Harriet tubman and the underground railroad essay

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It is impossible to know how many of the African-Americans in this region were "fugitives from labor" but I do know that Mitchell was far from the only one in this category remaining in Chester and Lancaster counties. Did Mitchell feel safe because he was living among free people of his own color or because he was living among quakers? We need more research here but there seem to be numerous examples of related pre-civil War African-American and quaker communities-i know of examples in Maryland, new Jersey, pennsylvania, and Canada. This is not to say that these communities were racially egalitarian. Mitchell worked for a white farmer, a quaker, and lived in a tenant house. On Sunday, he likely went to one of the nearby African Methodist churches while his employer and family went off to quaker meeting. Top, mythologies of Tunnels, quilts and Lawn Jockeys. The popular mythology of the Underground railroad is filled with stories of tunnels, secret hiding places, quilts and lawn jockeys.

In one case a man named Thomas Mitchell was recaptured in write Chester county where he had been living since escaping from slavery twelve years earlier. At the time of his capture, he was eight miles north of the mason-Dixon Line and within eighteen miles of the place where he had been enslaved. The goal of the Underground railroad was not necessarily canada, but a place of safety. When Thomas Mitchell crossed into pennsylvania, he was immediately in a region that had both quakers and free people of color. Within five miles of his home were no less than seven quaker meetinghouses and five african Union or African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Churches. When the slave catchers came for Thomas Mitchell, they didnt even try to go to the pennsylvania courts, but illegally kidnapped him from his home in the dead of night. Mitchell was taken by his captors to the slave market in Baltimore. Mitchell's white neighbors either synthesis didn't know, or wouldn't admit to knowing, that Mitchell was a fugitive. I suspect this was part of an intentional "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Ultimately his Chester county neighbors purchased his freedom.

harriet tubman and the underground railroad essay

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Top, networks of Support: Crossing Racial boundaries. Fugitives from slavery were not headed to canada. They were headed to places of safety. My current area of interest is in south-eastern Pennsylvania, specifically Chester and Lancaster counties. These counties border Maryland, a slave state. There is ample evidence of a quaker and African-American Underground railroad network that assisted freedom seekers on their way north, often by way of Philadelphia. What I didn't expect of find was that there were a substantial number of fugitive slaves who crossed into pennsylvania and stayed. The areas of greatest African-American population in south-eastern Pennsylvania are also the areas of greatest quaker populations. Where there were no quaker settlements, there were rarely any significant numbers of African-Americans.

harriet tubman and the underground railroad essay

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Clearly, many of report the self-emancipated not only freed themselves but made their way to the north and even to canada with little or no aid. Others came though largely or exclusively African-American, and likely African-Canadian, networks, sometimes outside the knowledge of white abolitionists and white Underground railroad workers. My reading of the writings of the people who were actively engaged in the Underground railroad-as self-emancipators or as helpers-is that they clearly understood that it was the fugitives themselves who were the center of the story. It was the fugitive who took the initiative and the major part of the risk. But in re-centering the story on the freedom seeker, and on African-American communities of support, at times we seem to have forgotten the multi-racial aspects of the Underground railroad. Do we remember the great achievements of the African-American heroes of our story-frederick douglass, harriet Tubman, william Still-only to forget, or at least marginalize the contributions of their white co-workers. Hopper, levi coffin, Thomas Garrett? Still thanked those people who aided him in his work, his list was a virtual who's who of the quaker families of Philadelphia.

By the mid twentieth century, the Underground railroad story was often told as if the only actors were white, and the freedom seekers themselves were passed from safe house to safe house like so much cargo. I suspect that much of that twentieth century mythology was, perhaps unconsciously, a matter of white Americans trying to convince themselves that in the times of slavery, they had been on the side of freedom. One must be suspicious of "feel good history.". More than forty years ago, historian Larry gara wrote a book entitled. The liberty line: The legend of the Underground railroad (1961). Gara claimed that the story of the Underground railroad, as told in the mid 20th century, focused almost exclusively on the assistance given freedom seekers by whites, particularly quakers, and ignored the larger story of African-Americans liberating themselves and the role of African-American institutions and. He called for refocusing the story on the freedom seekers and the role of African-American communities and institutions, north and south. Incidentally, gara is a quaker.

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Ward, a one-time resident of smith poughkeepsie, describes in his autobiography the escape of his parents from the eastern Shore of Maryland to southern New Jersey in 1820. They left with the intention, ward wrote, "to reach a free state, and live among quakers." They found refuge in Greenwich, new Jersey. There were no slave-holders there, despite new Jersey being at that time a slave state, and,"ng Ward, "when the slave-catchers came prowling about the quakers placed all manner of peaceful obstacles in their way, while the negroes made it a little too hot for. William Wells Brown, who had freed himself from enslavement by escape and later worked on the Underground railroad as well as becoming a noted lecture and writer for the abolitionist cause, testified that the reputation of quakers for anti-slavery was well known among the enslaved. No fugitive, brown wrote, was ever betrayed by a quaker.

Top, whose Story are we telling? In the days of the abolitionist movement, the story of the Underground railroad was largely about the freedom seekers themselves. Speakers and writers like frederick douglass or William Wells Brown could testify to the evils of slavery from their own experience. They stood as examples that the enslaved were not happy with their lot and were willing risk great dangers to become free. After the civil War, when having been an abolitionist before the civil War became respectable, there were a number of recollections and memoirs written by white abolitionists about their activities. Somehow the emphasis shifted from the story of the enslaved seeking their own freedom, largely and often exclusively without assistance from an Underground railroad, to stories of how white people, often quakers, aided fugitive slaves.

There does seem to be an attitude that anyone really serious about abolishing slavery would eventually have to do as John Brown and pick up the carnal sword. This also became a problem for quakers, whose peace testimony predated its anti-slavery testimony. Quakers were divided on some of the tactics of the garrisonian anti-slavery movement in the 1830s and 1840s. Lucretia mott, embraced the, american Anti-Slavery society, others thought that the rhetoric of the garrisonians was divisive and would lead to conflict rather than resolution. The abolitionists themselves often disagreed over tactics.


Some quakers stood apart from the organized anti-slavery movement. Gardner, a hicksite Friends from Farmington, new York, clearly understood that slavery was evil and Friends needed to bear a full and efficient testimony against all evil. Yet Gardner cautioned in 1846 that "wrong may be wrongfully opposed, and war opposed in a warlike spirit." These Friends were uncomfortable about some of the rhetoric of the garrisonians even while agreeing with them on the basic principles of anti-slavery. Top, the quaker in the Underground railroad Story. Quakers are part of Underground railroad mythology. Some people seem to think that any house once owned by a quaker must have been a stop on the Underground railroad. But mythologies often contain truths.

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What if God and caesar demanded essay different things? The bible laid out the "Golden Rule" - "whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do you so even unto them" (Matthew 7: 12). For quakers, when religious duty came into conflict with the law of the land, it was the duty of the Christian to suffer rather than obey. Pennsylvania quaker William Jackson made this point in an 1846 pamphlet: no one is under any moral obligation to lend himself as a tool to others for the commission of a crime, even when commanded by his government to do the wrong. If you believe in the golden Rule, what should you do when the fugitive comes to your door? Top, violence and Non-violence, quakers had a history of going to jail for their beliefs-for not paying church tithes, for refusing to swear oaths, for refusing to bear arms. In the seventeenth century in England, thousands of quakers spent time in prison-in some cases for years when they could easily have won their freedom by paying fines or swearing oaths. Non-violent civil disobedience did not begin with Martin Luther King in the 1950s or even Henry david Thoreau in the 1840s, but had been a part of quaker practice since the 1650s. In the United States, slavery was ultimately extinguished by blood-the civil War.

harriet tubman and the underground railroad essay

Quakers of the 18th and 19th century were very aware that quakers had once held slaves, people who had worked for quakers but had not been paid for their labors. It was not enough to clear the society of Friends of the sin of slave-holding but to look to the education of the freed people. . Philadelphia quaker John Parrish's will in 1807 left a bequest for "the use of Africans and their a reward for the advantages I have received with others from their labors." Another quaker former slave-owner, richard our Humphries, left a similar bequest which laid the foundations for. Top, moral Accountability and Slavery. For quakers, human slavery was not merely wrong; it was incompatible with moral and natural law. According to jonathan Dymond, an English quaker: Any human being who has not forfeited his liberty by his crimes, has a right to be free-and that whosoever forcibly withhold liberty from an innocent man, robs him of his rights and violates the moral Law. Quakers had a problem. They had determined that slavery was absolutely wrong, but lived in the United States lived within a society and under a government that held that people could be property. The bible said, "render, therefore, unto caesar, the things which are caesar's; and unto god the things that are of God." (Matthew 22:21 kjv).

had reservations about slavery but accepted its existence as the law of the land and part of the national compact. Harboring a "fugitive from labor" was a violation of both the United States Constitution and of Federal Law. It wasn't just illegal; it was subversive, even treasonous. Top, quaker Approaches to Abolitionism, the transition from slavery to freedom, particularly within a society where slavery is both legal and normative, raises questions about the position of the newly freed. Since in North America, slavery became almost exclusively connected with race, and people of African descent were therefore considered by many of the 18th and 19th century as "other" what was to be the status of freed people? Did they have the same rights, including access to the legal system, as whites? Where did they fit in the economy?

Wikipedia.org, usage. Wikipedia.org, this file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details may not fully reflect the modified file. Retrieved from " g "). By christopher Densmore, curator, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore college. The Struggle for the soul of America. In 1857, the supreme court of the United resume States, in the Dred Scott decision, stated that "a person of African descent, whether emancipated or free, has no right which a white man is bound to respect." The United States Constitution, adopted written in 1787, while. More than a century before Dred Scott, in 1754, Philadelphia yearly meeting of the religious Society of Friends told its members "To live in ease and plenty, by the toil of those whom violence and cruelty have put in our power, is neither consistent with. Slavery was, in quaker eyes, a "national evil." "A house divided against itself shall not stand." Matthew 12:.

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From wikivoyage, jump to navigation, jump to search, no higher resolution available. Harriet_Tubman_Locations_g (446 383 pixels, file size: 106 kb, mime type: image/jpeg). File history, click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. current 03:10, 16 november (106 kb scartol. Information DescriptionA map of four key locations in the life. Harriet Tubman, sourceself-made date15 november 2007 Author, scartol. Permission other_versions, there are no pages that link to this file. Global file usage, the following other wikis use this file: Usage.


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  1. Crenshaw/lax lines tbm is named. B bs with, underground, railroad, tIES. Cambridge house b b, cambridge, md : Here s a great lodging choice for those seeking to learn about Frederick douglass and locally born, harriet, tubman. The essay appeared as a dissenting Tradition: louisiana women and the Black Struggle for Equality in louisiana.

  2. Quakers are part. Some people seem to think that any house once owned by a quaker must have been a stop on the, underground, railroad. A full closure of the 2nd Street and, broadway intersection in downtown Los Angeles will start as early as. Help me with my photo essay of the, foothill communities.

  3. Underground, railroad figure matches the legendary status of, harriet, tubman, one of its rare female conductors. Tubman made an amazing 19 trips back south, personally freeing over. quot;s by john Brown, Frederick douglass, and, harriet, tubman. 2001 Whitney museum of American Art.

  4. Description, harriet, tubman, locations. This is a file from the, wikimedia commons and may be used by other projects. Harriet, tubman :.

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