Underground Railroad

the way to freedom

The path to freedom

  1. Sneak out of the slave cabin without your overseer seeing you or you will get a harsh flogging.
  2. Find the way north (look in the helpful hints if you are unsure how to location which way is north) to get out of the blackbelt and start running toward Cincinnati, Ohio.
  3. It will take several weeks to get to Ohio, be patient and careful. Once the Ohio river is in sight there will be a person that will help you across this massive river, for here on you are now on the Underground Railroad.
  4. You are not free yet, stay focused and go to the first house on the underground railroad. Here you will get some food and a safe place to spend the day before traveling again that night, before you leave be sure to get a map of where the safe houses are along the railroad.
  5. Cleveland, is where you are headed, from there you will be able to stop at the last house on the railroad and they will help you across Lake Erie into Canada where you can start a new life. You will no longer be a part of the peculiar institution (slavery)!

Do not die a slave

Slave rebellions

There are many forms of rebellion
  • working slower
  • running away
  • breaking equpiment
  • poisoned masters food
Some slaves organized rebellions against the Whites
  • Denmark Vesey
  • Nat Turner

Helpful Hints

  • Rule number one, travel only at night when it is dark out so that the slave catchers or anybody for that matter will have a harder time spotting you and turning you in.
  • North, it would be horrible to be running for weeks only to find out you have been going the wrong way the whole time. There are multiple way to find which direction is north, one of the most common ones is to locate the North star which is the tip of the little dipper. If you are unable to locate that, look for moss, moss usually grows on the north side of trees or rocks. This is extremely helpful on cloudy nights or in dense forests where the sky is not always visible.
  • Be sure to avoid the dogs. The dogs are excellent trackers and will easily find your sent, in order to throw them off try running through streams or rivers. Your sent is lost in water and the dogs will have a vary difficult time tracking you.
  • Be cautious about who you trust, there is a high reward for turning in runaway darkies and anybody helping you can get into a lot of trouble if caught, be careful. People along the underground railroad are both black and white, women and men, and are from free states and slave states. The people that are willing to help are very kind and brave to be willing to risk so much to help somebody they will see for a day then never see again. An example of this type of person is Benjamin Banneker who was hired by both Washington and Jefferson.