The Underground Railroad operated at night. Slaves were moved from "station" to "station" by abolitionists. These "stations" were usually homes and churches — any safe place to rest and eat before continuing on the journey to freedom, as faraway as Canada. Often whites would pretend to be the masters of the fugitives to avoid capture. Sometimes lighter skinned African Americans took this role.
Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad's "conductors." During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she "never lost a single passenger."
Rewards offered by slaveholders for the capture of Harriet Tubman eventually totaled $40,000.
Thomas Garrett is known as one of the most active and most influential stationmasters on the Underground Railroad. Garrett served as a stationmaster for more than four decades, and it has been claimed that Garrett helped 2,700 enslaved people on their journey to freedom.