The Route of the Story
In the recently released book, "Outside In: African American History in Iowa," Galin Berrier retold the history of the underground railroad, the people who made it run and those who rode it to freedom. Living in Iowa visited three Iowa homes believed to have been refuges for escaping slaves: Jordan House in West Des Moines, Todd House in Tabor, and Lewelling Quaker Shrine in Salem.
During the years leading up to the U.S. Civil War, slaves escaping from Missouri and Kansas traveled west to east across Iowa made their way to Canada with the help of what has come to be known as the underground railroad. Even though the vast majority of their travels were above ground and on foot, they were given assistance by what have come to be known as "conductors," Iowans whose anti-slavery sympathies induced them to help the fugitives to freedom.