Proposal and Methods
Gone, gone, --sold and gone
To the rice-swamps dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters, --
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!"
(Whittier in Hamilton, pg. 105)
Families torn apart, humans sold on auction blocks, using humans for animal labor.
These tragedies along with the words of the Quaker poet John Whiittier are just the
beginning when trying to explain the motivation for abolitionists helping to free
The Underground Railroad was a path to safety and freedom for thousands of slaves
before the Civil War. Escaping from the chains, confinement and abuse of slavery
was no easy task and it took the cooperation of many people to make escape possible.
The anti-slavery movement created this path to guide and protect escaped slaves on their
way to Canada, the freedom land. Many slaves traveled through Ohio on their journey
and were assisted by Ohio residents. My research paper will answer the question:
What role did Washington County, Ohio, play in the success of the Underground Railroad?
Limitations and Delimitations
While there were many states, slaves and abolitionists involved in the Underground
Railroad, certain restrictions must be placed on the research. The research in this
paper will only cover four stations and their conductors from Washington County,
Ohio. The paper will take you on a trip through this county from a slaves point of view.
Although the history and origin of slavery will not be covered in this paper, the
feelings and thoughts of the slaves on their journeys will be depicted.
Fugitive slaves, or runaway slaves, were fleeing a life of hardship and confinement
for a life of hardship and freedom. Although their life was not going to be easier
and they would risk their life trying to escape, the thought of freedom was enough.
The Underground Railroad was the path that slaves took while escaping. It consisted
of stations or "depots" (houses), " conductors" (those who lived in the homes), "tracks"
( the actual trail they took) and even " station masters" and "presidents" who led
the efforts in their area. The railroad analogy was used to describe many aspects
of this anti-slavery activity. The code helped those involved in freeing the slaves
communicate with each other without others understanding.
Sources and Methods
The research in this paper will come from three basic sources. The first source is
over the internet. Using the key words Underground, Railroad and Ohio, articles and
books will be found. The library will be the second source. Again the key words,
Underground, Railroad and Ohio will be used to find and books and newspapers containing valuable
information. A local specialist by the name of Mr. Henry Burke will be the third
source for this paper. He will provide newspaper articles and stories that he discovered during his research. Interviews with him will also provide valuable insights into
the knowledge he has gained throughout his research.
Format of the Paper
The paper will begin with a Review of the Research. This section will summarize all
the information gathered for this paper. Here the background will be given and the
foundation laid for the rest of the report. Next will be the Application of the Research. This is where all the information gathered will be analyzed. It will contain the
interpretation of what the information means to the author. After this will be the
summary. This will be a narrative written to help make the information more real
to the reader. The conclusion will follow the summary. Here the paper will be drawn to a close
and finished. The addenda will follow the conclusion. All of the relevant newspaper
articles, reward posters and pictures found throughout the research will be located
at the close of the paper.