6 Strategies Harriet Tubman and Others Used to Escape Along the Underground Railroad

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tags: slavery, Harriet Tubman, Underground Railroad

Despite the horrors of slavery, it was no easy decision to flee. Escaping often involved leaving behind family and heading into the complete unknown, where harsh weather and lack of food might await. 

Then there was the constant threat of capture. So-called slave catchers and their dogs roamed both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, nabbing runaways—and sometimes free blacks like Solomon Northup—and transporting them back to the plantation, where they would be whipped, beaten, branded or killed. 

Yet those willing to brave the risks did have one main ally: the Underground Railroad, a vast, loosely organized network of constantly-changing routes that guided slaves to freedom.

All told, in the decades preceding the Civil War, up to 100,000 slaves escaped. Some went to Mexico or Spanish-controlled Florida or hid out in the wilderness. Most, though, traveled to the Northern free states or Canada.

Read entire article at History.com