I’m working on a history paper (really, I am, it just looks like I’m wasting time on a message board…) on slave rebellions in the US. One of the ones I’m analyzing is the underground railroad, because the whole thing is just cool. Lots of info out there on it. However, I’m unable to find one statistic: about how many slaves managed to escape through the underground railroad or some incarnation thereof? I’ve got a stack of four books on it in front of me, and not one of them is telling me this. And thus, all answers are welcome, because this paper is due Monday, and today is Wednesday, and I’m trying to figure out what happened to “I will not put this paper off until the last minute”. :smack:
“The most frequent calculation is that around one thousand per year actually escaped”
It’s often very difficult to calculate, because members of the Railroad didn’t keep any records out of fear of being caught. Sites which were “stations” are still, to a large extent, unknown, because the family living in the house at the time kept their activities secret.
My hometown was a somewhat of a focal point for the Railroad, and there are a lot of old houses around town with “secret” rooms. Often, people now living in the houses will call us to find out if the home was a “station” and we have to tell them that there’s just no way of knowing for sure in most cases. Most of the time, all we have are rumors, and the occasional tale handed down through a family.