Hippocrene Guide to the Underground RailroadBook - 1994
They were often running with nothing to call their own and a price on their heads to a place in the North known only as the "promised land"; they were dependent upon the kindness and trust of strangers known only for a fleeting moment - strangers who might warm them, feed them, clothe and shelter them for a night then shuttle the fugitive slaves on to the next "station". Though many slaves were American born, African-Americans were denied the right to freedom. Their struggle to gain that freedom has been traced back to 1786 and a fugitive slave owned by George Washington. The Underground Railroad could only save few from shackles until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Pursuit began in the south, but few people know that slave hunters, after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, were allowed to capture their bounty in northern "free" states, where slaves were still considered property that would be forcibly returned to southern owners. This book chronicles not only the paths that were taken by fugitive slaves, but the land and the people that were the answers to many prayers for deliverance. Within the homes of Underground Railroad conductors there were false walls, cellars and attics, tunnels and stairways to confuse fugitive slave hunters. Often barns or even the heavy brush of a swamp could conceal a fugitive. Due to the very nature of the covert operation that was the Underground Railroad, the names of the people who hid fugitives, and many of these hiding places, have been kept a precious secret. While a few American communities were tolerant of the Underground Railroad, many more were less so. For some conductors who were caught, the penalty for aiding a fugitive slaveincluded hanging; for others it meant the ruin of their livelihood or their community standing.
Publisher: New York : Hippocrene Books, c1994
Branch Call Number: 917.30492 BLO
Characteristics: 380 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm