Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad

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About the Book

Fugitive slaves were reported in the American colonies as early as the 1640s, and escapes escalated with the growth of slavery over the next 200 years. As the number of fugitives rose, the Southern states pressed for harsher legislation to prevent escapes. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 criminalized any assistance, active or passive, to a runaway slave—yet it only encouraged the behavior it sought to prevent. Friends of the fugitive, whose previous assistance to runaways had been somewhat haphazard, increased their efforts at organization. By the onset of the Civil War in 1861, the Underground Railroad included members, defined stops, set escape routes and a code language.
From the abolitionist movement to the Zionville Baptist Missionary Church, this encyclopedia focuses on the people, ideas, events and places associated with the interrelated histories of fugitive slaves, the African American struggle for equality and the American antislavery movement. Information is drawn from primary sources such as public records, document collections, slave autobiographies and antebellum newspapers.

About the Author(s)

The late J. Blaine Hudson was a professor of Pan-African studies and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville.

Bibliographic Details

J. Blaine Hudson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 316
Bibliographic Info: 59 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9755-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0230-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

A Guide for Readers      13

Timeline: Slavery and the Underground Railroad      15

The Encyclopedia      21

Appendices

1. Selected Friends of the Fugitive by Last Name      239

2. Selected Friends of the Fugitive by State (and Canada)      242

3. Selected Underground Railroad Sites by Site Name      246

4. Selected Underground Railroad Sites by State (and Canada)      249

5. National Park Service Underground Railroad Sites      252

6. Bibliography of Slave Autobiographies      265

7. Selected Antislavery and Underground Railroad Songs      274

Bibliography      288

Index      301

Book Reviews & Awards

New York Public Library Outstanding Reference Book
“comprehensive…highly recommended”—Choice; “an impressive amount of detail”—C&RL News; “useful”—Booklist; “impressively comprehensive…highly useful…no other work available provides such a vast quantity of quality reference information on this topic…highly impressive…valuable…recommended”—Multicultural Review; “useful”—ARBA.