The Underground Railroad’s Strive for Freedom & Secrecy
The Underground Railroad was a road to freedom which consisted of an enormous system of people who helped fugitive slaves flee to the North and to Canada. It was run by many Caucasians, or abolitionists, but mainly African Americans, or slaves (Heinrichs 8). The Underground Railroad was a danger which many risked their own lives to save the ones of slaves. This wouldn’t have been able to happen if it weren’t for their secrecy and braveness. The Underground Railroad was an immense success due to the secrecy of the operation that slaves used to gain freedom.
To begin with, not only were the fugitives punished for running away, but the abolitionists helping the slaves were also punished if they were caught and weren’t using secrecy. A man once was fined and arrested for working on the Underground Railroad with a total of $5,400 for his actions (Still 448). He was very good at what he was doing but one time was all it took to get caught and one time he lacked his secrecy and he lost a great amount of money.
Subsequently, money was an extremely important part of disguising the slave’s appearances and adding more secrecy to themselves. The fugitives needed money to travel by train or boat. They also would purchase cleaner clothes so they wouldn’t draw any eyes looking for runaway slaves in their raggedy garments (Cosner 52). Money was a main part of the slave’s runaway plan to be secretive and slick.
The slaves and their helpers put their selves to risk most of the time that they were traveling on the Underground Railroad. The ones who were caught could have been shot or bitten by a dog. If the slaves were caught, they were to be dragged back to their owners and beaten or maybe even hanged (Heinrichs 10). Slave hunters would go out at night and try to track down slaves because they are worth money. If they were to see a slave, they would shoot them so they couldn’t run away. Sometimes there were accident...
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