The Underground Railroad
By: Piper Baucom

For my Civil War Book Report I read the book The Underground Railroad. This book was by Raymond Bial. There were no drawings but there were photographs. The author notes in the foreword that he tried to make the book most like the runaway slaves situation clear to us. He is the author as well as the photographer.

I knew that the Underground railroad was a way for slaves to escape, I knew that slaves could be bought or sold, I knew that Harriett Tubman was a famous conductor, I knew that slaves could get in major trouble if caught, and I also knew that this was a major factor for starting the civil war. In this book I learned: I found out about Levi Coffin's secret ways, how slaves could be taken away from their family's as quick as a blink of an eye, how slaves, conductors, and station masters used secret code in different ways, I learned about Owen Lovejoy, and of course the Underground Railroad Routes of 1860.

This map shows the routes throughout the United States in 1860. It shows the free states, slave states, territory, railroad routes, and general movement. This map did come from the Underground Railroad book.

Six new vocabulary words were: Let which can mean rent, Muslin a cotton fabric, Toil means labor or hard work, Bondage means slavery or involuntary service, Bissextile means noting the extra day of leap year, and Hitherto meaning up to this time; until now. The opinion: " I was deeply impressed that significant events, both terrible and heroic, actually happened in these very places, and I was left with the feeling of reverence for those brave people--both runaways and workers on the Railroad--who had gone before us". This was only opinion I could find in this book. The three inferences: That the Underground Railroad could of started in North Carolina, that types of dogs did not help slaves escape, and abolishing slavery basically ended the Civil War. Reasons for References: " No one is certain of the origin of the Underground Railroad. Vestal Coffin, cousin of Levi Coffin, and his wife, Althea, may have started it in Guilford County, North Carolina, and the first line may have been through Indiana.", " Many professional slave catchers had bloodhounds, often called " Negro dogs," specially bred to follow the scent of fugitives.", and " At the conclusion of the Civil War, slavery was formally abolished in the United States when the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution was ratified on December, 18, 1865."

If slaves were caught on the Underground Railroad they could be thrown into jail.

This particular jail is in Willamsburg, Virginia. On the fifth grade field trip we visited this jail. I could see how different and poorly their jails were compared to ours today. This right here is one of the best situation a caught slave could wish for. The worst was death. I also got this photograph from the Underground Railroad.    


Title:The Underground Railroad                                                                                           Author: Raymond Bial                                                                                                           Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company                                                                                  City where book was published: New York, New York                                                           Copyright Date: 1995