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The Underground Railroad, Part 4

By: William Still

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early- to mid-19th century. It was used by enslaved African Americans primarily to escape into free states and Canada. The network was assisted by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees. The enslaved who risked escape and those who aided them are also collectively referred to as the "Underground Railroad". Various other routes led to Mexico, where slavery had been abolished, and to islands in the Caribbean that were not part of the slave trade. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession (except 1763–83), existed from the late 17th century until approximately 1790. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad began in the late 18th century. It ran north and grew steadily until the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. One estimate suggests that by 1850, approximately 100,000 enslaved people had escaped via the network.

The Underground Railroad Records is an 1872 book by William Still, who is known as the Father of the Underground Railroad. It is subtitled A record of facts, authentic narratives, letters, &c., narrating the hardships, hair-breadth escapes and death struggles of the slaves in their efforts for freedom, as related by themselves and others, or witnessed by the author; together with sketches of some of the largest stockholders, and most liberal aiders and advisers, of the road.

 

The book chronicles the stories and methods of some 649 slaves who escaped to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Still assembled his carefully compiled and detailed documentation about those that he had helped escape into the pages of The Underground Railroad Records.

 

Book Details

Language

English

Original Language

English

Published In

1872

Author

William Still

United States

William Still was an African-American abolitionist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, businessman, writer, historian and civil rights activist. Before...

More about William Still

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