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Underground Railroad & Harriet Tubman - Referat



"The Underground Railroad"
The group called "Underground Railroad" has itīs origen in the year 1780 and dissolved in 1862. It was an organisation that aided slaves in their escape from the southern states, by means of a complex System, that first brought them over the border to the north and after a period of hiding them in safehouses, set them up for a new life with clothes and enough money to start it.

Besides that, nothing much is known about the "Underground Railroad", neither about their exact method of operating nor about who was a member and when.
This is due to the fact, that most african americans they rescued could not write or read and the members themselfs were so afraid of detection, that they destroyed most records.
What we do know tho is were the now so popular name for the organisation comes from, it stems from the codenames employed to decrease the chances of being detected, the chargon used was alliend with the Railroad System and the people assosiated with it.

Safehouses became stations, the supporters of the abolition and the group, people from all kinds of races, got called conducters and even the ones simply donating blankets or food hat a codename, they were known as stockholders.

"Harriet Tubman"

One of the most famous conducters was Harriet Tubman, a black woman, herself a former slave, who made 19 trips to the south in which she rescued more than 300 slaves, including much of her own family, like her parents and several siblings.

But who was this remarkable woman?

As previously hinted at, Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, which is why unfortunaly her date of birth is uncertain, but it lies somewhere between 1808 and 1832. During the harsh life as a slave, she got badly injured from one overseer and ever after sufferd from narcoleptic episodes and a very painfull and almost constant headache.
She made first contact with the "Underground Railroad" in 1849, when she used it to make her dangerous escape, a trip of almost 90 miles to philladelphia.

After her successful rescue, she didnīt stay in the relativ safety of the
north for long, but reither made it her mission to aid the people that helped her and together with them rescue her family.
When in 1850 she recieved word that her nice Kessiah was going to be sold along with her two children, she helped them escape to Philladelphia, in her first of many rescue trips, after her nices free black husband had made the winning bet in Baltimore.

The dynamics of escaping slavery changed however in 1850, with the passing of the "Fugitive slave law". The law stated that escaped slaves could be captured in the north and be returned to the south.
In reaction to this law, Tubman rerouted the Railraod to canada.
Even during the civil war she remaind active, she was a Nurse and a cook for the union army, but quickly came to be a armed scout and a spy.

Despite her fame and reputation she never was finally secure, but she still remaines a symbol of freedom for many. In 1912 she died sorrounded by friends and family and even after her death she was well remembered. In the year 2006 she even got her own dollar bill.




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