From: The Story of the Underground Railroad

"On to Liberty! " — The route to freedom. After the War of 1812, Upper Canada's attorney general, John Beverley Robinson, declared that blacks residing in Canada were free, and that the Canadian courts would protect their freedom. Then word began to spread through the southern slave community, slowly and secretly, that a runaway slave, traveling at night, could follow the North Star to reach Canada. The secret network that sent slaves north became known as the Underground Railroad. There was no actual railroad — rather, there existed a network of hiding places, safe houses, and escape routes, all provided by those committed to sending slaves along a route to freedom. Because a runaway recaptured in any part of the United States, by law, had to be returned to his or her owner, for a slave to reach Canada meant freedom. It was, however, a long and perilous journey, almost impossible to undertake without friends and the assistance of the Underground Railroad network.
© Dover Publications. You can browse our complete catalog of over 9,000 titles at or visit your local bookseller.