The Underground Railroad

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The Underground Railroad by Mind Map: The Underground Railroad

1. Means and Survival (21)

1.1. Involvement was dangerous and illegal, so secret codes were created to communicate without detection.

1.1.1. The Fugitive Slave Law made it so slaves wouldn't truly reach safety until they got to Canada.

1.2. Fugitives would have to travel mostly on foot for great distances, with little to no food or protection from slave catchers.

1.2.1. The Fugitive Slave Law was at large so getting caught would be drastic for the runaways and people who helped them.

1.3. The runaways would have to travel through the wilderness and therefore were subject to the elements.

2. Effects and Results (18)

2.1. Even after the Civil War started, African American leaders of the Underground Railroad continued to support the abolitionist movement and the Union.

2.2. The Railroad was the largest anti-slavery movement in America.

2.2.1. Despite this, the number of slaves that successfully escaped is low.

2.3. The Southern slavery supporters were against this. The way many Northerners helped and welcomed the fugitive slaves drove the two sides further apart.

2.4. Overall, The Underground Railroad was a turning point in history and marks the point when people made physical efforts against slavery.

3. Fugitive Slave Law, 1850 (17)

3.1. The Law

3.1.1. The main purpose was to track down runaway slaves that escaped to northern states, capture and return them to their owners.

3.1.2. Any slaves who claimed to be free had no right to a trial by jury. The law gave slaves even less rights than they had before. This comes into effect during the Dred Scott Decision.

3.1.3. Congress required police in free states to return fugitive slaves to their southern masters. This made the trek to freedom even longer and more dangerous.

3.2. Impacts

3.2.1. The law drove a larger edge between the North and the South. The North saw this as Congress supporting slavery, and were very against it.

3.3. In Action

3.3.1. Penalties were issued to those who helped or hid fugitives.

3.3.2. Despite this, free black and abolitionists organized vigilance committees to protect fugitives from police or catchers.

4. Life on The Railroad

4.1. Routes (20)

4.1.1. The railroad was not an actual railroad, but a network of free African Americans, ex-slaves, and abolitionists who helped runaway slaves. Slaves were moved from safe house to safe house until they reached freedom.

4.1.2. Most escapees were headed to the North or Canada towards freedom.

4.1.3. Composed of secret routes and safe houses. Lanterns in front of a home would identify a safe house. Churches were also commonly used as shelter.

4.2. Escapees (19)

4.2.1. Escapees had to avoid slave catchers as a result of the Fugitive Slave Law. This made traveling on the railroad dangerous and meant escaped slaves were risking their lives for freedom.

4.2.2. The escapees of the Underground Railroad consisted of southern slaves trying to flee north towards freed states. Frederick Douglas was a famous escapee who escaped by an actual train.

4.2.3. "Conductors" would help guide slaves to the North. Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave and the most famous conductor in helping over 300 slaves escape.