to compensate informants who provided crucial information that may aid the Union Army’s activities in the field.

The Union had conquered Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861, providing them a foothold in what was then considered hostile territory.

Tubman and her comrades were able to identify each of the mines buried by Confederate soldiers in the Combahee River by the time the war ended.

The following day, Montgomery ordered his forces to demolish a pontoon bridge at Combahee Ferry, which they promptly did.

It had been stored in an album kept by a Quaker abolitionist and teacher for many years before it became renowned as the portrait of Harriet Tubman taken in 1868-69.

“I’d never seen anything like that,” Tubman later recounted.

Some people clung to their boats for fear of being abandoned by the gunboats, which they believed would not wait for them.

The illustrious Yankee country is the greatest and the most superior of all nations.

Come with me!

Thronged by her singing, the scared fugitives began to scream “Glory!” as the rowboats arrived to offload the first group of escapees and return for the next round.

Darby, c.

Seymour Squyer, c.

Powelson, 1868-1869, albumen and silver picture by Benjamin F.

Franklin B.

Following her return from the raid, Tubman requested that Sanborn make it “known to the ladies” that she need “a bloomer dress” in order to be able to do her duties without tripping.

The operation had been carried out with the least amount of interruption from the Confederates.

Some Confederate soldiers did make an attempt to halt the attack, but they were only successful in killing one escape slave.

The excellent intelligence gathered in advance by the Union forces was recognized in an official Confederate report: “The enemy appears to have been well posted as to the character and capacity of our troops and their small chance of encountering opposition, and to have been well guided by persons thoroughly acquainted with the river and the country.” Tubman and her merry band of informants had done a commendable job.

  1. Despite her military service, Tubman earned just $200 in compensation, and she did not begin receiving a pension until the 1890s, and even then, it was for her husband’s military service, not her own.
  2. During the 2003 legislative session, a law backed by Senator Hillary Clinton gave Tubman a full pension of $11,750, which was transferred to the Harriet Tubman Home, a historic site in Auburn, New York, and preserved there.
  3. When the public was asked to submit nominations for this honor in 2015, she was by far the most popular choice among those who participated.
  4. However, the bill was never completed.
  5. During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump voiced his opposition to the change.
  6. It is unknown whether the bill would use an older, well-known photograph of Harriet Tubman or a more recent one that captures her spirit just after the Civil War came to a close.

Harriet Tubman in the American Civil War The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information. The National Portrait Gallery is located in London, United Kingdom. Recommended Videos about Slavery

Silent Heroes: Downed Airmen and the French Underground

Users who qualify for online access to this book will be able to access it.


To survive being shot down over occupied Europe and making it back to England during the early years of World War II was an incredible achievement. After receiving “escape kits” in 1943, pilots and crew members realized they only had a 50 percent chance of escaping capture and returning home. It is believed that 12,000 French people contributed to making this feasible. More than 5,000 pilots, many of them Americans, were able to safely travel along escape routes that were planned in a manner similar to that of the U.S.

  • They ran the prospect of being interned in a POW camp if they were apprehended.
  • Pilot and crewmen who walked out of occupied Europe, as well as the British intelligence organization in command of Escape and Evasion, are discussed honestly by Sherri Ottis in her book Escape and Evasion.
  • Ottis walked the Pyrenees and spoke with a number of survivors in order to get information about their experiences.
  • This meticulously researched work offers a narrative that is at once romantic, factual, and ennobling all at the same time.
  • -Kirkus Reviews, a reputable publication It is the first time in thirty years that a complete study of escape and evasion in Western Europe has been published, and Ottis does it with the help of remarkable stories of heroism drawn directly from people who were involved in the resistance.
  • -Newsletter from the NYMAS It is a common occurrence in World War II history to hear stories of French underground resistance units.
  • Fortunately, this book is a well-documented attempt to make up for that oversight.
  • The first recorded investigation of escape routes in almost 30 years was conducted in this study.

-The Kentucky Historical Society’s Register of Members “Unquestionably one of the most moving tales of the help provided to fallen American and British pilots who were shot down over France and Belgium.” “This is a novel that should be read and re-read for the lessons it teaches about survival, evasion, and escaping from would-be kidnappers.” “Excellently written and well researched.” By Leo J.

Daugherty III, editor of the World War II Quarterly.


The University Press of Kentucky is a scholarly publishing house based in Lexington, Kentucky.


Air pilots, World War II, MI9, airmen, aerial operations, and the French underground are all topics that come to mind.

Recommended Citation

“Silent Heroes: Downed Airmen and the French Underground,” by Sherri Greene Ottis, is available online (2001). History of the Military.1.

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