When the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was passed by Congress, the flight to freedom for runaway slaves became even more dangerous. Even the free cities of Boston and Philadelphia were no longer safe, and abolitionists who despised slavery had to turn in fugitives. But the Underground Railroad, a secret and loosely organized network of people and safe houses that led slaves to freedom, only grew stronger. Since the late 1700s, blacks and whites had banded together to aid runaways like Maryland slave Frederick Douglass, who disguised himself as a sailor to board a train to New York. Virginia slave Henry Brown packed himself in a box to get to Philadelphia. The minister John Rankin, who hung a lantern to guide runaways to his house by the Ohio River, endured beatings for speaking against slavery. Quaker storeowner Thomas Garrett was put on trial for helping fugitives in Delaware. Meanwhile, the nation marched on toward Civil War. At its height, between 1810 and 1850, these secret routes and safe houses were used by an estimated 30,000 people escaping enslavement. In The Underground Railroad: The Journey to Freedom, read how this secret system worked in the days leading up to the Civil War and the pivotal role it played in the abolitionist movement.
the underground railroad
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"The Underground Railroad" chronicles the stories and methods of some 649 slaves who escaped to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Author, William Still included his carefully compiled and detailed documentation about those that he had helped escape into the pages of The Underground Railroad Records. William Still (1821-1902) was an African-American abolitionist in Philadelphia, conductor on the Underground Railroad, businessman, writer, historian and civil rights activist.
Full of true stories more dramatic than any fiction, The Underground Railroad: A Reference Guide offers a fresh, revealing look at the efforts of hundreds of dedicated persons—white and black, men and women, from all walks of life—to help slave fugitives find freedom in the decades leading up to the Civil War. * Original documents, from key legislation like The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 to first-person narratives of escaping slaves * Biographical sketches of key figures involved in the Underground Railroad, including Levi Coffin, William Lloyd Garrison, Robert Purvis, and Mary Ann Shadd
• Reprint of a significant primary source on the Underground Railroad • Colorful information and anecdotes from the participants Originally published in 1883 and long out of print, this remarkable volume examines the Underground Railroad as it operated in southeastern Pennsylvania. Based on interviews with those directly involved in the escaped slave network, it tells the stories of freedom seekers, those who helped them, and the places they hid. A new introduction by Christopher Densmore places the book in its historical context and assesses the work in light of more recent scholarship.
#1 New York Times Bestseller • Winner of the Pulitzer Prize • Winner of the National Book Award • Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction • Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize One of the Best Books of the Year: The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, HuffPost, Esquire, Minneapolis Star Tribune Look for Whitehead’s acclaimed new novel, The Nickel Boys, available now! Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.
The culmination of years of research in dozens of archives and libraries, this fascinating encyclopedia provides an unprecedented look at the network known as the Underground Railroad - that mysterious "system" of individuals and organizations that helped slaves escape the American South to freedom during the years before the Civil War. In operation as early as the 1500s and reaching its peak with the abolitionist movement of the antebellum period, the Underground Railroad saved countless lives and helped alter the course of American history. This is the most complete reference on the Underground Railroad ever published. It includes full coverage of the Railroad in both the United States and Canada, which was the ultimate destination of many of the escaping slaves. "The Underground Railroad: An Encyclopedia of People, Places, and Operations" explores the people, places, writings, laws, and organizations that made this network possible. More than 1,500 entries detail the families and personalities involved in the operation, and sidebars extract primary source materials for longer entries. This encyclopedia features extensive supporting materials, including maps with actual Underground Railroad escape routes, photos, a chronology, genealogies of those involved in the operation, a listing of Underground Railroad operatives by state or Canadian province, a "passenger" list of escaping slaves, and primary and secondary source bibliographies.