7 Best Books About The Underground Railroad Update 05/2022

Some people know about the Underground Railroad, but most people aren’t aware of its significance in American history. One of the numerous myths surrounding the Underground Railroad is that it was a genuine railroad. A network of people of many faiths and races helped slaves escape from the South in the early to mid-19th century by providing covert passageways, refuge, and aid.

“railroad” was employed because of the new transportation system’s ability to take individuals away fast, exactly like the Underground Railroad did. It was also utilized by the network’s allies to communicate in a secret way. The Underground Railroad was largely used by enslaved Black Americans to flee to freedom in the northern states and Canada. Abolitionists and friends who wanted slavery to be abolished aided the system.

Today, Underground Railroad safe houses can still be found in the United States.. Philadelphia’s Johnson House is an excellent example of a building that hasn’t changed much since 1768. Those interested in learning more about the Underground Railroad can find additional information in these books about the paths followed by African Americans prior to freedom and the experiences of those who organized these routes.

Sketches in the History of the Underground Railroad

By Eber Pettit

Claims that around 100,000 slaves escaped from slavery by use of an Underground Railroad made it one of the most mysterious themes in American history during this time period. About 1,000 people escaped each year in actuality. For the first time in 1879, a collection of sketches called The History of the Underground Railroad was published for the public. Black Americans who escaped slavery and those who aided them are all included in this fascinating book. Slavery’s atrocities and his own experiences are shown in these sketches by railroad conductor Eber Pettit.

Uncle Tom’s Journey from Maryland to Canada

By Edna M. Troiano

the real-life inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom in her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as told by Edna M. Troiano, an author from Maryland. Since his birth, “Uncle Tom” was the product of slavery and was sold at auction when he was just a child. Henson’s new master trusted him when he shown his impressive physical strength and leadership talents.

In 1830, he and his family escaped to Canada, where they lived for the rest of their lives. To help former slaves get back on their feet, he built a settlement called the Dawn Settlement. To aid in the liberation of other enslaved people in the United States, Henson returned time and time again. In this fascinating book, Troiano also investigates the memorial places for Henson.

On the Edge of Freedom

By David G. Smith

On the Edge of Freedom, by David G. Smith, is one of the most detailed and complex analyses of the Underground Railroad. There were many fugitive slaves who had no choice but to travel through Adams, Franklin, and Cumberland counties in Pennsylvania since they had to cross the Appalachian Mountains.

The abolitionists’ achievements in south-central Pennsylvania and the prosecution of kidnappers who kidnapped African Americans as fugitives are examined in this monumental book by historian David G. Smith. Smith delves deeper into the details of the Fugitive Law’s passage and implementation in 1850. The title of the book, On the Edge of Freedom, takes on new significance as it reveals how individuals who opposed slavery did not always act in the best interests of African-Americans.

The Underground Railroad on Long Island

By Kathleen G. Velsor

In this book, Kathleen Velsor transcribes a previously unpublished oral history of Long Island’s history. Long Island’s role in the Underground Railroad may be traced all the way back to the arrival of the Quakers in the early 17th century. For the first time, Velsor visits the Long Island families and safe houses that helped free African American slaves in the 1800s. This intriguing narrative of Long Island’s role in the Underground Railroad continues the legacy that it left behind.

Twelve Years a Slave

By Solomon Northup

One of America’s most famous slaves, Solomon Northup, was kidnapped and forced into servitude for 12 years in the late 19th century. Northup endured horrendous conditions and inhumane treatment while working on Louisiana plantations during this time period. He was able to regain his freedom thanks to the assistance of his family and the former master of his father. In this autobiography, which was a best-seller in 1853 and was made into the Oscar-winning film of the same name, Northup recounts his life-changing experience. Twelve Years a Slave is a must-read for everyone interested in learning more about American history.

The Underground Railroad Records

By William Still

In 1872, William Still released his Underground Railroad Records. Around 800 slaves were freed thanks to Still’s work as an Underground Railroad conductor. From the persons he met, he collected letters, biographical sketches, ransom notes, and arrival memos for this book. It is fascinating to read about the efforts of enslaved people who were trying to find a way to freedom. Still exposes the most amazing civil disobedience effort in the history of the United States in elegant narrative form. New introduction by novelist and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates makes this version a timeless monument to the escapees’ bravery and resiliency..

Gateway to Freedom

By Eric Foner

There would have been no Civil War if it weren’t for the deeds of freed African American slaves and the northerners who disobeyed the law to assist them on their journey to freedom. The largest free Black community in the North was located in New York City. Throughout the city, kidnappers and slave catchers abducted and sold free African Americans, mostly children, for the slave trade in the South. The city’s freemen and white abolitionists worked together to protect fugitives in the city.

From 1820 to 1830, Eric Foner’s Gateway to Freedom focuses on the infancy of the Underground Railroad. The New York Vigilance Committee is the subject of this investigation (an early iteration of the Underground Railroad). He also uncovers others who helped the runaway slaves, such as the prominent white abolitionist Sydney Howard Gay, and how the American Civil War pushed the country toward freedom.

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