The Underground Railroad

Time Frame: Early to Mid 1800's

A re-enactment of escaped slaves making their way north on the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.
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“The Civil War,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 5, Iowa Public Television, 1977.

Return to The Causes of the Civil War



(knocking on a door)


Good evening.

Do you have something for me?

Yes. This message just arrived for you today.

Thank you.

Good night.

Many Iowans, called Abolitionists, opposed slavery all together. The Government didn’t seem to be taking any action so many Abolitionists felt that they had to take the law into their own hands.

Concerning our conversation of the last… by tomorrow evening’s mail you will receive two volumes of the irrepressible conflict bound in black. After perusal, please forward and oblige.

A shipment on the Underground Railroad. It wasn’t a railroad at all, but a secret route over which escaping slaves make their way to freedom. Conductors on the railroad were Abolitionists sympathizers. Helping slaves escape was a violation to the Fugitive Slave Act. If caught, conductors were subjected to fines or jail sentences. But most important, the fugitive slaves would be returned to their owners and were apt to suffer severe punishment for trying to escape.

Mom? Why we got to be down here?

Boy, you ask too many questions! Now just be quiet!

I’m hungry!



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