why is it called the underground railroad
Why was it called the Underground Railroad? No one is quite sure where the name "Underground Railroad" came from. Things that are underground are generally invisible. Because the operations of the Underground Railroad were secret, they were invisible to most people. Although slaves had been escaping for many years, the name was given to the network around the 1830s, at the same time that railroads were beginning to carry passengers across the United States. Because the routes of the escapes were a secret, it was as if the journeys were underground and out of sight. Other secret efforts have also had similar names. One example occurred during
when people who resisted the in Europe were called the Underground. Like the Underground Railroad, this network operated secretly to oppose the Nazis. Some members of this Underground helped Jews whom the Nazis wanted to kill. People hid Jews in their houses so the Nazi police would not find them. They sometimes helped them escape to a safe country where they were no longer in danger of being killed. The people of both underground movements put themselves at great risk to help others. The Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. Much of what we know today comes from accounts after the Civil War and accurate statistics about fugitive slaves using the Underground Railway may never be verifiable.
It is believed that around 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1860 escaped using the network. The majority of the slaves came from the upper south states that bordered free states such as Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland; very few escaped from the Deep South. By the mid 1850s the term Underground Railroad was becoming familiar, as of November 1852 shows. б Routes of the Underground Railroad Why was it called Underground Railroad? The Underground Railroad was not located underground nor was it a railroad. It was symbolically underground as the networkБs clandestine activities were secret and illegal so they had to remain БundergroundБ to help fugitive slaves stay out of sight. The term БrailroadБ was used because the railroad was an emerging system of transportation and its supporters usedб Slaves used б to communicate with each other. Homes where fugitives would stay and eat were called БstationsБ or БdepotsБ the owner of the house was the Бstation masterБ and the БconductorБ was the person responsible to move slaves from station to station. Those financing the Underground Railroad by donating money, food, and clothing were called БstockholdersБ. Here is a comprehensive list of. Organization The Underground Railway was a loosely organized network of connections with no clear defined routes.
They provided houses, transportation to aid slaves to freedom. б were organized independently, most knew few connecting stations but not the entire route. This system kept the secrecy of those involved and lowered the risk of infiltrations. Routes were often indirect to confuse slave catchers. There was no one set route, there were likely many of them. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of houses across the north were used as stations. Fugitives would move from one station to the next at night crossing rivers, swamps and hiking mountains. Most travelled by foot and hid in barns or out of sight places such as basements and cup boards. Committees were formed in large cities such as Boston, New York and Philadelphia. These committees raised funds to help fugitives settle by temporarily providing shelter and job recommendations. Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 Until 1850 living in free states was relatively low risk for fugitives. After the passage of the as part of the the Underground Railroad was rerouted to Canada as its final destination. Thousands of slaves settled in newly formed communities in Southern Ontario. Suddenly their job became more difficult and riskier. Those who helped slaves were subjected to $1000 fine or 6 months in prison.
The Act made it illegal for a person to help a run away, and citizens were obliged under the law to help slave catchers arrest fugitive slaves. Slave catchers were handsomely rewarded, even free African Americans could be sent back south by destroying their free papers. The end of the Underground Railroad On January 1st, 1863,б issued the б liberating slaves in Confederate states. After the war ended, the 13 amendment to the Constitution was approved in 1865 which abolished slavery in the entire United States and therefore was the end of the Underground Railroad. Supporters of the Underground Railroad Sympathizers of the network were black and white abolitionists, free blacks, Native Americans and religious associations such as the Religious Society of Friends also known as Quakers and Congregationalists. The first call for the abolition of slavery in America came in 1688 from the Quakers in Pennsylvania. Here is a list of theб Levi Coffin, William Still, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, Samuel Burris, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Joh Brown, Anderson Ruffin Abbott, Henry Brown, Obadiah Bush, Asa Drury, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Samuel Green, Gerrit Smith, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Jermain Loguen among others. б Check out these sites for more information on the history of the Underground Railroadб Tags:, Category :,
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