From the 1700s to 1865, abolitionists of both races, including free African Americans, helped slaves escape. People who helped the slaves escape were called “conductors”. The slaves who fled were hidden in homes, churches, or schools. They would hide the fugitives behind false cabinets and secret tunnels. They would provide food and clothing to the fugitives and then direct them to their next “station”. They were operated by “stationmasters”. The Underground Railroad became the name of this network.

Nobody knows when exactly the Underground Railroad started. The Underground Railroad is first mentioned by History in 1831. This was when Tice Davids escaped his Kentucky slave owner and fled to Ohio. His owner blamed “underground” railroads for Davids’s escape. After slaves were freed through the Underground Railroad, they fled to states like Maryland, Kentucky and Virginia. Fugitive slave law of 1793 enabled local law enforcers to capture escaped slavery within the boundaries of free states. They would then return them to their original escape point and punish any rescuers. Many slaves were forced into Canada, where slavery is prohibited, in order to escape bounty hunters. The Underground Railroad was used by many different people to free African Americans. White abolitionists as well as free slaves had helped to liberate African Americans. Harriet Tubman helped to free African slaves.

Harriet Tubman became one of most famous Underground Railroad conductors. She was born Araminta Ross. However, she changed her name when she and two brothers escaped from a Maryland plantation. Tubman was a slave. Harriet sustained a severe head injury as a child from a heavy-metal weight. She suffered from pain, dizziness and sleep spells as a result of her injury. According to reports, she had strange dreams and visions that were said to be premonitions by God. She was also a spy in the Union Army’s ranks during the Civil War. Harriet Tubman’s nickname was “Moses”, owing to the bounty she received for helping rescue slaves. Tubman gave her life for the freedom of hundreds African Americans slaves. Tubman saved 300 slaves in total from slavery during her 19 trips south.

Around 1863, the Civil War was underway. Harriet Tubman was once again a key player in Union efforts to defeat the Confederacy. She participated in Union Army operations that freed the emancipated and yet unfreed slaves.


  • owenbarrett

    I'm Owen Barrett, a 31-year-old educational blogger and traveler. I enjoy writing about the places I've visited and sharing educational content about travel and culture. When I'm not writing or traveling, I like spending time with my family and friends.