RI’s minimal-known role in the Underground Railroad

By Russell J. DeSimone

Russell J. DeSimone is an unbiased historian in Middletown, co-creator of “Impressive Women of all ages of Rhode Island,” and author of a forthcoming book on elections in the condition in the 18th and 19th hundreds of years. Contact him at [email protected].

In the direct-up to the Civil War, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 built it a crime punishable with a wonderful ($1,000) and a jail sentence (six months) for any individual aiding an enslaved particular person to escape. Yet in Rhode Island and in other places all over the North, people today assisted fugitives obtain a way to Canada and liberty.

This Underground Railroad was by its nature secretive, so we know minimal of the “conductors” or the “stations.” The stations would harbor, feed and clothe an escapee prior to a conductor aided him or her to the subsequent risk-free area.