Activity #1: Caitlyn Ching

How to Escape Slavery

  • Sneak out late at night in the dark.
  • Look for the North Star and begin running.
  • Run to the ohio River where there is a chance to meet people who will be of help.
  • Run through streams to cover your scent.
  • As you sleep and rest cover yourself and with leaves to avoid getting caught.
  • Look out for snares and traps as you make your way North.
  • As you travel into the northern states look out for yourself and watch who you trust because even northerers against slavery may turn you in for reward.
  • Take a train north to Canada or other states where you will be free from the South.

Looking for the North

How to Avoid Dogs and Slave Catchers

  • Go through streams to cover your scent.
  • Cover yourself with leaves at night as you sleep.
  • Sleep in the station master's secret rooms.
  • Travel in hidden horse-drawn wagons from house to house to hide away from others.
  • Look out for posters posted by slaveholders who are looking for escaped slaves like you because you don't want any extra attention.

Who helped Runaway Slaves?

  • Station Masters
  • Conductors
  • Escaped slaves
  • Freed black families
  • White families against slavery

Modes of Transport

Underground Railroad partakers came up with creative ways to hide and transport runaway slaves on their attempt to escape. Secret copartments located in houses, behind book cases, in basements, and even in wagons.

Ohio River

  • A border crossed by most slaves on their journey to freedom, Also a tough border to get across.

  • Routes taken by slaves located on different plantations in the southern states.

Route to Take

As you start your journey from the plantation feilds of Georgia follow the North Star up through the forest following streams until you reach the Ohio River. Once you find the Ohio River cross it covering up your sent from slave catchers and dogs. In hopes to find a stationmaster's house such as John Rankin's in Ripley Ohio. Next travel to Columbus where you will eventually catch a train that crosses Lake Erie into Canada. Once safe in Canada find a small town away from the boarder were you will fit in. Don't tell anyone about your journey.

Key Terms

  • Underground Railroad-"A network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitioists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause."
  • "Darkies"-A derogatory word used as another word for blacks.
  • Overseer-Overseers were hired by plantation owners to keep watch on the slaves during their daily work.
  • Flogging(s)-Severe beatings with a whip or rod usually enforced to captured runaway slaves.
  • "Black Belt"-A region of the Southern states that had plantation agriculture with a high population of African Americans.
  • Peculiar Institution-"was a euphemism for slavery and the economic ramifications of it in the American South."

Important People

Denmark Vessey- A slave who had bought his freedom in South Carolina was accused of plotting a slave rebelion in 1822. As plans leaked the police took control before any rebelion even occured. Vessey and other accused blacks were put to death for this incidence.

John Rankin- A very well known Underground Railroad Stationmaster who's house was used to hide slaves on their journey North.

Nat Turner- A black preacher, on a plantation in South Hampton County, Virginia led an uprising of about 50 slaves resulting in the death of about 50 whites.

Slaves hard at Work

slaves working on a sugarcane plantation