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Iowa Underground Railroad Route

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Time Frame: Early to Mid 1800's

In the early to mid-1800s slaves seeking freedom took the Underground Railroad through Iowa cities such as Tabor, Lewis, Des Moines, Grinnell, Iowa City, West Liberty, Low Moor and Clinton.
“The Civil War,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 5, Iowa Public Television, 1977.

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Transcript

Most of the slaves who passed through the Iowa escape network entered from Missouri or Kansas. The main route through Iowa started in Tabor. Moving through such towns as Lewis, Des Moines, Grinnell, Iowa City, West Liberty, Low Moor and Clinton. Quakers were strongly opposed to slavery and a number of their homes in Salem and Keosauqua became ticket offices on the Underground. Many towns later claimed to be, and probably were, stops on the Underground Railroad. The route was occasionally changed to throw off southern boundary hunters, who tracked down the escapees for money.

 


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