End of slavery is the USA – The Underground Railroad
Even from the beginning of the USA slavery was the norm. White people owned the black people and made them work for them, long days, hard work and in terrible conditions. However some people realised that this was wrong. The earliest recorded rescue of slaves was in 1787 when Isaac Hopper began helping slaves escape from their owners and live free lives as they deserved. By the 1820’s this operation was in full swing across the states, with many people joining in this heroic deed. As this whole operation grew larger and more structured it gained the name “The Underground Railroad” however the most vital point to understand is that it was neither underground nor anything to do with trains.
The Underground Railroad was a secret network of roads used to lead slaves to the “free” states in the north and Canada. For the abolitionists and the slaves themselves, this was a dangerous and long trek which could last up to two years. Thanks to the outstanding efforts made by the “train masters”, or people who orchestrated the passage of slaves to freedom (particularly Harriet Tubman, a former slave, and Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the Underground Railroad) and the owners of safe houses (places for the slaves to rest between journeys), many slaves escaped to freedom.
Many people, like Isaac Hopper, had experimental impulses to free individual slaves but this gradually became an organised operation. The brave heroes devised a network of safe houses (homes of people willing to hide runaways overnight), this made the escapes a lot more successful and kept the routes of the slaves secret from any slave catchers in that area. (See Appendix A for a map of the routes)
Although the operation was in full swing in the 1820’s, it didn’t have its name; many people called it the mysterious road (in Indiana) or something of a similar nature, each area had their own name for it. The actual... [continues]
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