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Underground Railroad in NY

The Underground Railroad assisted persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery. Why call it the Underground Railroad? The secretive transporting of the slaves was run much like the rail road system. People who sympathized with the slaves and hid them on their properties or in their homes were known as safe-houses, stations and or depots. The routes in between the safe-houses were called lines. The people who helped the slaves on their way to freedom were called conductors. The terms packages and freight were used to describe the fugitive slaves.

New York state played a major role in the Underground Railroad and had several stations since New York was so close to the slaves' final destination, Canada, where they would be free. At times, New York was the fugitive's final destination for New York state was known as a safe haven with black communities being established in the state.Some of the major stations were in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. Numerous other stations were spread all across New York state and along the Erie shoreline in Western, New York.

Gerrit Smith, Sojourner Truth, John Brown, Henry War Beecher, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman all abolitionists, made their homes in New York.

Click here for a list of Underground Railroad places to visit.

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