History & Culture

The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad refers to the movement of self-emancipation of enslaved people of African descent to escape bondage and gain freedom, and the network of people and places who aided their escapes. While self-emancipation, escape, and resistance have existed everywhere that there has been human slavery, the Underground Railroad generally refers to a period in the early to mid-19th century United States--particularly after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act--with organized methods and people who actively assisted escapes. While most freedom seekers self-emancipated without assistance, organized activity to assist escapes increased every decade that slavery was legal in the United States.

Harriet Tubman did extraordinary work with abolitionist causes and as the Underground Railroad's most famous conductor. Her heroic efforts in personally leading people out of slavery to freedom in the North defined her as the "Moses of her People."

Learn more about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in the articles below:

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    Last updated: March 11, 2017

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