Underground Railroad (Nash, 2004)

Gary B. Nash, American Odyssey: The 20th Century and Beyond (New York: Glencoe, 2004), 167.
Religious beliefs and practices could both offer comfort and inspire action. By the mid-1880s, hundreds were fleeing plantations each year to freedom in the North and in Mexico. Between 1830 and 1860, a network of abolitionists created the Underground Railroad that helped enslaved African Americans escape by conducting them to safe houses where they could hide on their way to free territories.

One of the most famous “conductors” along the Underground Railroad was Harriet Tubman, a woman who had herself escaped from slavery. Armed with a pistol she was not afraid to use, Tubman guided 19 expeditions of escape out of the South.

Jerry Loguen, another conductor, is said to have helped as many as 1,500 people escape from slavery. When Loguen’s former owner, Sarah Logue, discovered his whereabouts, she wrote demanding that he return or pay her $1,000 to purchase  his freedom and the horse he had stolen to escape.

Despite the threat of punishment, some enslaved laborers made annual forays off the plantations to visit family and friends. Others resisted their masters within the confines of the plantations grounds. They held secret meetings, staged work slowdowns, broke tools, feigned illnesses, and set fires. 
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