What is the Underground Railroad?

You will be writing a short paper about the Underground Railroad.  The paper should be typed, double-spaced, and in 12- point font.  Please include your name at the top of your paper. 

First, you will need to know what the Underground Railroad is.  In two paragraphs (5-10 sentences each), write a summary about the "railroad"-

First Paragraph should include:

1. When the "railroad" began.

2.  Why the "railroad" began.

3.  Who traveled on the "railroad".  

4.  Where the "railroad" traveled. (in general)

Click on the following link to help you along: About the Underground Railroad

Your second paragraph should be more of a description of what it was like to travel the Underground Railroad, and should include:

1.  At least four facts about the railroad.

2.  At least two opinions about life on the railroad.

To help you understand what life as a slave seeking freedom was like, travel along two Underground Railroad routes (these link will help you with the second paragraph):

1. Route 1- This is a Underground Railroad route North out of Maryland.  Click on "Following their Footsteps" on the menu to your left and then "begine interactive" to start your adventure.

2. National Geographic-  Follow Harriet Tubman across the country to safety!




Go to fullsize image   Map Time!      

1. Now that you are familiar with the Underground Railroad, it's time to do some role-playing.  Imagine that you are:

                       A) A slave planning your escape for freedom, or

                         B) A conductor helping rescues others from slavery.

You will have to plan your route to safety or the route you will lead others.  Look at several maps to view common paths of the Underground railroad.  The following links will assist you:

Map 1, Map 2, Map 3.

2. Print one of the maps and highlight the route you have chosen.  Attach a short, typed paragraph explaining your choice.  Include any natural barriers you may encounter.  You must start in a particular city and state and end at a particular city and state because...

3. You will need to find out the exact mileage for your trip.  Enter in you beginning and ending location into map quest and print the results.  Make sure these locations are clearly marked on your map.



Heroes of the "Railroad"

[photo collage] Images of Frederick Douglas, Harriett Tubman, Garrett Smith, The Liberator newspaper, door of Whitehouse Farm, and an auction sign from Library of Congress photograph

     Many people risked their lives and freedom to keep the Underground Railroad going.  Choose one of the people below.  Type a paragraph (4-8 sentences) about the person you have choosen and what role they played on the railroad.


Frederick Douglass                    Jane Swisshelm

Thomas Garrett                          Harriet Tubman

William Wells Brown                David Ruggles