Abolitionists are people who supported the end of slavery in the United States of America. The abolitionists were people who were against slavery in the 1800's, and believed in the immediate end of slavery in America. Abolitionists disobeyed laws to help slaves escape slavery. They helped Southern slaves escape to Canada, many using the organized network of the Underground Railroad. In the novel, Underground to Canada abolitionists played a big roll. The abolitionists helped the slaves to escape to freedom. Alexander Ross (A former abolitionist) told Lester the route to take, who to trust, what to do, and where to go which led 4 slaves to freedom. The abolitionists did whatever they could to not let the slaves get caught; they let slaves stay in their homes, they lied to the slave catchers, they hid the slaves, they fed the slaves and nursed them back to health if they were hurt.
Alexander Ross was born December 13, 1832 in Belleville, Upper Canada and died October 27, 1897 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was an abolitionist who was an agent for the secret Underground Railroad slave escape network, known in that organization and among slaves as "The Birdman" for his preferred cover story as a bird enthusiast. In 1856, Alexander Ross became actively involved in the anti-slavery action. He would come up to the owner of a slave plantation and make a very bold lie; that he was only going to research and study some interesting birds around the owner’s estate. Then when night fell he would speak in secret to the slaves. Mr. Ross passed on the locations of Underground Railroad stations. He would tell them who to watch out for and who to trust. As he parted he would give each slave a knife, a compass, a few dollars, as much food as they could carry and perhaps a pistol. In the novel, Underground to Canada Alexander Ross was a brave man who helped Julilly, Liza, Lester and Adam to escape the Riley plantation. He was an Abolitionist who wanted to help slaves escape slavery. Alexander Ross pretended he was a bird hunter and picked Adam and Lester to be his guide. With Adam and Lester's help, he helped the slaves escape from the plantation. He let Adam and Lester pick 2 others to go on the journey to freedom with them; they picked Julilly and Liza. Alexander Ross got caught and put into jail. In Cincinnati, when Liza and Julilly got sent in a horse-drawn carriage Ross prepared them for the hard trip and told them every last detail that they had to do. In Mississippi, Alexander got arrested. But, he escaped from jail and met them at the end of their journey; Canada. Alexander Ross was a huge part of the escape to Canada. He got Liza, Julilly, and Lester to freedom.