What Was the Underground Railroad?
Paperback; ISBN 9780448467122
No one knows where the term Underground Railroad came from--there were no trains or tracks, only "conductors" who helped escaping slaves to freedom. Including real stories about "passengers" on the "Railroad," this book chronicles slaves' close calls with bounty hunters, exhausting struggles on the road, and what they sacrificed for freedom. With 80 black-and-white illustrations throughout and a sixteen-page black-and-white photo insert, the Underground Railroad comes alive!
Read a review of What Was The Underground Railroad? By Gwendolyn Edith Eschen (age 11)
The first time I saw the book What Was The Underground Railroad I thought it was about trains. It is actually about the escaping of many slaves. Slavery started in 1619, but the underground railroad started in 1831. When slavery started there were many people against it. Those people were called abolitionists, and they spoke out against slavery. There were people called conductors they would help the slaves escape to the free states. Slave catchers were paid by the master of an escaping slave to catch the slave and bring it back. My favorite story of an escaping slave is Caroline Quarll’s story. She was 16 years old when she escaped on Independence Day. She went on a riverboat across the river to Illinois (a free state). Then she took a stagecoach all the way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she stayed with a barber. When the barber saw how much money he would get for giving Caroline back to her master he told a slave catcher where to find her. Asahel Finch (an abolitionist) warned Caroline, and they got out of the house just before the slave catcher came. The slave catcher was very angry and beat the barber. Asahel took Caroline down to the river and hid her in a sugar barrel promising to come back and get her. Asahel came back and took her to a farmhouse just outside Milwaukee. From there other conductors took her to the house of Samuel and Lucinda Daugherty, and she stayed there for three weeks. Once two slave catchers came to the Daugherty’s so Caroline went to the cellar. The only way to get to the cellar was through the potato chute, so she slid down it, got in the cellar, went outside, and hid in the corn field until they went away. Caroline decided to go to Canada, but she could not go by boat because there were too many slave catchers at the dock. A kind man named Lyman Goodnow decided to take her himself. He told everyone he was going to visit the queen, put Caroline in a wagon with hay over her, and took her to the Detroit river. She crossed the river in a steamboat and got off in Sandwich, Canada. Caroline married a man named Allen Watkins and learned to read and write. She wrote a letter to her friend Lyman Goodnow to thank him.I like the underground railroad book a lot because of all the exciting and interesting stories about slaves escaping. If you read it I hope you will like it as much as I do.