Underground Railroad Monuments
The memorial and monuments in this collection are dedicated to the Underground Railroad, an organized network of routes and safe houses that assisted freedom seekers [enslaved people] on their journeys northward. The Underground Railroad was part of the larger movement for the abolition of slavery in the United States. The movement to abolish slavery was a complicated political movement that, at its core, was driven by the resistance and activism of enslaved Black people and freedmen and women abolitionists. Manisha Sinha explores the history of American abolition, including the Underground Railroad in The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition.
Although Harriet Tubman is the most famous conductor in the Underground Railroad, she is not the subject of the memorials featured in this collection (see Harriet Tubman for a collection of works specifically dedicated to her life and work). Rather the monuments and memorial featured here, such as Ed Dwight's Gateway to Freedom: International Memorial to the Underground Railroad, highlight other prominent conductors, as wells celebrate the fortitude and bravery of the freedom seekers as they made the perilous journey north.