Exploring the Underground Railroad

Chris Henry

How to Escape: General Steps & Tips

  1. Educate yourself with simple survival strategies
  2. Run away at night after your owner has fallen asleep
  3. During the voyage to the north, keep on track by following the north star
  4. Avoid any forms of civilization on the way
  5. To avoid dog searches, attempt to cover your scent by walking through a river or pond
  6. Run only at night and hide during the day

How to Escape: from Charleston to Canada

After following the general steps and tips, you are ready to hop on the Underground Railroad and get out of the Peculiar Institution. Unlike Denmark Vessey and Nat Turner, you will be quietly escaping, without starting a large revolt. As you're in Charleston, South Carolina you will be traveling northwest to Ohio. To travel north, you will need to follow the north star. If it's ever cloudy at night and you can't see the star, you will need to follow the moss on trees, as it usually grows on the north side. Once you get to Ohio, particularly Marietta which is just passed the Ohio River, you will be out of the black belt and in the North. You are still not safe in the north, as you are still part of the blackies and are open to overseers, but you are more likely to find help there. In Ohio, seek help to get to the farthest north part of the state. You can travel by train. Once you get to the shore of lake Erie, find a way to get on a boat across the lake and into Canadian territory. You are now free and ready to start a new life.