To Canada! To Canada!
A slave's guide to escaping.
What you need to do.
Living on the plantation is a rough life, being a part of this Peculiar Institution, and the Floggings only make it worst. Those beatings only make it worse and I can not take it anymore. They say that I lived in something called the Black Belt, a sort of region that has dark soil and a high slave population, but once I ran away I never looked back. Running away was the best thing I could have done, I didn't want to end up like Nat Turner after he tried to start a rebellion or Denmark Vesey for just thinking about it. Life on the plantation was horrible. The Overseers would wake us up at the break of dawn screaming "Wake up you Darkies! You have work to do!" I found a way out though, through the Underground Railroad. This isn't just a train to freedom, it's tough. It'll break your spirit if you let it. First I went to my bed and laid down as if I were asleep. I snuck past the overseer when I had the chance and never looked back. I found a man on my first day out there who taught me about the underground railroad and told me that if I could make it to the first safe house, I would have the spirit to make it all the way to Canada! He taught me how to hide from the dogs and lose my scent by using animal dung and river water. He also taught me to hide when I was sleeping, using leaves and rocks to help me out. We made it to the safe house, and low and behold it was a White Man! He said that he wanted an end to this Peculiar Institution and that even though he could be convicted for this crime of helping me out, he did it anyways. He told me of Canada and how I wouldn't have to hide anymore and was on my way. He taught me to use the north star, the bright one in the night sky to move towards Cleveland through the western parts of South Carolina and North Carolina up to Virginia and then to Ohio. From Cleveland to the great lakes and into Canada. I had many rivers and safe houses that I encountered and when I finally wound up in Toronto and later moved to what us runaways called Western Canada, a place where all slaves gathered together. Do this and you'll be joining us in Western Canada soon! God Bless!
Digital Story: Secrets and Codes of the Underground Railroad
Slave Spiritual Story- Wade in the Water
Harriet Tubman was an African American woman who escaped slavery and joined the movement of the Underground Railroad to help free other slaves. Perhaps the most notable person to be a part of the Underground Railroad saving dozens of lives by bringing them to Philadelphia and then Canada. Lesser known about Tubman's life is that during the civil war she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition freeing around 700 slaves on a raid in South Carolina. Those she was around commonly called her Moses for her part in liberating so many slaves.