How to Escape Slavery

How to find your way North

Other tips and routes

  • Leave at dark
  • Hide during daylight; If you are caught, you will be recapture and will most likely receive multiple floggings.
  • Wade through rivers to loose your scent so overseers cannot find you
  • Go to houses with special quilts hanging up the are part of the Underground Railroad
  • Do not stay long in one place; keep moving
  • Go to Canada; even the North is dangerous
  • Depending on the season,
  • Stay away from those that call slaves darkies, they like slavery or the peculiar institution
  • The black belt has the most dense population of slave. Go to Ohio and then Canada.
  • Be bold and brave like your fellow slaves Denmark Vessey and Nat Turner; fight for your freedom
  • Quakers are your friends


Key places to aim for Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Indiana. The Goal is to reach Canada.

For example, go from Cincinnati, Ohio to Canada.

Follow the Drinking Gourd Song

When the sun comes back and the first quail calls,
Follow the Drinking Gourd.
For the old man is waiting for to carry you to freedom,
If you follow the Drinking Gourd.
The river bank makes a very good road,
The dead trees show you the way,
Left foot, peg foot, traveling on
Follow the Drinking Gourd.
The river ends between two hills,
Follow the Drinking Gourd.
There's another river on the other side,
Follow the Drinking Gourd.
Where the great big river meets the little river,
Follow the Drinking Gourd.
For the old man is awaiting to carry you to freedom if you
follow the Drinking Gourd.