The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by black slaves in the United States to escape to the free state, Canada. Those who helped people move from place to place were known as "conductors" and the fleeing slaves were called "passengers" or "cargo." Safe places to stop to rest were called "stations." Conductors were also abolitionists; people who wanted slavery out of the world. There were blacks and whites, men and women. Many of them were Quakers or Methodists. There was a specific plan to follow when trying to get slaves to freedom. The conductor would sometimes pretend to be a slave to enter a plantation. Once a part of a plantation, the conductor would direct the slaves to the North. Slaves would travel at night, about 15–30 km to each station. They would stop at the so-called stations or depots during the day and rest. The stations were out of the way places like barns. While resting at one station, a message was sent to the next station to let the station master know the slaves were on their way. The resting spots where the runaways could sleep and eat were given the code names stations and depots which were held by station masters. There were also those known as stockholders who gave money or supplies for assistance. Slaves would refer to Canada as "The Promised Land" and the Mississippi River as "The River Jordan" as biblical references. Slaves sometimes traveled on boat or train. They usually traveled on foot or by wagon in groups of 1–3. In the novel Underground to Canada, the Underground Railroad was a metaphor. It symbolized the road/way to get to Canada. It was established to help slaves get to freedom and to be a step to stop slavery in the United States. Many black and white people worked on the Underground Railroad. Levi Coffin was the "president" of the Underground Railroad and Jeb Brown was a Conductor. The 'railway stations' were Abolitionist homes, the roads the slaves followed were the 'tracks', the runaway slaves were the 'freight',the women were the 'dry goods' and the men were the 'hardware'.
This picture shows a safe house in Mississippi. Where abolitionists let slaves eat, rest, and gain their health. This safe house belonged to John Brown. He helped many slaves in their journey to freedom.
This photo shows slaves getting pulled off a boat by slave catchers. The slaves were about to start off on a boat to Canada when slave catchers found the slaves and arrested the abolitionists for stealing the slaves and took the slaves for themselves.
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