Escaping Slavery

running towards freedom

How to survive the journey North

You're headed for the Eastern Shore of Maryland. From West Virginia to Maryland. I'm sure you have heard of Maryland, and what is there, not only freedom but the "Moses of your people"; Harriet Tubman. You are about to undergo the Underground Railroad, which Harriet has conducted. A traveling safe haven, where slaves in the United States escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who are sympathetic to your cause. The key is getting to the Ohio River. The river that divides freedom, once you're there you can breathe. Stop hiding from the distant barking of dogs and the murmurs of slave owners. With my step-by-step guide you will get there. Wait until everyone is asleep. The slave-owner, overseer, and the people in your small wooden cabin. Don't think about getting up until all the lights are off, and everyone is sound asleep. When it is all clear, get up and walk out of the cabin. If anyone asks, say you are using the bathroom. If there is not a guard in sight, run. Find the north star and run, as if you're running to the star. Keep running, soon you will find small streams, and the ground will be damp. That's good you're near water. You will run into a few small ponds before you get to the river. Swim around in them for a while to get any lingering smells on you that a dog could sniff out. Once you've passed the ponds, you are almost to the Ohio River. Hours will pass, the sun is coming up, you're almost there. The sun is almost fully up, the morning will feel nice, even though you're exhausted from running. You're just about to take a break... and then... There it is. You sprint up one of the mountainous hills in West Virginia, and can see it from the top. Freedom has never been so close. You run like you've never run before, arms pumping legs sprinting... You're finally there, and you leap as if you're trying to leap across the river, you make an abrupt splash, and the water has never felt so good. It's the feeling of freedom. Though you are technically free, you still need to be cautious until you get to where your going. Rinse all of your clothes again, and wring them out. Try to get as much dirt and grime as possible off, so that you look somewhat presentable while trying to get to Maryland. It's early morning now, you have the whole day to get to your first house of the Underground Railroad. When you get there you will receive a nice meal, and as much sleep as you need. Keep going. Most of the houses are reasonable size, some are wooden cabins. All of the houses have a quilt hanging from the front porch, that's how you will know it's safe. Don't hesitate, they are there to help you. Whoever it is they will tell you how to get to the next house, and the next one will do the same. All the way to Maryland. I hope that you can reach your final destination with this guide. Best of luck, xoxoxo.