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The Underground Railroad

and related Abolitionist, and Fugitive Slave Resources

a constantly changing URL database with content relevant to elementary school curricula

  1. Abolitionists: Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Russwurm
  2. Adler, David. A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman . NY: Holiday House, 1992.
  3. Altman, Susan. Followers of the North Star: Rhymes about African American Heroes, Heroines, and Historical Times .
  4. Avi. Something Upstairs: A Tale of Ghosts . NY: Orchard Books, 1988. (120 ps)
    When he moves from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, Kenny discovers that his new house is haunted by the spirit of a black slave boy who asks Kenny to return with him to the early nineteenth century and prevent his murder by slave traders.
  5. Berry, James. Ajeemah and His Son . NY: Harper Collins, 1992.
    A father and his eighteen-year-old son are each affected differently by their experiences as slaves in Jamaica in the early nineteenth century.
  6. Bial, Raymond. The Underground Railroad . Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
  7. Brill, Marlene. Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad . Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1993. (47 ps)
    Recounts how Allen Jay, a young Quaker boy living in Ohio during the 1840s, helped a fleeing slave escape his master and make it to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
  8. Clark, Margaret Goff. Freedom Crossing . NY: Scholastic, 1980. (128 ps)
    After spending four years with relatives in the South, a fifteen-year-old girl accepts the idea that slaves are property and is horrified to learn when she returns North that her home is a station on the underground railroad.
  9. Davis, Ossie. Escape to Freedom: A Play About Young Frederick Douglass .
  10. Edwards, Pamela Duncan. Barefoot: Escape on the Underground Railroad . NY: Harper Collins, 1997. (32 ps)
    In the forest, a group of animals help a runaway slave escape his pursuers.
  11. Ferris, Jeri. Go Free or Die: A Story About Harriet Tubman . Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1988. (63 ps.)
    A biography of the black woman whose cruel experiences as a slave in the South led her to seek freedom in the North for herself and for others through the Underground Railroad.
  12. Fleischner, Jennifer. I Was Born a Slave: The Story of Harriet Jacobs . Brookfield, Conn: Millbrook Press, 1997.
    Traces the life of a slave who suffered mistreatment from her master, spent years as a fugitive from slavery in North Carolina, and was eventually released to freedom with her children.
  13. Brill, Marlene. Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad . Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1993. (47 ps)
    Recounts how Allen Jay, a young Quaker boy living in Ohio during the 1840s, helped a fleeing slave escape his master and make it to freedom through the Underground Railroad. (Lee)
  14. Guccione, Leslie. Come Morning . Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1995.
    Twelve-year-old Freedom, the son of a freed slave living in Delaware in the early 1850s, takes over his father's work in the Underground Railroad when his father disappears.
  15. Hamilton, Virginia. Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of A Fugitive Slave . NY: Knopf, 1993. (193 ps)
    A biography of the slave who escaped to Boston in 1854, was arrested at the instigation of his owner, and whose trial caused a furor between abolitionists and those determined to enforce the Fugitive Slave Acts.
  16. Hamilton, Virginia. Many Thousand Gone: African Americans From Slavery to Freedom . NY: Knopf, 1993.
    Recounts the journey of Black slaves to freedom via the underground railroad, an extended group of people who helped fugitive slaves in many ways.
  17. Haskins, James. Bound For America: The Forced Migration of Africans to the New World . NY: Lothrop, 1999. (48 ps.)
    Discusses the European enslavement of Africans, including their capture, branding, conditions on slave ships, shipboard mutinies, and arrival in the Americas.
  18. Haskins, James. Get On Board: The Story of the Underground Railroad . NY: Scholastic, 1993.
    Discusses the Underground Railroad, the secret, loosely organized network of people and places that helped many slaves escape north to freedom.
  19. Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt . NY: Knopf, 1993.
    A young slave stitches a quilt with a map pattern which guides her to freedom in the North.
  20. Jacob, Helen Pierce. The Diary of the Strawbridge Place . NY: Atheneum, 1978.
    A family of Quakers operating a station on the Underground Railroad spirits slaves from Ashtabula, Ohio, across Lake Erie to freedom.
  21. Johnson, Dolores. Now Let Me Fly: The Story of a Slave Family . NY: Macmillan, 1993.
    A fictionalized account of the life of Minna, kidnapped as a girl in Africa, as she endures the harsh life of a slave on a Southern plantation in the 1800s and tries to help her family survive.
  22. Johnson, Dolores. Seminole Diary: Remembrances of a Slave . NY: Macmillan, 1994.
  23. Johnson, Lois. Escape Into the Night . Minneapolis, Minn: Bethany House, 1995.
    In 1857 twelve-year-old Libby joins her father aboard the Christina and proves that she can be trusted to assist in the escape of a fugitive slave.
  24. Lester, Julius. To Be A Slave . NY: Dial, 1998.
    A compilation, selected from various sources and arranged chronologically, of the reminiscences of slaves and ex-slaves about their experiences from the leaving of Africa through the Civil War and into the early twentieth century.
  25. Levine, Ellen. If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad . NY: Scholastic, 1993. (64 ps)
    Describes the underground railroad which helped slaves escape to freedom.
  26. McGovern, Ann. Wanted Dead or Alive: The True Story of Harriet Tubman .
  27. Meadowcroft, Enid. By Secret Railway . NY: Crowell, 1948.
  28. Miller, Robert. A Pony for Jeremiah . NJ: Silver Burdett, 1997. (63 ps)
    After running away from the Mississippi plantation where they had been slaves, nine-year-old Jeremiah Johnson and his family begin a new life in Nebraska, where Jeremiah meets a Cheyenne boy who becomes a good friend.
  29. Miller, William. Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery . NY: Lee and Low, 1995. (32 ps)
  30. Monjo, F.N. The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad . NY: HarperCollins, 1993. (62 ps)
    When he is sent home alone for misbehaving in church, Tommy discovers that his house is a station on the underground railroad.
  31. Porter, Connie. Addy Learns A Lesson: A School Story . Middleton, WI: Pleasant Co., 1993. (68 ps)
    After escaping from a plantation in North Carolina, Addy and her mother arrive in Philadelphia, where Addy goes to school and learns a lesson in true friendship.
  32. Porter, Connie. Changes For Addy . Middleton, WI: Pleasant Co., 1994.
    After the Civil War ends, Addy desperately hopes that her family will be reunited in freedom in Philadelphia, but the future may hold both happiness and heartache.
  33. Porter, Connie. Happy Birthday, Addy!: A Springtime Story . Middleton, WI: Pleasant Co., 1994. (60 ps)
    Trying to shape a new life of freedom in Philadelphia after having been a slave, Addy finds inspiration from a new friend.
  34. Rappaport, Doreen. Escape From Slavery: Five Journeys To Freedom . NY: Harper Collins, 1991. (117 ps)
    Five accounts of black slaves who managed to escape to freedom during the period preceding the Civil War.
  35. Riggio, Anita. Secret Signs: Along the Underground Railroad . Boyds Mills Press, 1997.
    When the barn used for hiding runaway slaves burns to the ground, Luke, who is deaf, finds a unique way to pass along information about the next safe haven.
  36. Ringgold, Faith. Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky . NY: Crown, 1996.
    With Harriet Tubman as her guide, Cassie retraces the steps escaping slaves took on the Underground Railroad in order to reunite with her younger brother.
  37. Rosen, Michael. A School For Pompey Walker. NY: Harcourt Brace, 1995. (48 ps)
    At the dedication of a school named after him, an old former slave tells the story of his life and how his white friend helped him earn the money for the school by repeatedly selling him into slavery, after which he always escaped.
  38. Ruby, Lois. Steal Away Home . NY: Macmillan, 1994.
    In two parallel stories, a Quaker family in Kansas in the late 1850s operates a station on the Underground Railroad, while almost 150 years later twelve-year-old Dana moves into the same house and finds the skeleton of a black woman who helped the Quakers.
  39. Smucker, Barbara. Runaway to Freedom: A Story of the Underground Railway . NY: Harper and Row, 1977. (151 ps)
    Two young slave girls escape from a plantation in Mississippi and wind a hazardous route toward freedom in Canada via the Underground Railroad.
  40. Stein, R. Conrad. The Story of the Underground Railroad . NY: Children's Press, 1997.
    Describes the operation, stations, and famous conductors of the underground railroad, a network that helped slaves escape from bondage prior to the Civil War in the United States.
  41. Sterling, Dorothy. The Story of Harriet Tubman: Freedom Train .
  42. Thomas, Joyce Carol. I Have Heard of a Land . NY: Harper Collins, 1998.
    Describes the joys and hardships experienced by an African-American pioneer woman who staked a claim for free land in the Oklahoma Territory during the land rush of 1889.
  43. Winter, Jeanette. Follow the Drinking Gourd .NY: Dragonfly, 1988. (48 ps)
  44. Woodruff, Elvira. Dear Austin: Letters From the Underground Railroad . NY: Knopf, 1998. (137 ps)
    In 1853, in letters to his older brother, eleven-year-old Levi describes his adventures in the Pennsylvania countryside with his black friend Jupiter and his experiences with the Underground Railroad.

A Period Background Resource
  1. Erickson, Paul. Daily Life on a Southern Plantation 1853 . NY: Dutton, 1997.
    The background of daily life on a plantation. [OCLN]

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