The Underground Railroad

How to escape through the underground railroad

Throughout your lives you all have been poorly treated, and referred to as derogatory names such as "darkies." Hopefully many slaves the south will be able to use this helpful guide to escape the peculiar institution that they have been trapped under by being beaten, whipped, and flogged by their overseers and owners. Slavery is peculiar because ALL men were created equal, we need to bring justice to slaves everywhere! Just like Nat Turner led a successful slave revolt in 1831 and Denmark Vesey led an aborted slave rebellion in Charleston, we will lead slaves to a successful revolution by bring freedom to all of them.

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How to determine which direction is north

During the day find moss growing on nearby trees. Moss grows on the north side of trees so follow the direction of where the moss is growing and it will eventually lead you north to Canada.

After the winter birds will fly north. Follow the birds' path in order to reach the north.

At night look into the sky and locate the Big and Little Dipper constellations. By seeing these, you will be able to find the North Star. The North Star is the very tip of the Little Dipper and is the brightest star in the sky. This star will lead you north and will eventually take you to your destination of Canada.

How to avoid slave catchers and dogs

  • You can use a clever disguise. For example, dress as a boy, pose as a white person if you are light skinned, or imitate a funeral procession.
  • Keep your eye out for snares and traps set by the slave catchers.
  • In order to conceal your scent from dogs, run through rivers.
  • During the day be careful to not be seen. Stay hidden behind leaves and trees as not to be found.

Be Careful!

Be careful for northerners and southerners on the way that might capture you and bring you back to your slave owner. There may be a big reward for your return so you must be careful.



How the abolitionists on the underground railroad will help you find safety

  • John Rankin puts a candle in his window to signal slaves in for protection and safety. Keep an eye out for similar signs.
  • You will most likely be hidden in the houses of people helping the Underground Railroad. They will hide you in attics, basements, barns, and even secret rooms.
  • Often times horse drawn carriages will be used to bring you to a safe, hidden shelter.


Routes on the Underground Railroad

You can see from the diagram above and to the left that that there are many different routes you can take on the Underground Railroad. You can get to remotely any free state and territory from any slave state. A suggested route that I would take is from the Black Belt of rapidly expanding plantations in Alabama to as far north such as Michigan. Follow the path that the Underground Railroad is on and you will be led to safety. The goal of the Underground Railroad is to get as far north as you can. If you prefer, continue traveling north and go to Canada.