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The Underground Railroad
Transcript of The Underground Railroad
She herself excaped slavery in 1849 by running away from Maryland to Philidelphia, then made 19 return trips to the south disguised as a slave to help others. Overall she helped over three hundred slaves excape, her reward for capture totaled $40,000.
Known as the "President of the Underground Railroad" Levi Coffin moved to Cinncinati in 1840. Records show that he helped 3,000 slaves reach freedom in Canada over the course of 20 years, starting when he was only 15.
Conducters were abolitionists both black and white, who lead the excaped slaves to freedom. Quakers, Covenants, and Methodists were common conducters, and also provided safe houses for the slaves. Here are two conducters famous for their bravery.
Since the network had to be carried out in secret, code terms were used to decribe the factors of the process. Thats how the network got its name; The Underground Railroad.
Conducters: Those who lead the runaway slaves to safe house to safe house.
Stationmasters: Those who run and own the safe houses
Stockholders: Those who contributed money and goods
Lines: The routes they took to freedom
Stations: The safe houses where excaped slaves hid during the day
The Underground Railroad was a secret network of routes and safe houses that escaped slaves used, guided by abolitionists on their journey to the North for freedom.
Clues For Going North
The final goal for excaped slaves was to reach Canda, where slavery wasnt permitted, and the American law that allows people to capture excaped slaves had no effect. But, first they had to find their way north, these are the natrual clues they used to guide them:
1. Migrating birds that flew North in the summer
2. Moss which relativly grows on the north side of trees
3. The North Star; called Polarius, never changes its position which is always pointing North. It can be found in the "Drinking Gourd" otherwise known as the Big Dipper.
Routes to Freedom
Extending through fourteen Northern states the routes were well used, an estimate of 100,000 slaves excaped by 1850 using the railroad. While Canada was the main destination for runaway
slaves, because of its long border with
many acsses points, there were
various routes that lead to Mexico or
How They Traveled
Many slaves excaped by boat or train, but to do this they either had to forge or borrow "free papers" to ride. Some had their friends or family ship them as freight, by putting them in boxes with little air, food, or water.
The Underground Railroad was
a network built off brave people willing to risk their lives.
Slaves excaping by foot meant traveling only at night unless they could afford clothing that disguised them as freeman. Every safe house was 10-30 miles from eachother.
1847 Frederick Douglass’s Newspaper
Escaped slave Frederick Douglass begins publishing the North Star in Rochester, New York.
1849 Harriet Tubman Escapes
After fleeing slavery, Tubman returns south at least 15 times to help rescue several hundred others.
1850 Compromise of 1850
In exchange for California’s entering the Union as a free state, northern congressmen accept a harsher Fugitive Slave Act.
1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Published
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel about the horrors of slavery sells 300,000 copies within a year of publication.
1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act
Setting aside the Missouri Compromise of 1820, Congress allows these two new territories to choose whether to allow slavery. Violent clashes erupt.
1857 Dred Scott Decision
The United States Supreme Court decides, seven to two, that blacks can never be citizens and that Congress has no authority to outlaw slavery in any territory.
1860 Abraham Lincoln Elected
Abraham Lincoln of Illinois becomes the first Republican to win the United States Presidency.
1860 Southern Secession
South Carolina secedes in December. More states follow the next year.
1861-65 United States Civil War
Four years of brutal conflict claim 623,000 lives.
1863 Emancipation Proclamation
President Abraham Lincoln decrees that all slaves in Rebel territory are free on January 1, 1863.
1865 Slavery Abolished
The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution outlaws slavery.
A young woman in Baltamore, decides to be boxed up by her friend and dropped off at a train depot to be shipped of to Philidelphia as freight. She lacks food, water, and air. The next day her friend who was free, hired a hackman to deliver the box of "freight" to the home of Mrs. Myers a free black woman, who often hid excaped slaves. When Mrs. Myers opened the box, with her was an undertaker, because she was so scared the young woman was dead. She wasen't, but it was three days before she could speak again.
This woman was one of many slaves who risked their lives for freedom, they were all very brave. So were the ones who who helped and aided along the way like Mrs. Myers for they were at risk of severe punishments.
Douglass, Frederick. "Document B." The Life and times of Fredrick Douglass. N.p.: International, 1950. N. pag. Print.
"Pathways to Freedom | About the Underground Railroad." Pathways to Freedom | About the Underground Railroad. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://pathways.thinkport.org/about/about1.cfm>.
Parenthetical Edit Delete More
PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2944.html>.
"Underground Railroad." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. <http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/underground-railroad>.
"The Underground Railroad: Timeline." - National Geographic Education. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/multimedia/interactive/the-underground-railroad-timeline/?ar_a=1>.
"Underground Railroad." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad>.
Many things might happen to those who dont make it to freedom, they all have rewards out for their capture, but what happens to them if they are. What is their punishment?
If a Slave is caught trying to excape their punishment would be very severe. They might be resold, or taken back to their master where they'd be beaten and put to hard work, or they could flogged, jailed, branded, or killed.
Conducters would also be punished if caught, for it was veiwed that by helping free slaves they were stealing someones personal propertiy. The punishment for a conducter varied from being; fined, imprisoned, branded, or hanged.