Excerpts From William Still’s The Underground Railroad
Most Dramatic Episodes
Not all episodes in the book involve gunfights and jailbreaks. But these are some of the most dramatic:
- Barn Gunfight
- Guns Drawn Against Slave Catchers
- Jailbreak By Six Men And Two Women
- Jailbreak By Wounded Fugitives
- Escape On Top Of A Train
- Rescue Of Young Lady By Her Admirer
- Pursued By Slave Catchers
- Reunited With A Blind Father
Escape By Taking Their Owners’ Horses
- Six Escape On Their Owners Horses
- Family Escape With Their Owners Horse And Carriage
- Stolen Horse And A White Companion
- Escape By Horse Across The Potomac
Escape Through Disguise
Escape By Boat
Many of the fugitives in William Still’s book hid on some kind of boat to get to Pennsylvania.
The journeys aboard the steamboats and steamships were particularly difficult as the fugitives were often concealed near the hot boiler.
The fugitive slaves in these accounts escaped by steamboat:
- Jeremiah And Julia Smith
- Escape Of John Henry Hill
- Escape Of Hezekiah Hill
- Escape Of Susan Brooks By Steamship
- Henry Atkins And His Wife
- Three Escape By Steamboat
- Escape By Steamboat Through A Storm
- Isaac Forman’s Grief For His Wife
- Escape To Boston
- Hidden Among Pots
- Woman Escapes In A Chest
Schooners were large sailing boats.
Escape By Foot
It was easier for individuals or two friends to be smuggled by boat. Larger groups and families had to travel by foot.
- Family With Six Children Escape
- Armed Escape By Four Fugitives
- Three Walk from Virginia To Pennsylvania
- Five Escape From The Eastern Shore
Escape In A Box Through The Postal Service
Escape By Faking A Travel Pass
In some southern states, slaves had to carry a document known as a travel pass to show they were allowed be away from their residence or place of work.
Slaves who had learned to write could forge these documents for themselves and others.
Well Known Owners Or Slaves
Some owners described in the book by their former slaves were very well known in those times.
- Escape From A Former President
- Escape From An Ex-President’s Brother
- Escape From The Governor Of North Carolina
Some fugitive slaves in the book went on to become renowned in their own right.
- Harriet Tubman Leads Seven To Freedom
- Thomas Dorsey Supports The Underground Railroad
- Future State Senator Escapes
- Fugitive Becomes A Dentist