Eric Foner, The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad


Here’s another episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast. In this episode, host Liz Covart conducts a fantastic interview with Professor Eric Foner on the Underground Railroad.

The podcast’s website tells us what we’ll learn in this episode:

What You’ll Discover

    • An overview of the Underground Railroad and how it functioned
    • Who participated in the secret communications and transportation network
    • Approximation of how many slaves escaped to freedom using the network
    • When Underground Railroad networks formed
    • The New York Vigilance Society
    • What American society looked like during the 1830s and 1840s
    • Why the Underground Railroad operated as a clandestine network
    • David Ruggles and the Underground Railroad in New York City
    • The primary sources Eric used to research his book
    • Slave escape experiences
    • Consequences for “conductors” caught helping slaves escape to freedom
    • Consequences for slaves caught trying to escape
    • Where fugitive slaves settled
    • What escaped slaves did for work when they reached free states or Canada
    • The threat slave catchers posed to escaped or fugitive slaves
    • Protections offered by communities where escaped slaves settled
    • Harriet Tubman and her activities with the Underground Railroad
    • The Underground Railroad’s contributions to the causes of the Civil War
    • The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
    • Historic sites you can visit

You can get to the podcast here.


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