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Their daring escape was widely publicized, making them among the most famous of fugitive slaves. There were well-established routes and conductors in the North, and some informal networks that could move a fugitive from, say, the abolitionists’ office or homes in Philadelphia to various points north and west. The Underground Railroad was a network of black and white abolitionists between 1645 and the end of the Civil War who helped fugitive slaves escape to freedom. But few of them made it to freedom. Entire families with children did attempt flights to freedom, but such instances were rare.”, Moreover, according to scholar John Michael Vlach, one abolitionist, W.H. The “railroad” used many routes from states in the South, which supported slavery, to “free” states in the North and Canada. She had formed the idea of reforming the position of women in society when she was amongst the women excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840. During the era of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, places, and people that helped enslaved people in the American South escape to the North. Some organized assistance was also available in Washington, D.C., where slavery remained legal until 1862 and in a few places in the Upper South. Congressman from Iowa’s 4th congressional district, an ordained Congregational minister, founder of Grinnell, Iowa and benefactor of Grinnell College.

Scholars such as Larry Gara in his book The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad and Blight, among others, have worked diligently to address all of these points, and I’ll summarize the correct answers based on their work, and that of others, at the end of this article. An abolitionist and leader in the Underground Railroad movement before the American Civil War.

These people feared that former slaves would move to the state, take jobs away from the white population, and demand equal rights with whites. He described his experiences as a slave in his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which became a bestseller, and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition, as was his second book, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). He served for many years as the chief justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature, the province’s high court. Violating the 1850 Act could lead to charges of “constructive treason.” Being an abolitionist or a conductor on the Underground Railroad, the historian Donald Yacovone related in an email to me, “was about as popular and as dangerous as being a member of the Communist Party in 1955.”. William Still was an African-American abolitionist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He directly aided fugitive slaves and also kept records of the people served in order to help families reunite. The house of American Quaker and abolitionist Levi Coffin, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The risk of betrayal about individual escapes and collective rebellions, as we shall see in a future column, was far too great for escape plans to be widely shared. Despite the illegality of their actions, people of all races, class and genders participated in this widespread form of civil disobedience. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves. His father’s Illinois farm was a station on the Underground Railroad and he learned his shooting skills protecting the farm with his father from slave catchers. The Railroad heightened divisions between the North and South, which set the stage for the Civil War. After the war, Still continued as a prominent businessman, a coal merchant, and philanthropist. Entire families commonly escaped together. After working in Brooklyn and gaining some education, he was admitted to Yale University as its first black student.

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