The highly respected Underground Railroad was a network of clandestine safe houses and routes that helped thousands of slaves to free states and Canada. It was responsible for the freeing of tens of thousands of slaves.
In case any of our readers share the beliefs of Atlanta Housewife, Porscha Stewart who thought that the Underground railroad was a functioning railroad system, Here are 8 facts about the Underground Railroad that will get you up to speed:
8. The term also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved. Some routes led to Canada, Mexico or overseas but the most popular destination for slaves were free states in the north.
7. It is said that 30,000 people escaped during its 20-year peak period, but U.S. Census figures account for only 6,000.
6. Because so many slaves were fleeing, southern lawmakers began heavy political lobbying, and the compromise was The Fugitive Slave Acts. This law permitted fugitive slaves to be captured and returned to slave owners.
5. Sometimes, fugitives traveled on boat or train, but they usually traveled on foot or by wagon in groups of 1–3 slaves.
4. Charles Turner Torrey, one of the leading abolitionists of the time, created a highly organized process for getting fugitives to freedom. He rented wagons and horses and transported 15-20 slaves at a time.
3. Because the operation was very dangerous for all parties involved, there was a secret language that was created by abolitionist and black leaders of the movement. Guides were known as “conductors”, hiding places were “stations”, slaves would obtain a “ticket” and Financial benefactors of the Railroad were known as “stockholders”. There are many more.
2. Due to the risk of discovery, information about routes and safe havens was passed along by word of mouth.
1. Though there were many people that contributed to the freeing of the fugitives, the mother of Moses of The Underground railroad was Harriet Tubman. She was born into slavery, but Tubman escaped and returned on more than nineteen missions to rescue more than 300 slaves.