A dramatic account of the Underground Railroad, used by as many as 100,000 runaway slaves in their flight to freedom, this book also serves as a guide to more than 300 Underground Railroad sites, most of them open to the public. Some still contain the ingenious hideaways residents used to conceal fugitive slaves from pursuing slave hunters. These sites are located in the South, Canada, and all of the Northeastern and Midwestern states.
Most major cities, such as Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, have existing sites, but many smaller cities or villages, such as Xenia, Ohio; Farmington, Connecticut; Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and Grinnell, Iowa, figured prominently in the Underground Railroad. Some of the underground houses are now offices or private homes, but others are museums, and many have been turned into public restaurants, often with false doors, hidden rooms, and trapdoors showcased for visitors.
The book is divided into regional sections with listings of local tourism offices and historical societies for further aid and offers easy-to-read maps. It also includes a comprehensive history of slavery and the development of the Underground Railroad—the freedom train—which helped change the course of American history.
Bruce Chadwick, Ph.D., is the editor of Brother Against Brother: The Lost Civil War Diary of Edmund Halsey and the author of The Two American Presidents: A Dual Biography of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis (both Birch Lane Press). He lives in Randolph, New Jersey.