Red Arrows--General direction of escape
Light green Background--Free states: slavery prohibited
Dark green Background--Slave states: slavery permitted
Beige Background- -Territories where slavery was permitted by local decision
"There were probably at least as many attempts at escape from slavery in the North America of the late 1600s and the 1700s, both individual and in groups, as in the 1800s when various forces, from the national Constitution to the local slave patrols, were all aligned to prevent escapes. While primary attention is given to the drama of slave escapes to the free states of the North and Canada, there was also a flow of runaways into Spanish Florida and into Spanish Mexico and the subsequent Mexican Republic. Although the numbers escaping across the southern borders never threatened to destabilize slavery, there were serious consequences for American diplomacy. Indeed, American foreign policy in the antebellum era was often driven by the need to secure the national borders and prevent slave escapes. The majority of assistance to runaways came from slaves and free blacks and the greatest responsibility for providing shelter, financial support and direction to successful runaways came from the organized efforts of northern free blacks."
Activity #1: Discuss, as a class, the pros and cons of escaping to Spanish Mexico and Florida and escaping to North states and Canada. Take in consideration the government (i.e. laws), climate, and native language. Also discuss diplomatic turbulence these escapes produced.
Activity #2: Compare/contrast this map to the first one. Which one do you prefer and why?
Source: "Aboard the Underground Railroad--Map of Routes" http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/underground/routes.htm