Underground Railroad to Freedom

By: Stephanie F.
St. Stephen High School
St. Stephen, New Brunswick

For many people, when asked about black history, one of the first things that would come to mind would be slavery. This was a horrific time in the United States for all black people.

Perhaps one of the largest protests against slavery in the U.S., would have been the Underground Railway. This aided the blacks to escape to freedom and gave white people the chance to help them out. The operations of this began in the 1500's and was later related to almost every abolitionist activity in the 1800's.

This operation was neither underground nor a railroad. It was a system of constructed escape routes that originated in the south and went through the north and eventually came out in Canada. This route used by so many as an escape from the terrible world of slavery, was used a lot through the period of 1830 - 1865. It was not only the blacks that were involved with this operation, it also included sympathizers who wanted an end to slavery. They were committed to helping out victims of this terrible act.

The Underground Railroad has many mysteries behind it. Although it aided thousands of refugees, the total number will never be known. People had very few records linking them to this process for fear of authorities. It has just been recently that a few names have been tied to this process.

One of the most fascinating features was that it was very unorganized. People had to rely on the efforts of certain individuals belonging to ethnic and religious groups. This lack of evidence leads us to accept that the true significance of this amazing "railroad" will never truly be known.