The Underground Railroad History

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The Underground Railroad was established at the end of the 18th century and continued all the way through the 19th century. The Underground Railroad was a secret system that helped African Americans or Blacks escape slavery. African Americans reasoning for wanting to escape slavery could have ranged from anything “from the master’s decision to sell family members to the master’s or overseer’s brutality. Under such circumstances, slaves required no prompting from outside.” The Fugitive Slave Act was enacted in 1793 due to the increased amount of slaves that escaped. This law said that slave owners or slave catchers of the South could go into the North and capture fugitive slaves and bring them back to the North. They had to be seen by a judge…show more content…
William Still is known as “The Father of the Underground Railroad.” He helped at least sixty slaves per month escape slavery per month. Still’s parents were both slaves. His father was able to buy his way out of freedom. His mother escaped slavery twice. The first time she did she took all four of her children. Her second attempt she only took her two daughters. She felt her sons would have a better chance surviving in slavery and knew if she took all four children again she would get capture. Still was born and raised on a farm. He did not have a formal teaching but did learn to read and write. As a result of both his parents being slaves, they instilled in him the value of hard work. When William Still moved to Philadelphia in 1850, he was the chairmen to The Anti-Slavery Committee. This is were Still efforts for the Underground Railroad got established. Still interviewed the slaves he helped and recorded the details of their journey along their path to freedom. William Still also kept a record of the want ads for escaped slaves (as seen in the image ). As a result of the Fugitive Slave Act being passed, Still was appointed chairmen of The Vigilance Committee- a group of people put together to in secret to help give support to slaves escaping slavery. When slavery was abolished, William Still published the stories he had collected along his way as a
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