The Underground Railroad refers to the effort--sometimes spontaneous, sometimes highly organized--to assist persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery. Historic places along the Underground Railroad are testament of African American capabilities. The network provided an opportunity for sympathetic white Americans to play a role in resisting slavery, and brought together, however uneasily at times, men and women of both races to begin to set aside assumptions about the other race and to work together on issues of mutual concern. At the most dramatic level, the Underground Railroad provided stories of guided escapes from the South, rescues of arrested fugitives in the North, complex communication systems, and individual acts of bravery and suffering in the quest for freedom for all. Find out how you can list a property associated with the Underground Railroad in the National Register of Historic Places.
Aboard the Underground Railroad: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary introduces travelers, researchers, historians, preservationists, and anyone interested in African American history to the fascinating people and places associated with the Underground Railroad. The itinerary currently provides descriptions and photographs on 60 historic places that are listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, America's official list of places important in our history and worthy of preservation. It also includes a map of the most common directions of escape taken on the Underground Railroad and maps of individual states that mark the location of the historic properties.