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Copyright 2002 Gerri Gribi ||| Email ||| Updated 08/07/15
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Underground Railroad, Slavery and Slave Narratives
See Also the Travel Section, as many states are developing Underground Railroad itineraries you can download

 Slavery still flourishes in many parts of the world and slave labor produces some of the items we use in the United States... like chocolate.
Learn what you can do to help eradicate slavery by visiting
iAbolish: The Anti-Slavery Portal at and
Free The Slaves

Underground Railroad (DVD) The History Channel Available at

No records were kept, but historians believe more than 100,000 slaves tried to escape their bondage before the Emancipation Proclamation. Alfre Woodard links together interviews with historians, contemporary photographs, drawings, and dramatic reenactments to show the terrors of slavery and the travails of escape, exploding many of our myths along the way. The emphasis is placed on the fact that this was the first integrated movement for civil rights, created by thousands of unknown heroes.

Roots of Resistance, Produced for the American Experience (PBS)

Men and women, black and white, risked their lives to carve an elaborate network of escape routes out of slavery. PBS site has Teacher's Guide and other resources.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The Center includes a museum, exhibitions, performances and more. At their website, you'll find Web quests, lesson plans, "Freedom Stations," information and links about the Underground Railroad, plus a calendar of related events nationwide. Been There! See my full review The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

"The 1,280 images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery. This collection is envisioned as a tool and a resource that can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and the general public - in brief, anyone interested in the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World."

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860

This online exhibit displays about 100 pamphlets, books, speeches, court transcriptions and other documents regarding the experiences of slaves in the American colonies and the U.S. Part of the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress.

A Slave's Legacy: His 2 Sons file lawsuit for reparations

Timothy Hurdle, 83, of San Francisco, and his brother Chester, 75, of Sacramento are among the few living children of slaves. In the twilight of their lives, they are among dozens of descendants of slaves to file lawsuits seeking reparations from major corporations (like insurance and tobacco companies) which benefited from slavery. San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2002. Page A-13.

Aboard the Underground Railroad: National Register Travel Itinerary

An excellent introduction, with a map and list of National Park Service historic sites associated with the movement.

National Underground Network to Freedom - Coordinated by the National Park Service

"The National Park Service is implementing a national Underground Railroad program to coordinate preservation and education efforts nationwide and integrate local historical places, museums, and interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad into a mosaic of community, regional, and national stories.

"The NPS project builds upon and is supported by community initiatives around the country as well as legislation passed in 1990 and the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998. Historic places and educational or interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad will become part of a network, eligible to use or display a uniform network logo, receive technical assistance and participate in program work shops.

"The Network will also serve to facilitate communication and networking between researchers and interested parties, and aid in the development of statewide organizations for preserving and researching Underground Railroad sites."

Underground Railroad Bike Route - Adventure Cycling Association

In association with the Center for Minority Health, the Adventure Cycling Association is developing this route. At their website you can learn more about the plans, and even take part in the discussion through their forums.

Follow the Drinking Gourd

History and lyrics for the slave song, "Follow the Drinking Gourd."

Educator's Guide to Follow the Drinking Gourd

Includes connections to astronomy.

Harriet Tubman

A site by kids, for kids about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad! It has a timeline, character sketches, quiz and a crossword puzzle, all created by the students in Mrs. Taverna's second grade class at Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Yale, Slavery and Abolition

While several noted abolitionists were associated with Yale, this graduate project explores the connection between Yale's founders and funders, most of whom made their money in the slave trade.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938

A joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs Divisions of the Library of Congress. More than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery comprising over 9,500 page images with searcheable text, bibliographic records and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves, more than 200 of which are made available to the public for the first time. The photographs of former slaves are linked to their corresponding narratives.

The Federal Writers' Project (FWP) originally made no plans for collecting slave autobiographies and reminiscences. Interviews with former slaves were undertaken spontaneously after the inception of the FWP and were included among the activities of several Southern Writers' Projects for almost a year before these isolated efforts were transformed into a concerted regional project, coordinated by the national headquarters of the FWP in Washington, D.C. On April 1, 1937, the collection of slave narratives formally began with the dispatch of instructions to all Southern and border states directing their Writers' Project workers to the task of interviewing former slaves. Today, the Slave Narrative Collection provides a unique and virtually unsurpassed collective portrait of a historical population.

This online collection features an extensive introductory essay which includes information about the interviewers, the people interviewed, and the processes of collection and compilation, as well as a wealth of fascinating stories

African American Odyssey: Slavery, The Peculiar Institution

Section one of a nine section exhibit featuring digital documents (posters, paintings, prints, letters, etc) in the Library of Congress. Provides background information and documents of The Atlantic Slave Trade and Liberation Strategies.

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