Argumentative Essay: The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was not a real railroad. It didn’t have train cars, tracks, or any form of a schedule. The Underground Railroad was a secret network of people all over the United States, who operated in the dark of the night. Their mission was a risky one_ to help runaway slaves escape from slavery in the Southern states.
The Underground transported the largest amount of passengers between 1830 and 1860, but slaves had been trying to escape as early as the 1500’s. That is when Spain had begun starting colonies along the islands of North America’s southeastern coast. Spaniards introduced abducted African American men, women, and children to their North American colonies. These people were then forced into slavery on large plantations,…

Henry “Box” Brown went even further than that. Henry had some friends who nailed him into a box and shipped it to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was a bumpy journey, but Henry arrived and was alive and free. More common cases were that workers hid runaways in their own homes until it was safe to move on with the rest of their journey. Still others offered meals, articles of clothing slaves were lacking, or just simple kindness. All of the “workers” had one thing in common; they believed that every human no matter their race is born with the privilege to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of…

Those who led runaways on a safe journey were called “conductors”. “Agents” hid slaves and gave them food, clothes, and temporary shelter. If agents chose to work in the day time, they would often pretend they had domestic slaves. Many slaves swept decks and did laundry while the agent would talk to bounty hunters seeking runaways. Along the railroad there were safe houses called “stations”. Runaways themselves were called “passengers” “baggage” or “freight.” Through the use of several of these terms, escapees would seem to be having a normal conversation about train rides. Railroad terminology was chosen because the railroad was an emerging form of transportation and its communication language was not widespread.
A runaway slaves, day-to day life was a living nightmare. They were able to only travel during the night for just a few short hours. The slaves map was the night sky, where the northern star pointed them in the right direction. With every step they took, they were constantly holding their breathes listening for barking of bloodhounds in the night. They ran and ran, all the while twigs and thorns ripped through their clothes and exposed skin. Runaways often tramped through swamps and any body of water they could find, solely to cut down on any form of trail they could possibly leave…