African American Research Paper
University of Louisiana at Monroe
March 18, 2017
The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was established in to help slaves migrate to the North to be freed from slavery. The slaves were unsatisfied with the treatment they received from their owners. Therefore, they wound run away from the harsh treatment. There were people called abolitionist wanted to help the slaves from their misery by ending slavery. Slaves were treated with unsympathetic punishments. They were given an indecent amount of food to get them through the week like “hoecake”, bacon, molasses, and seasonal vegetables and fruit. Many families were separated …show more content…
Soon after America defeated Great Britain in the American Revolution (1775-1783), many northern parts of the country slavery became unpopular. Some states like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New York begin to pass antislavery laws. Slaveholders tried their best to keep their slaves from discovering the free states. Unfortunately, that was not enough, stories about the north begin to spread from plantation to plantation. Many of north overlooked the Fugitive Slave Act, therefore slaves felt worry-free to move there. However, the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 was more enforced and allowed slaveholders to travel north to capture their slaves. This made fugitives travel to Canada where slavery was found …show more content…
Many think there was an actual railroad but there was not. It was a secret escape route for men, women, and children fugitives. It provided the basic needs for slaves who were escaping for example: food, secured hiding shelter, and transportation to freedom.
The Underground Railroad used terms that was straightforward for slaves to remember. The fugitives were called passengers or parcels, while the people that assisted them where called conductors or engineers. The conductors were known to be both black and whites who took major risks to help slaves. They place their human cargo in boxes, covered carriages, and farm wagons. A very well-known conductor is Harriet Tubman.
Escaping did not always go swiftly. Before making their getaway, they would gather important items from their master’s house. In order to escape the plantation, slaves would make their getaway at night. There were no maps so conductors used the North Star to guide them on cloudy nights. During the winter months, they would lose fingers and toes to frost bite. Fugitive females who were fair skinned imitated a white individual and their husbands would betray as the servant, vice versa. They ran the risk of getting pursued by slave hunters. Slave hunters would pretend to help them, but all along there were being betrayed. “Even Negroes who were legally free were often made victims of a device commonly used by