The Pros And Cons Of The Underground Railroad

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In the 19th century, before the Civil War, slavery was extremely prominent in the Southeast. Slaves were treated poorly, so many wanted to run away. However, if slaves were caught running away, they were severely punished. Even though there were high risks, many still tried to run away and many others attempted to help them. To do this, people who helped women, men, and children escape slavery created a secret network called the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, William Still, Samuel Burris, and many others are more famously known and acknowledged as the “conductors” of the Underground Railroad. They helped fugitives escape to the North and provided food, transportation, directions, and hiding places, …show more content…
Many abolitionists hid slaves in their homes and helped them move to the next station at night. This was very risky for the abolitionists due to the fact that one could be punished by the court system. Many slaves had to move long distances in the short time they had. They would travel nearly ten to twenty miles in one night which was very taxing on them not only mentally, but physically. A message would be sent on ahead of them to the next station in order for the family to prepare for the oncoming slave family the next evening. This cycle would typically repeat until the slaves were able to reach safety in the north. Some would have to travel from the South all the way to Canada. This would sometimes be about 2,000 miles. To put that into perspective, the journey, travelling ten to twenty miles a day, would take about one hundred to two hundred days.The simple act of hiding a slave was extremely illegal, but many still aided the slaves in their cause. Many of the people who helped believed in something greater than themselves, that something being the action of freeing thousands of slaves. Another reason as to how this slave route for escape worked was the aforementioned quilt theory. The quilt theory had to do with patterns on quilts that were hung up giving directions to slaves on where to go in order to escape. While trying to escape was physically and mentally taxing, the punishments for trying to escape would be even

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