Visit Website Vigilance Committees—created to protect escaped slaves from bounty hunters in New York in and Philadelphia in —soon expanded their activities to guide slaves on the run. By the s, the term Underground Railroad was part of the American vernacular. In the deep South, the Fugitive Slave Act of made capturing escaped slaves a lucrative business, and there were fewer hiding places for them. Fugitive slaves were typically on their own until they got to certain points farther north.
Public Domain The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. The railroad was comprised of dozens of secret routes and safe houses originating in the slaveholding states and extending all the way to the Canadian border, the only area where fugitives could be assured of their freedom.
Shorter routes led south from Florida to Cuba or from Texas to Mexico. The Underground Railroad also included the smuggling of fugitive slaves onto ships that carried them to ports in the North or outside the United States. The success of the Underground Railroad rested on the cooperation of former runaway slaves, free-born blacks, Native Americans, and white and black abolitionists who helped guide runaway slaves along the routes and provided their homes as safe havens.
Although estimates of the number of people who escaped through the Underground Railroad between and vary widely, the figure most often cited is approximatelyThe Underground Railroad derived its name from the terminology used throughout the routes.
The railroad included conductors, including William Stillof Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniaarguably the most prominent one. It also included agents, stations, stationmasters, passengers or cargo, and even stockholders.
The conductors were the guides, agents helped slaves find their way to the routes of the Underground Railroad, the stations were hiding places usually homes, stationmasters were those that hid slaves in their homes, the cargo referred to escaped slaves, and stockholders were those that donated money to keep the Underground Railroad running.
The Underground Railroad worked as a series of networks. The journey north was an extremely long route and the Underground Railroad provided depots or safe houses along the way.
Those that led the runaway slaves north did so in stages.
No conductor knew the entire route; he or she was responsible for the short routes from station to station. This limited knowledge protected both the fugitive slaves and the integrity of the routes which sometimes extended over 1, miles. The success of the Underground Railroad generated much animosity among slaveholders and their allies.
Because previous measures had failed to disrupt the this system of slave escape, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of which allowed slave owners, or their agents to call on Federal, state and local law enforcement officials in non-slaveholding states to assist in capturing fugitive slaves.
The law was greatly abused.
Slave-catchers started abducting free-born African Americans. Since African Americans could not testify or have a jury present at trial they usually could not defend themselves. The Underground Railroad gave freedom to thousands of enslaved women and men and hope to tens of thousands more.
Those who escaped became human witnesses to the slave system with many of them going on the lecture circuit to explain to Northerners the horrors of the servile institution. Others became members and supporters of the Underground Railroad.
In both cases the success of the Underground Railroad hastened the destruction of slavery. Blight, Passages to Freedom:Among its biggest surprises is that, despite the book’s subtitle, the Underground Railroad often was not hidden at all.
Abolitionist groups made little secret of assisting runaways—in fact, they trumpeted it in pamphlets, periodicals, and annual reports. THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IN AMERICAN HISTORY United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service National Register of Historic Places Registration Form role in resisting slavery.
It also brought together, however uneasily at times, men and women of both. [Underground railroad map of the United States, ca. - Underground Railroad--Maps Life and adventures of James Williams, a fugitive slave, with a full description of the Underground Catalog Record - Electronic Resource.
The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. The railroad was comprised of dozens of secret routes and safe houses originating in the slaveholding states and extending all the way to the Canadian border, the only area where fugitives could be assured.
Ohio played a key role in these issues, particularly with the anti-slavery movement and the Underground Railroad. Grade 4, Content Statement Ohio’s location and its transportation systems continue to influence the movement of people, products and ideas in the United States.
16th President of the United States saved the Union during the Civil War and emancipated the slaves; was assassinated by Booth () The concept that a States people should vote whether to be a slave state or Free. fugitive slave act. underground railroad.