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The Underground Rail Road: A Record Of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters, &c., Narrating The Hardships, Hair-breadth Escapes, And Death Struggles Of The Slaves In Their Efforts for Freedom Hardcover – February 21, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Plexus Publishing (February 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937548553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937548554
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

William Still's book vividly brings to light the hardships and dangers faced by those who escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad. In documenting their experiences firsthand, Still preserved the single most authentic and important record of one of America's darkest chapters, while at the same time providing abundant evidence that the human spirit can never be broken. The Underground Rail Road is a masterpiece a powerful and triumphant work that demands our attention. --Bill Cosby

Not only is the life of William Still one of the great sagas of the nineteenth century, but his Underground Rail Road is the primary record of the courage and independence of the many thousands who sought freedom. We are very fortunate to have this new edition of this important work. --John Hope Franklin

Customer Reviews

The determination and courage of the slaves escaping to freedom is to amazing!
Kitty Fallgren
I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to read a very long book and who is interested in the history of slavery in the United States.
Rosabel Tamez
It was pretty good and I thought they did a great job helping you visualize the scenes.
Shannon Hollis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Raspberry G. on August 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book about the underground railroad is a compilation of many stories. Each story is a harrowing tale of slaves who tried to escape brutality, starvation and hardship, and the kind people who helped them to freedom. Sometimes the people who helped suffered terribly at the hands of the local lawmen and the bounty hunters who sought to punish them for helping the suffering slaves along the trail to freedom and a better life. I had never imagined that there were so many unsung heroes and brave women and men who ran the underground railroad. This book tells their stories.

For every deliverance of a slave into freedom, there were dozens of people who helped along the way. For some, it was what they called "the most important work of my lifetime." Others didn't set out to help, but somehow found themselves in circumstances in which they had to make a decision to help or not. A great many did the honorable thing.

Some of the stories are written in common vernacular. Some were dictated by people who were not expert in the language. There are a fair number of misspellings, but those are all minor compared to the tales of triumph over bad weather, bad luck and bad people.

While many of the stories are sad, they all show moments of courage, hope, and the neverending thirst for freedom that exists in every human being. You won't be sorry you read this book. It will make your heart sing while it is breaking. That kind of feeling is worth the read.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Originally published in 1872, The Underground Rail Road presents firsthand accounts of African-American slaves who escaped north via the human support network known as the Underground Railroad. Collected by William Still, the son of emancipated slaves, who helped guide fugitives to safety as an Underground Railroad "conductor" based in Philadelphia, The Underground Rail Road collects letters, testimonies, news articles, and reflections upon extraordinary individual journeys to freedom. Collecting these records, let alone participating in the Underground Railroad, was a dangerous endeavor in an era when merely failing to report slave escapes could get one imprisoned or worse. William Still hid his manuscripts in a crypt to protect himself and the people they documented; he never expected to witness emancipation or the opportunity to publish them in his lifetime. The Underground Rail Road remains a classic first-person anecdotal documentary of history itself, and is highly recommended for American history and library collections.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michon Walsh on February 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was disappointed to find that the book was about one family in particular. I was thinking that maybe there would be several different stories about people escaping through the underground railroad. Even though the book was about one family, I found that the book had a lot of detail and facts about the underground railroad.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book because it was filled with heart-pounding action, suspense, successful escapes and some sad captures of runaway slaves. It was everything I expected and more, but was a very long book. I was surprised to learn that slavery existed in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The sacrifices made by the abolitionists were so impressive. Many contributed enormously to the cause, some even lost everything they had, some even lost their lives. I could not help but admire such dedication and generosity. I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to read a very long book and who is interested in the history of slavery in the United States. It was an eye opener to me. I read about a medical doctor who had 5 children by his slave woman. Later, he married a white woman and sent his slave family to be sold on the auction block. Horrendous!!!!! This is what this book is full of.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Butterfly on August 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love civil war history and this is a look into events prior to that happening, authentic letters from slaves who made it to freedom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By buster on August 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good book. i loved reading the book. I will be ordering additional books soon. Thank you for a very good reading
experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TechGeek on June 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not read much about the underground railroad outside of school but this book was very interesting and enlightening.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maineiac on July 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is mainly a collection of accounts from people helping the slaves. There might be 3 or 4 pages of a group of slaves that escaped together. The narrative often included the names and descriptions of the folks in that group. The narrative would also decribe their journey to NY and why they had decided to run away. Before reading this, I had not realized that slave owners would let their slaves work for someone else and get paid, but the slave had to pay their owner a certain amount and got to keep whatever little was left.
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