How to Cross the Railroad

You are not "blackies" you are humans. The peculiar institution must end and you can use this pamphlet to make your escape from the black belt.

Always head to the North

  • The North Star, brightest star in the sky, points to the north
  • Before leaving, ask fellow slaves where the Little Dipper constalation is, the tip of it is the North Star
  • Moss grows toward the sun and thus looking at the direction of moss shows where the north is, especially important for cloudy days
  • Birds fly south in the winter and north in the summer, use this to your advantage. Discreetly ask your overseers what season it is if you are not sure.

Avoid Slavers and Catchers

  • Use their sleep schedule against them, run at night and sleep in the day
  • Many have dogs, running by and in rivers/bodies of waters masks your scent so they can't trace you

It is important to not be like Nat Turner, he may have succeeded but in the end, slaves suffered the most for his actions. Furthermore are numerous more occasions that end up like Denmark Vessey if you try an armed revolt.

Who will help you

  • Escaping slaves such as yourself
  • Freed slaves in the northern territories
  • There are white people who wish to help you as well
  • On the Ohio river, if there is a house with a candle lit, it is a message that it is safe to cross from abolitionists.

For those in Kentucky and the Virginias: go for the Ohio River, that's your half way point and it gets much easier from there. Keep going to Canada and then you will be free!

Use this map to identify your route:

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