The Underground RailroadBy: Kristen Brown, Emily Zeitler, Clint Lytle, Jacob Little
The Underground RailroadThe Underground Railroad, a group of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada, was not run by anysingle organization or person. It consisted of many people, many whites but mostly blacks, who knew only of the local efforts toaid fugitives and not of the overall operation. Still, it effectively moved hundreds of slaves northward each year, according to oneestimate, the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850.An organized system to assist runaway slaves seems to have begun towards the end of the 18th century. In 1786 GeorgeWashington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes.”The system grew and around 1831 it was dubbed “The Underground Railroad,” after the then emerging steam railroads. Thefugitives would move at night. They would generally travel between 10 and 20 miles to the next station, where they would rest andeat, hiding in barns and other out-of-the -way places. While they waited, a message would sent to the next station to alert itsstationmaster.The fugitives would also travel by train and boat, conveyances that sometimes had to be paid for. Money was also needed toimprove the appearance of the runaways, a black man, woman, or child in tattered clothes would invariably attract suspiciouseyes. This money was donated by individuals and also raised by various groups, including vigilance committees. Slave housesfugitive slaves The drinking well
Follow The Drinking Gourd Lyrics:When the Sun comes backAnd the ﬁrst quail callsFollow the Drinking Gourd,For the old man is a-waiting for to carry you to freedomIf you follow the Drinking GourdThe riverbank makes a very good road.The dead trees will show you the way.Left foot, peg foot, traveling on,Follow the Drinking Gourd.The river ends between two hillsFollow the Drinking Gourd.There’s another river on the other sideFollow the Drinking Gourd.When the great big river meets the little riverFollow the Drinking Gourd.For the old man is a-waiting for to carry to freedomIf you follow the Drinking Gourd.
The Story Behind The SongA one-legged sailor, know as Peg Leg Joe, worked at various plantations as he made his way around the South. To each job, he would becomefriendly with the slaves and teach them the words to the song, Follow The Drinking Gourd.
How Black History Month was Established Carter G. WoodsonBlack History Month was originated in 1926, founded by Carter G.Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was selected indeference to Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln who were bothborn in that month.Carter G. Woodson was the son of a slave. Woodson was born in NewCanton, Virginia on December 19, 1875. He began high school at the ageof 20 and then proceeded to study at Berea College, the University ofChicago, the Sorbonne, and Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D.in 1912. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study ofNegro and History in 1915 to train Black historians and to collect,preserve, and publish documents on Black life and Black people.Woodson spent his life working to educate all people about the vastcontributions made by Black man and women throughout history. Mr.Woodson died on April 3, 1950 and Black History Month is his legacy. Carter G. Woodson
Harriet TubmanHarriet Tubman, she was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spyduring the American Civil War. She was born a slave near Cambridge, Maryland. She was oneof the most famous conductors from the Underground Railroad. After her successful escape tofreedom, she came back to Maryland to lead family members, friends, and other slaves tofreedom. Only traveling at night, she used, and routes thorough the woods and ﬁelds. Shemarried a free black named John Tubman and took his last name. Her name was AramintaRoss; she later changed her ﬁrst name to Harriet, after her mother. Her whole reason of runningaway was because she was going to be sold. She made her way to Pennsylvania and soon afterto Philadelphia, where she found work and saved her money. Tubman carried a gun which sheused to threaten the fugitives of they became too tired of decided to turn back, telling them,“You`ll be free or die.” By 1856, Tubman`s capture would have brought a $40,00 reward fromthe South. On one occasion, she overheard some men reading her wanted poster, which statedthat she was illiterate. She promptly pulled out a book and feigned reading it. The ploy wasenough to fool the men. Tubman had made the perilous trip to slave country 19 times by 1860,including one especially challenging journey in which she rescued her 70-year-old parents. OfThe famed heroine, she was known as “Moses.” Harriet Tubman
Henry “Box” BrownBrown was born as a slave on a tobacco plantation outside Richmond, Virginia. From an earlyage, he was a favorite of his masters and became a house servant. He ad more freedom than theaverage slave, and eventually, when his master died was sent to Richmond to work in thetobacco factory of one of his master`s sons. There, Henry gained a semblance of freedom. Hewas able to live in his own residence, became a trusted member of a black church where hejoined the choir, and married a slave (who had a different master) and had three children. Theonly problem was that he and his family weren`t free, which meant they could be sold andseparated at any time. Henry “Box” Brown