The Underground Railroad

Shri Karri -5

Escaping

Many blacks have tried hard to gain their independence audaciously, like Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey, who have led brave revolts and failed. Now, blacks gain their independence slowly, one by one by escaping their Masters. You too can gain your independence from this peculiar institution. Slowly now, sneak past your overseers at dark and flee North. The journey will be dangerous, but very worthwhile if you survive.


Orientation

Canada, the land where our kin can live freely and mingle without being fearful of being captured. To reach this fantasy land, you much go north. Which way is north you ask? No worries just follow these indications:


  • "Star Light Star Bright" the north star will guide you tonight
  • "Follow the Drinking Gourd" the big dipper's top star is the North Star
  • "The green dream" the moss grows on the north side (But beware going around in the daylight can get you caught!)

Dangers

The quest for freedom has danger at every corner! Beware!


  • The route is prowling with Bounty Hunters and traps. If you are caught you will be sold back into slavery, or even returned to your previous master. (and severely punished by getting flogged)
  • run through streams to hide your scent so dogs cant catch your scent

The Underground Railroad

What you will be traveling on is called The Underground Railroad. This is an intricate network made of many people, and places willing to put themselves in danger to help. Since helping any black slave escape is an illegal task, here are a few words that you must know to make sure you and anyone who helps you is safe:


  • "Passengers" or "Baggage: - darkies (this is you!)
  • "Conductors"= people who can guide you to safety
  • "Stationmasters" = people who can hide runaways in their houses ("stations")
  • "Stockholders"= they may not be physically there, but they are providing money and food.
  • "Heaven" or "Promised Land" = this is where you want to be! Canada!

Remember, you might not always have the most comfortable trips, and a steady supply of food. You might be told to sleep in basements or cramped rooms. This is because supporting runaways can be punished severely. Be thankful to the many black and white benefactors.

Your Mental Map

Escape your Virginian plantation at night and move as much as you can before day breaks. Keep hidden at day and move north through Kentucky and finally the black belt at night. Food and help will be provided as they are available. However, don't stop yet! It is still dangerous for a slave to be roaming around in this territory, they might be captured and taken back to the South. Finally pass to Canada, where slavery is completely illegal, and where American Bounty Hunters cannot capture you. At last after such a long journey FREEDOM!