Learn the story of the Underground Railroad.
They left during the middle of the night—often carrying little more than the knowledge that moss grows on the north side of trees. An estimated 100,000 slaves between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865 chose to embark on this journey in search of freedom. They moved in constant fear of being killed or recaptured, returned, and beaten as an example of what would happen to others who might choose to run. Under the cover of darkness, “fugitives” traveled roughly twenty miles each night traversing rugged terrain while enduring all the hardships that Mother Nature could bring to bear. Occasionally, they were guided from one secret, safe location to the next by an ever-changing, clandestine group known as the Underground Railroad. Many consider the Underground Railroad to be the first great freedom movement in the Americas and the first time when people of different races and faiths worked together in harmony for freedom and justice.
6:30 pm, June 23, West & Virtual
Kansas City, Kansas fiber artist NedRa Bonds will discuss the history of the Quindaro Township and neighborhood. One of her best-known works is her Quindaro Quilt which illustrates the history of Old Quindaro and its role in the Underground Railroad.
7:00 pm, July 7th, Virtual
Join us for a virtual presentation by Dr. Nicole Etcheson on the history of the Quindaro Township. She will discuss the town’s role in Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War. Dr. Etcheson is a professor at Ball State and the author of Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era.
Books and MovieS
Learn more about the Underground Railroad with this list of items available at the library.
The Quindaro Symposium was held April 19-21, 2018, to contribute to the process of designating the ruins of Quindaro as a National Historic Landmark.
Includes a diverse collection of provocative essays from the 2018 symposium that probes the town’s meanings to its varied inhabitants and beyond.
The KCKPL Kansas Room page discusses the history of Qundaro, including some photos and other items from the collection.
These interviews were conducted by volunteers and staff for Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library.
HISTORICAL SITES AND MUSEUMS
The National Park Service State by state listing of Underground Railroad sites.
Historian Anthony Cohen describes retracing one of the routes of the Underground Railroad by personally walking it on foot.
The National Park Service site includes resources, an interactive map, information about historic sites, and more.
FACTS, LEGENDS, AND MYTHS
Jim Thomas has spent much of his life researching the codes and secret messages of spirituals in context.
A short video that debunks folklore and myth surrounding the history of the Underground Railroad.
Describe the federal laws that allowed the capture and return of freedom seekers within the territory of the United States.
The Library of Congress has more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of formerly enslaved persons.
The University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill website documenting the American South that features North American slave narratives in book or article form.
THE ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT
The History Channel website with general information about the abolitionist movement.
The Library of Congress materials related to the abolitionist movement, including anti-slavery publications, minutes from an early anti-slavery meeting, advertisements, and more.