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Harriet Tubman

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TPS rohan Alexander

Ms.Aulder 02-13-07

Social Studies 802

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

Slavery is the social status of specific persons, known as slaves, who have been stripped of individual rights, and

are property of another person or household. Slaves are people who are held against their will since their capture, their

purchase, or their birth, and are deprived of their individual freedom for the purpose of exploitation of their labor and in

some case their sexual abuse. The underground railway wasn't an actual railway with tracks. It is term that stands for a

network of people who worked, often illegally, for the freedom of slaves in the United States. The underground railroad

grew up during the 1800s. Free slaves, both those who escaped and those who were set free, joined together to help

other slaves escape. It was a dangerous and illegal action, but it offered ope to those who had no other way of escpae.

Slaves were transported to America from the West coast of Africa after being captured and sold to slavers, or

men in the business of buying and selling slaves. The slaves were transported to American by the "middle passage." The

middle passage was an especially cruel trip during which the slaves were crowded into ships and chained to the hold of

the ship for months at a time. Many slaves died during the journey due to the unsanitary conditions aboard the ship,

diseases such as scurvy, dysentary, starvation or malnutrition, suffocation, and general homesickness. Captains were

afraid that slaves would uprise against the crew, so they often separated slaves from the same tribes and punished them

for talking or singing on the ship.

Slave life afforded little privacy. Under the floors of their houses, slaves often dug "cuddy holes" for hiding their

few personal belongings. House slaves were constantly under the eyes of their masters and were sometimes required to

sleep where they could attend to their duties at all hours. Slave children usually began to work part-time in the tobacco

fields around the age of seven. Tasks for children varied greatly from plantation to plantation; often, they spent the rest of

their day running errands, watching the younger children, doing odd jobs, or playing.

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