National Park Service Travel Itinerary Honors Underground Railroad

Negro History Bulletin, January-March 1998 | Go to article overview

National Park Service Travel Itinerary Honors Underground Railroad


"African American History Month is a time to reflect on the nation's heritage and the continuing struggle for freedom and dignity which have stamped themselves on the human history of our nation," remarked Robert Stanton, director of the National Park Service (NPS) as he announced the online presentation of Aboard the Underground Railroad, a new National Register of Historic Places travel itinerary. Focusing on 21 historic places connected with the routes slaves used to escape from slavery to freedom, Aboard the Underground Railroad presents a testimonial to the unconquerable thirst for freedom which exists in the human spirit and to a chapter of our nation's history which produced great heroes who worked, often anonymously, aiding men, women and children in their escape from slavery. The great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, knew of the morality of his cause when he wrote "I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of man."

The Underground Railroad refers to the effort by the sympathetic free blacks, Native Americans, slaves, whites and abolitionist organizations to assist enslaved African Americans escape to freedom. This movement was actually an informal system that evolved as a loosely constructed network of individuals and "safe havens" assisting freedom seekers in making their way to Canada, the northern states, the western territories, and a few to the Caribbean and Mexico. …

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