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THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
FROM
SLAVERY TO FREEDOM

By
WILBUR H. SIEBERT
Associate Professor of European History
in Ohio State University
With an Introduction by
Albert Bushnell Hart
Professor of History in Harvard University

New York
The McMillan Company
London: MacMillan & Co., Ltd.
1898


CHAPTER I. - PARTIALLY FINISHED
SOURCES OF THE HISTORY OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

  PAGES
The Underground Road as a subject for research 1
Obscurity of the subject 2
Books dealing with the subject 2
Magazine articles on the Underground Railroad 5
Newspaper articles on the subject 6
Scarcity of contemporaneous documents 7
Reminiscences the chief source 11
The value of reminiscences illustrated 12


CHAPTER II.  - PARTIALLY FINISHED 3/2/2016
ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF THE UNDERGROUND ROAD

Conditions under which the Underground Road originated 17
The disappearance of slavery from the Northern states 17
Early provisions for the return of fugitive slaves 19
The Fugitive Slave clause in the Ordinance of 1787 20
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 21
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 22
Desire for freedom among the slaves 25
Knowledge of Canada among the slaves 27
Some local factors in the origin of the underground movement 30
The development of the movement in eastern Pennsylvania, in New Jersey, and in New York 33
The development of the movement in the New England states 36
The development of the movement in the West 37
The naming of the Road 44


CHAPTER III -
THE METHODS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

Penalties for aiding fugitive slaves 47
Social contempt suffered by abolitionists 48
Esionage practised upon abolitionists 50
Rewards for the capture of fugitives and the kidnapping of abolitionists 52
Devices to secure secrecy 54
Service at night 54
Methods of communication 56
Methods of conveyance 59
Zigzag and variable routes 61
Places of concealment 62
Disguises 64
Informality of management 67
Colored and white agents 69
City vigilance committees 70
Supplies for fugitives 76
Transportation of fugitives by rail 78
Transportation of fugitives by water 81
Rescue of fugitives under arrest 83


CHAPTER IV
UNDERGROUND AGENTS, STATION-KEEPERS, OR CONDUCTORS

Underground agents, station keepers, or conductors 87
Their hospitality 87
Their principles 89
Their nationality 90
Their church connections 93
Their party affinities 99
Their local standing 101
Prosecutions of underground operators 101
Defensive League of Freedom proposed 103
Persons of prominence among underground helpers 104


CHAPTER V. -
STUDY OF THE MAP OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD SYSTEM

Geographical extent of underground lines 113
Location and distribution of stations 114
Southern routes 116
Lines of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York 120
Routes of the New England states 128
Lines within the old Northwest Territory 134
Noteworthy features of the general map 139
Complex routes 141
Broken lines and isolated place names 141
River routes 142
Routes by rail 142
Routes by sea 144
Terminal stations 145
Lines of lake travel 147
Canadian ports 148


CHAPTER VI
ABDUCTION OF SLAVES FROM THE SOUTH

Aversion among underground helpers to abduction of slaves 150
Abductions by negroes living along the northern border of the slave states 151
Abductions by Canadian refugees 152
Abductions by white persons in the South 153
Abductions by white persons in the North 154
The Missouri raid of John Brown 162
John Brown's great plan 166
Abductions attempted in response to appeals 168
Devotees of abduction 178


CHAPTER VII
LIFE OF THE COLORED REFUGEES IN CANADA

Slavery question in Canada 190
Flight of slaves to Canada 192
Refugees representative of the slave class 195
Misinformation about Canada among slaves 197
Hardships borne by Canadian refugees 198
Efforts toward immediate relief for fugitives 199
Attitude of the Canadian government 201
Conditions favorable to their settlement in Canada 203
Sparseness of population 203
Uncleared lands 204
Encouragement of agricultural colonies among refugees 205
Dawn Settlement 205
Elgin Settlement 207
Refugees' Home Settlement 209
Alleged disadvantages of the colonies 211
Their advantages 212
Refugee settlers in Canadian towns 217
Census of Canadian refugees 220
Occupations of Canadian refugees 223
Progress made by Canadian refugees 224
Domestic life of the refugees 227
School privileges 228
Organizations for self-improvement 230
Churches 231
Rescue of friends from slavery 231
Ownership of property 232
Rights of citizenship 233
Character as citizens 233


CHAPTER VIII -
FUGITIVE SETTLERS IN THE NORTHERN STATES

Number of fugitive settlers in the North 235
The Northern states an unsafe refuge for runaway slaves 239
Reclamation of fugitives in the free states 239
Protection of fugitives in the free states 242
Object of the personal liberty laws 245
Effect of the law of 1850 on fugitive settlers 246
Underground operators among fugitives of the free states 251


CHAPTER IX. -
PROSECUTION OF UNDERGROUND RAILROAD MEN

Enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 254
Grounds on which the constitutionality of the measure was questioned 254
Denial of trial by jury to the fugitive slave 255
Summary mode of arrest 257
The question of concurrent jurisdiction between the federal and state governments in fugitive slave cases 259
The law of 1793 versus the Ordinance of 1787 261
Power of Congress to legislate concerning the extradition of fugitive slaves denied 263
State officers relieved of the execution of the law by the Prigg decision, 1842 264
Amendment of the law of 1793 by the law of 1850 265
Constitutionality of the law of 1850 questioned 267
First case under the law of 1850 268
Authority of a United States commissioner 269
Penalties imposed for aiding and abetting the escape of fugitives 273
Trial on the charge of treason in the Christiana case, 1854 279
Counsel for fugitive slaves 281
Last case under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 285
Attempted revision of the law 285
Destruction attacks upon the measure in Congress 286
Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation 287
Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Acts 288


CHAPTER X. -
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IN POLITICS.

Valuation of the Underground Railroad in its Political aspect. 290
The question of the extradition of fugitive slaves in colonial times 290
Importance of hte question in the constitutional conventions 293
Failure of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 294
Agitation for a more efficient measure 295
Diplomatic negotiations for the extradition of colored refugees from Canada, 1826-1828 299
The fugitive slave a missionary in the cause of freedom 300
Slave-hunting in the free states 302
Preparation for th abolition movement of 1830 303
The Underground Railroad and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 308
The law in Congress 310
The enforcement of the law of 1850 316
The Underground Road and Uncle Tom's Cabin 321
Political importance of the novel 323
Sumner of the influence of escaped slaves in the North 324
The spirit of nullification in the North 327
The Glover rescue, Wisconsin, 1854 327
The rendition of Burns, Boston, 1854 331
The rescue of Addison White, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, 1857 334
The Oberlin-Wellington rescue, 1858 335
Obstruction of the Fugitive Slave Law by means of the personal liberty acts 337
John Brown's attempt to free the slaves 338


CHAPTER XI.
EFFECT OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

The Underground road the means of relieving the South of many despairing slaves 340
Loss sustained by slave-owners through underground channels 340
The United States census reports on fugitive slaves 342
Estimate of the number of slaves escaping into Ohio, 1830-1860 346
Similar estimate for Philadelphia, 1830-1860 346
Drain on the resources of the depot at Lawrence, Kansas, described in a letter of Col. J. Bowles, April 4, 1859 347
Work of the Underground Railroad as compared with that of the American Colonization Society 350
The violation of the Fugitive Slave Law a chief complaint of Southern states at the beginning of the Civil War 351
Refusal of the Canadian government to yield up the fugitive Anderson, 1860 352
Session of the Southern states begun 353
Conclusion of the fugitive slave controversy 355
General effect and significance of the controversy 356


ILLUSTRATIONS, PORTRAITS, FACSIMILES AND MAPS
 

The Underground Railroad: Levi Coffin receiving a company of fugitives in the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio Frontispiece
Isaac T. Hopper 17
The Runaway: a stereotype cut used on handbills advertising escaped slaves 27
Crossing-place on the Ohio River at Steubenville, Ohio 47
The Rankin House, Ripley, Ohio 47
Facsimile of an Underground Message on page 57
Barn of Seymour Finney, Detroit, Michigan 65
The Old First Church, Galesburg, Illinois 65
William Still 75
Levi Coffin 87
Frederick Douglass 104
Caves in Salem Township, Washington County, Ohio 130
House of Mrs. Elizabeth Buffum Chace, Valley Falls, Rhode Island 130
The Detroit River at Detroit, Michigan 147
Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio 147
Ellen Craft as she escaped from Slavery 163


MAPS

Map of the Underground Railroad System Facing page 113
Map of Underground Lines in Southeastern Pennsylvania Facing page 113
Map of Underground Lines in Morgan County, Ohio On page 136
Lewis Falley's Map of the Underground Routes of Indiana and Michigan On page 138
Map of an Underground Line through Livingston and La Salle Counties, Illinois On page 139
Map of Underground Lines through Greene, Warren and Clinton Counties, Ohio On page 140


APPENDICES

  PAGES
APPENDIX A:  Constitutional Provisions and National Acts relative to Fugitive Slaves, 1787-1850 359-366
APPENDIX B:  List of Important Fugitive Slave Cases 367-377
APPENDIX C:  Figures from the United States Census Reports relating to Fugitive Slaves 378,379
APPENDIX D:  Bibliography 380-402
APPENDIX E:  Directory of the names of Underground Railroad Operators and Members of Vigilance Committees 403-439

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