The Underground Railroad And The Abolitionist Movement

2107 WordsDec 21, 20159 Pages
Johal: 2 Jagdeep Johal King Cheek African American Experience December 21st, 2015 Underground Railroad The idea of Underground Railroad emerged in 1834 when the National Antislavery Society in the United States, an organization that was made up of both blacks and white abolitionists used the railroad to enable about 100,000 slaves to find a path to freedom (Smedley 23). The Underground Railroad became a formal organization in 1838 under the leadership of Robert Purvis, a black abolitionist. Under the guidance of several railroad agents, thousands of slaves made impulsive escapes from the Confederate South (Gara 96). Other slaves managed to utilise well-organised systems to achieve this escapes. Before providing a detailed analysis of the Underground Railroad and its role in the antislavery movement, it is important to note that the idea of ?Underground Railroad? has nothing to do with a real railroad. It is a movement that utilised a variety of means to enable the enslaved Africans to escape from the south (Delle 64). Therefore, the main role of the Underground Railroad was to actively support the ongoing demand for abolishing slavery, the onset of the American civil war, and its historical role of being the pioneer anti-slavery movement in the United States. The Underground Railroad covered 29 states in the United States as well as Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada (Smedley 56). The concept of rails included streams, rivers, forests, swamps, and back roads. It is believed

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