The Underground Railroad Essay

1611 Words Dec 4th, 2014 7 Pages
The Pathway to Freedom The Underground Railroad was not actually a railroad, nor was it underground. The system received its name because its functions had to be carried out in secret using disguise and darkness ("Underground Railroad"). Also, the operation and its members used railway terms to describe how it worked. The term “routes” was lines, stopping places were “stations”, those who guided the slaves were “conductors”, charges in the system were known as “packages” or “freight”, and homes or businesses where they took breaks were called “depots” that were run by “station masters.” The network stretched through fourteen states which included: Kentucky, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. Many runaways main destination was to the “promised land” Canada where they were out of reach of the slave hunters. According to one estimate, the Southern region lost about one hundred thousand slaves between the years 1810 and 1850. George Washington complained about the Quaker society helping one of his runaways escape in 1786, and around 1831 it was labeled as the Underground Railroad. (“The Underground Railroad”) Those who most vigorously assisted were the free black community, Northern abolitionists, philanthropists, and church leaders ("Underground Railroad"). Some of the more famous contributors are Harriet Tubman, Thomas Garrett who was a Quaker, John Fairfield from Ohio who was a son…

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