The Underground Railroad: Harriet Tubman And The Abolitionist Movement

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The Underground Railroad wasn’t really underground and it wasn’t really a railroad. The Underground Railroad was instead a secret network of people who helped men, women, and children escape the harsh life of slavery. The term, Underground Railroad, was used to describe a system of meeting places, secret routes, passageways and safe houses used to help slaves reach freedom. This system was run by white people as well as freed “colored” people. The Underground Railroad actually began in the late 1700’s but was officially acknowledged as a system in the mid 1800’s when the Abolitionist Movement gained momentum. This network of people helped free thousands of slaves escape to northern cities which the slaves referred to as “The Promised Land.” There were various terms used…show more content…
She originally began her part in conducting so that she could help free her own family. After she made her own escape to freedom, Tubman returned to the South approximately 19 times to bring over 300 fugitives to freedom. It has been said that Tubman never lost a passenger; this could be tribute to the tales of Tubman carrying a pistol and threatening to shoot any fugitive who changed their minds about escaping. In addition to helping slaves escape, she also used her knowledge from the railroad to serve as a spy for the Union during the Civil War. Another well-known abolitionist and conductor was Frederick Douglass. After Douglas’ autobiography was published he moved to London, England because he was afraid that he would be captured and returned to slavery. Friends in London helped to raise enough money to buy his freedom which allowed he and his wife to move back to the U.S. Once back in the U.S., Douglass began publishing an abolitionist newspaper called “The North Star.” Douglass also served as a conductor on one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad helping slaves find freedom in

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