Boston: An Underground Railroad Hub

With many flourishes, banner on yellowed paper reads "The City of Boston An Underground Railroad Hub

NPS/Hanson Plass

 

“The object of our Association is to extend a helping hand to all who may bid adieu to whips and chains, and by the welcome light of the North Star, reach a haven where they can be protected from the grasp of the man-stealer…”

- The New England Freedom Association, 1845


Welcome to Boston: An Underground Railroad Hub, a digital exploration of Boston’s long history as a center of Underground Railroad activity. Through an evolving array of interactive maps, videos, articles, and other features, we invite you to learn about the freedom seekers that escaped to Boston and the people here that assisted them. Discover incredible stories of how Bostonians organized to shelter and protect those that came looking for their freedom. Hear about amazing individuals and associations that not only protested the fugitive slave laws of the country, but also militantly responded to fugitive slave arrests in the city.

Be inspired by the bravery of those who fled slavery and the collective action of Bostonians that helped them along their way to freedom.

 
Beacon Hill and West End neighborhoods of Boston

Boston's Underground Railroad

Learn about the integral role Boston and its citizens played on the Underground Railroad.

1852 map of Boston

Mapping the Underground Railroad

Explore this interactive digital map that highlights places in Boston connected to the Underground Railroad.

Title page text of the Boston Vigilance Committee Account Book with a faint Faneuil Hall engraving.

The 1850 Boston Vigilance Committee

Explore this ongoing exhibition that looks at the lives and activism of the more than two hundred members of the final Vigilance Committee.

Broadside of Anthony Burns Meeting in Faneuil Hall

A Man Kidnapped!

This seventeen minute film explores the rendition of Anthony Burns, told through those who witnessed the event in 1854.

Historical Map of Beacon Hill with the area of Smith Court highlighted.

Boston Women & the Underground Railroad

Learn about the contributions of the women who served as the heart of the free Black community on the north slope of Beacon Hill.

 
 

Network to Freedom

 
Network to Freedom logo of star and profiled face.

Network To Freedom

Explore the sites and programs that share the story of the Underground Railroad.

Portrait of Lewis Hayden

Fighting For Freedom

A Network to Freedom film that looks at the life and accomplishments of abolitionist Lewis Hayden.

 

Articles

 
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