How the Slaves Could Have Escaped

escape from the *Peculiar institution*

From Virginia to Ohio and On to Canada

1. They would wait until the dead of night, while their master is asleep.


2. Quietly sneak out of their quarters (being sure to make as little noise as possible. Any noise could wake their overseer and they would have been Flogged.)

3. Now they begin making their way North on the Underground Railroad to the Ohio River because beyond are free states and Canada

4. during the night they follow the North Star as they travel, while during the day the birds after winter will be flying north again and would have guided them. another way to travel north is to follow the moss, moss typically grows on the north side of the surface.

5. If they heard dogs and believe that they were being followed they would submerge themselves in water to cover their scent and throw them off their trail.

6. They would stay with volunteers who had given up space for these escaped slaves to stay. They would then send them off, sometimes in a wagon with a hidden compartment, sometimes just on foot. In an extreme case a slave mailed himself in a box into the North.

7. when they reached their destination they would attempt to continue their lives, though some who stayed in the north were recaptured by the slave catchers and sent back to the south.

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Do Not Rebel

There were some rebellions organized by the slaves in the South. Nat Turner led a rebellion, beginning with a few enraged slaves, going from house to house freeing the slaves and killing the whites that lived on the plantations. The mob grew including more than 70 free and enslaved blacks, they did not spare women or children in their rebellion, they killed 60 men, women, and children.


After the rebellion was stopped Nat Turner ran from the authorities and was eventually found hanged and his body was flayed, beheaded, and quartered.45 slaves, including Turner, and 5 free blacks were tried for insurrection and related crimes in southhampton. Of the 45 slaves tried 15 were acquitted, and 30 were convicted (18 hanged 12 sold out of state). 1 of the free slaves tried was hung, while the others wee acquitted.


Denmark Vesey was inspired by the Haitian rebellion and had begun to devise a plan to rebel. The plan began to make it's way around the south and was gaining followers. A few slaves who opposed the idea leaked the plan and 131men were charged with conspiracy. In total, 67 men were convicted and 35 hanged including Vesey.

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" BLACK BELT "

A region of the Southern United States, it has this name because there was a large percentage of African American slaves many called "darkies" living on the plantations in this region.

Slave songs

Slaves would sing songs in order to remember their heritage and homeland, worship, also they would use the songs as a code so the masters could not understand what they were singing.


One example of the codes would be in the song Hoe Emma Hoe, where the master is referred to as a possum. The slaves would often refer to the masters as animals or Pharaoh from the Bible.


Caller: Now see that possum he works hard.

Chorus: Hoe Emma Hoe, you turn around dig a hole in the ground, Hoe Emma Hoe.

Caller: But he cain't work as hard a me.

Chorus: Hoe Emma Hoe, you turn around dig a hole in the ground, Hoe Emma Hoe.

Caller: He sits a horse just as pretty as can be.

Chorus: Hoe Emma Hoe, you turn around dig a hole in the ground, Hoe Emma Hoe.

Caller: He can ride on and leave me be.

Chorus: Hoe Emma Hoe, you turn around dig a hole in the ground, Hoe Emma Hoe.
(Repeat)

Listen to the whole song at

http://www.history.org/history/teaching/enewsletter/february03/worksongs.cfm


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