Where did the Underground Railroad Start

Where did the Underground Railroad start is a tricky question to answer. Underground Railroad is a term that is commonly referred to as metro or tube in the modern world. Today there are metro trains running in many countries of the world with the Tube in London being the oldest of the underground railways. There are 168 metro systems currently in operation in 55 countries of the world. However, the phrase underground railroad refers to something completely different. It was neither underground nor did it mean trains running to transport people. It was a vast network of people that helped slaves to escape from the world of slavery by moving to the Northern parts of the country and to Canada in times when slavery was rampant in America. Where did the Underground Railroad start is a question often asked by people interested in the history of slavery. This article attempts to find an answer to this question.

What was the Underground Railroad

Slavery was an institution that was common in the southern regions of the country in the early part of the 19th century. The Northern states of the country were relatively free from this system of slavery and it was the dream of most of the slaves to escape slavery by somehow getting away from this part of the country to the northern states. The name Underground Railroad was used for the network that helped these fugitive slaves to escape from their masters and run away to the north and even to the free states in Canada. Most of the activities were carried out as a secret and railway terms got involved as a way to describe how the system worked. This is why escape routes were described as lines and stoppages in these routes were described as stations. Even individuals who helped the fugitives were referred to as conductors and the money they charged was referred to as freight or package. 14 Northern states and Canada were considered as the Promised Land and the fugitive slaves dreamt of somehow reaching these places.

Where did the underground railroad start

The Underground Railroad History

Although Underground railroad was in existence as early as the 1780’s and even George Washington made a mention of these practices, it was only in the early part of the 19th century that this term became common across America. In fact, it came into prominence during 1830’s. Underground railroad was an ingenious system that helped thousands of slaves to escape and become free by reaching northern parts of the country or even Canada. More than 200 years later, people still marvel at the design and operation of the Underground Railroad. It was an arduous journey for black slaves and they were helped not just by free blacks in the north but also by many whites. Slaves had to cover thousands of miles on foot, boats and buggy. Slaves required money to be helped and assisted by Underground Railroad workers. If they were caught during this journey, they were flogged, jailed, resold into slavery and even killed by the whites. The Fugitive Law of 1850 made things more difficult for these slaves as they were considered as stolen property rather than being treated as abused human beings.

There was no one starting point of the Underground Railroad. Slaves had to go through many stations to hide during daytime while they travelled during the nights to eventually reach their destination in the northern part of the country.

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