The Underground Railroad Essay

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The Underground Railroad. A metaphor as it was, it was neither a railroad nor was it even underground. In the time where slavery became a divided issue with the status of legality in various parts of the country, the underground railroad found its beginnings through collective organized efforts from abolitionists and allies alike to help enslaved African americans to escape to territories and states where they could be free from slavery. It was a loosely-developed system that also included series of routes led by “conductors” such as Harriet Tubman, for escaping slaves, or “passengers”. It is imperative to know the conditions of the time prior to the beginnings of the underground railroad and the impact it left on the country in order to understand…show more content…
These conductors guided these fugitive slaves to escape from their enslavement in order to be free as part of the “underground railroad”. Among these conductors is the notable Harriet Tubman, a former slave who led three hundred slaves to safety in the North (McGill, 2005). Besides assisting these fugitives in escapement, other efforts included housing these slaves, recapturing them from authorities, and providing resources for the fugitives to settle in once freed. To further illustrate the metaphor of the underground railroad umbrella, “the homes and businesses where fugitives would rest and eat were called "stations" and "depots" and were run by "stationmasters," those who contributed money or goods were "stockholders," and the "conductor" was responsible for moving fugitives from one station to the next” (“The Underground Railroad”, n.d.). This network of systems continued on and as it became more widespread and more known about, the underground railroad found success in bringing the issue of slavery “to the forefront of public consciousness and convinced a substantial and growing segment of the northern population that the South’s peculiar institution was morally wrong and potentially dangerous to the American way of life” (Devine, 2011). Thus, as the seriousness of the conflict over the issue of slavery heightened, so did the division between the North and the
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