Analysis Of Gateway To Freedom By Eric Foner

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Gateway to Freedom by Eric Foner portrays the vital role white radicals had in the pursuit to institutionalize slavery, but emphasized how African Americans had an active role as combatants in their struggles to end slavery and to establish true freedom of themselves. Foner stressed and focused on the operatives who ran New York City’s Underground Railroad because New York, still a zone of conflict over the abolishment of slavery, lagged compared to other Northern states during the 1850s. Unsurprisingly, a rash kidnapped African Americans plagued the city and enacted outrage. As a result, free black activists like Theodore Wright and David Ruggles led the Vigilance Committee to fight against the kidnappings, aided fleeing slaves from the…show more content…
Ruggles’ Mirror of Liberty, the first magazine edited by an African American, publicized kidnapping of blacks just as they would fugitive slave ads. One ad read:
“Francis Maria Shields, a girl of about 12 years of age, is missed by her guardians and acquaintances. . . . She is middling size, dark brown complexion, short hair, with a scar over her right eyebrow. Her dress was a purple and white frock, white straw hat, lined with pink, and trimmed with straw colored ribbon, mixed stockings, and boots. Any person who will give such information as will lead to the restoration of said girl to her guardian and friends, shall be rewarded.”
Constant efforts from other empower the abolishment of slavery throughout the 1850s.
Foner describes the railroad as, “The picture that emerges from recent studies is not of the highly organized system with tunnels, codes, and clearly defined routes and stations of popular lore, but of an interlocking series of local networks, each of whose fortunes rose and fell over time, but which together helped a substantial number of fugitives reach safety in the free states and Canada.” Foner also noted how the railroad contributed to, “a rare instance in antebellum
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