Imagine you are a slave in the South in 1850. You work six long, hard days a week, toiling in the fields of your master; it seems very unlikely that you'll ever be freed. Then, you hear from an old friend of yours who has escaped that he is now living in the North and wants you to join him in freedom. Do you dare? If you are caught the punishment will be severe, but if not, you can live in freedom. Who can you turn to for help?
In fact, many slaves turned to the Underground Railroad, a secret system used from 1830-1860 to help slaves escape to the Northern States and Canada. The sites below will help you learn more about the Underground Railroad and the role it played in the lives of many African Americans.