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Underground Railroad (Creating America, 2001)

Textbook

Creating America: A History of the United States: Beginnings through World War I, Annotated Teacher’s Edition (Evanston, I.L.: McDougal Littell Inc, 2001), 442.

Some abolitionists wanted to do more than campaign for laws ending slavery. Some brave people helped slaves escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Neither underground nor a railroad, the Underground Railroad was actually an aboveground series of escape routes from the South to the North. On these routes, runaway slaves traveled on foot. They also took wagons, boats, and trains.

Some enslaved persons found more unusual routes to freedom. For example, Henry Brown persuaded a white carpenter named Samuel A. Smith to pack him in a wooden box and ship him to Philadelphia. The box was only two and one half feet deep, two feet wide, and three feet long. It bore the label “This side up with care.” Despite the label, Brown spent several miserable hours traveling head down. At the end of about 24 hours, Henry “Box” Brown climbed out of his box a free man in Philadelphia. Brown eventually made his way to Boston and worked on the Underground Railroad.

On the Underground Railroad, the runaways usually traveled by night and hid by day in places called stations. Stables, attics, and cellars all served as stations. At his home in Rochester, New York, Frederick Douglass hid up to 11 runaways at a time.

How to Cite This Page: "Underground Railroad (Creating America, 2001)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/17146.