The Underground Railroad: Myth and Reality | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

The Underground Railroad: Myth and Reality

Matthew Pinsker (Professor of History, Dickinson College)

November 19, 2015

How should we define the Underground Railroad? What role did the fugitive crisis play in the coming of the Civil War? Why do so many people continue to rely on folklore when describing the operations of the Underground Railroad? This webinar will get beyond myth and legend to address these and other questions. It will focus on documents from the often-overlooked northern vigilance committees that not only organized antebellum escapes and protected fugitives with legal and sometimes violent means but also kept surprisingly detailed records. This webinar will help situate these “underground” efforts in the very public battle over slavery that ripped the nation apart during the 1840s and 1850s.


History / American History / Slavery / Underground Railroad / Abolitionism /