An American Family of the Underground Railroadby Peter H. Michael
The Underground Railroad was a 280-year American phenomenon which served as the boldest and most active foil to slavery. Because the Underground Railroad was clandestine, its safe-house operators and conductors - black and white alike - who ushered people to freedom had to keep their roles hidden. If caught rendering aid to freedom seekers, they could be and were arrested, convicted of interfering with "property rights," and sentenced. All who rendered aid risked all they had to do so, and some lost all they had for doing so. Because those who rendered aid could still be prosecuted long after the Civil War and the Underground Railroad ended, most took their noble secrets to the grave.
One who didn't was the author's great-grandfather Marion Michael who could not be prosecuted because he was a minor when he rendered aid. Marion Michael told of his family's work on the Underground Railroad, and his descendants keep this family history quite alive today. An American Family of the Underground Railroad is told by the actual safe-house operators' descendant who owns the very farm where his ancestors sheltered freedom seekers. Cooling Springs Farm might be the sole remaining Underground Railroad safe-house in the nation still owned by the same family that used it in Underground Railroad times.
An American Family of the Underground Railroad provides to general reader and scholar alike a wealth of detail about more than fifty Underground Railroad sites in a single county with a map of the sites, and identifies several safe-house operators and a key Underground Railroad conductor there. With a bibliography of over 200 sources, this book might be the most thoroughly documented work on any single safe-house. An American Family of the Underground Railroad helps reawaken the nation to its defining heritage of the Underground Railroad.
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