Underground Railroad

Map of routes of the Underground Railroad,

Map of routes of the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19th century, and used by African-American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. Wikipedia

Learn more about the Underground Railroad through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about the Underground Railroad

Family of 15 is helped to freedom; Underground Railroad Family of 15 is helped to freedom; Underground Railroad "is in fine working order" 1852 Fri, Oct 1, 1852 – Page 3 · The Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comNegative opinion of the Underground Railroad from a pro-slavery viewpoint, 1853Negative opinion of the Underground Railroad from a pro-slavery viewpoint, 1853 Sat, May 14, 1853 – Page 2 · The Raleigh Register (Raleigh, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comVarious accounts of enslaved people escaping to Canada using the Underground Railroad, 1853Various accounts of enslaved people escaping to Canada using the Underground Railroad, 1853 Fri, Aug 19, 1853 – Page 1 · The Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comWoman arrested for helping enslaved person escape; How the Underground Railroad works in LouisvilleWoman arrested for helping enslaved person escape; How the Underground Railroad works in Louisville Fri, May 12, 1854 – Page 4 · The Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comUnderground Railroad growing stronger, according to pro-slavery newspaper, 1854Underground Railroad growing stronger, according to pro-slavery newspaper, 1854 Sat, Sep 16, 1854 – Page 2 · Anti-Slavery Bugle (Lisbon, Ohio) · Newspapers.comOhio updates on numbers of enslaved individuals escaping using Underground Railroad, 1854Ohio updates on numbers of enslaved individuals escaping using Underground Railroad, 1854 Sat, Sep 16, 1854 – Page 2 · Anti-Slavery Bugle (Lisbon, Ohio) · Newspapers.comLetter recounting one man's escape from slavery; says Underground Railroad is expanding, 1855Letter recounting one man's escape from slavery; says Underground Railroad is expanding, 1855 Sat, Mar 10, 1855 – Page 3 · Anti-Slavery Bugle (Lisbon, Ohio) · Newspapers.comExcerpt about the Underground Railroad from an abolitionist speech, 1855Excerpt about the Underground Railroad from an abolitionist speech, 1855 Fri, Jun 8, 1855 – Page 2 · The Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comClergyman suspended from his ministry for helping people escape through Underground Railroad, 1855Clergyman suspended from his ministry for helping people escape through Underground Railroad, 1855 Wed, Oct 31, 1855 – Page 1 · The South-Western (Shreveport, Louisiana) · Newspapers.comUnderground Railroad doing a Underground Railroad doing a "thriving business" after Ohio River freezes, 1856 Fri, Mar 7, 1856 – Page 3 · The Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comMinister argues it is wrong to ask his congregation to support the Underground Railroad, 1856Minister argues it is wrong to ask his congregation to support the Underground Railroad, 1856 Fri, Aug 29, 1856 – Page 1 · The Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com70 enslaved individuals escape to Canada from Tennessee through the Underground Railroad, 185970 enslaved individuals escape to Canada from Tennessee through the Underground Railroad, 1859 Sat, May 21, 1859 – Page 4 · Anti-Slavery Bugle (Lisbon, Ohio) · Newspapers.comPro-slavery article critical of Underground Railroad for not helping formerly enslaved return SouthPro-slavery article critical of Underground Railroad for not helping formerly enslaved return South Wed, Jul 27, 1859 – Page 2 · Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan) · Newspapers.comPro-slavery article claims corruption in Underground Railroad; says former enslaved live in povertyPro-slavery article claims corruption in Underground Railroad; says former enslaved live in poverty Sat, Jan 7, 1860 – Page 2 · Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) · Newspapers.comWilliam Still publishes his book William Still publishes his book "The Underground Railroad Records" Wed, Jun 26, 1872 – 3 · Vermont Watchman and State Journal (Montpelier, Vermont) · Newspapers.comThomas Garrett writes letter recounting Harriet Tubman's experience rescuing 2 people from slaveryThomas Garrett writes letter recounting Harriet Tubman's experience rescuing 2 people from slavery Wed, Feb 24, 1875 – Page 1 · Vermont Watchman and State Journal (Montpelier, Vermont) · Newspapers.comAnna Elizabeth Ball helped 63 enslaved people escape through Underground RailroadAnna Elizabeth Ball helped 63 enslaved people escape through Underground Railroad Mon, Jan 24, 1887 – 1 · The Hazleton Sentinel (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comJohn J. Zuille helped 119 people escape slavery on the Underground RailroadJohn J. Zuille helped 119 people escape slavery on the Underground Railroad Sat, Dec 7, 1889 – Page 1 · The Appeal (Saint Paul, Minnesota) · Newspapers.comChapman Harris, Chapman Harris, "head of the celebrated underground road" in Indiana, passes away in 1890 Sat, Feb 15, 1890 – Page 2 · The Appeal (Saint Paul, Minnesota) · Newspapers.comLetter from son of Levi Coffin details father's contributions to the Underground RailroadLetter from son of Levi Coffin details father's contributions to the Underground Railroad Sat, May 10, 1890 – Page 3 · The Washington Bee (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.comRetrospective on Underground Railroad stations in Pennsylvania, 1994Retrospective on Underground Railroad stations in Pennsylvania, 1994 Fri, Feb 4, 1994 – Page 114 · The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com
"Underground Railroad," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/civil-war/underground-railroad/ : accessed September 18, 2020)
Topics American Civil War Era, Black History

The views and opinions expressed in these newspaper articles and clippings are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Newspapers.com or Ancestry.