In honor of Black History Month 2013, the topic of this entry is the Underground Railroad, an elaborate escape network by which the enslaved traveled from slavery in the south towards freedom in the north or Canada. The network used rail terminology to describe functions and people. For example, the people who helped slaves find the railroad were "agents" (or "shepherds"), "station masters" were the people who hid slaves in their homes and escaped slaves were referred to as "passengers" or "cargo."
Some familiar names associated with the Underground Railroad include:
- Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who became a leading abolitionist and one of the leading voices of the movement
- Harriet Tubman, who went from being born into slavery to being the first woman to guide an armed expedition in the Civil War, and,
- John Brown, a man given to righteous violence against chattel slavery and who led the attack on the Armory and Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. He was executed for his actions.