to OH-AfricaAmer-D (digest)
That was instrumental to
the Underground Railroad
Harriet Tubman was a famous conductor. Her original name
was Araminta Ross. Harriet was called the "Moses" of her people because
she helped so many slaves escape to freedom. She was born sometime around
1820, and died in 1913. She was a runaway slave herself. When she was a
slave, she protected another slave from being hit by their master with
a pound weight when he was trying to escape. This left a horrible scar
on her head, and every once in a while the wound made her fall unconscious.
The slaves would sing a song called "Get Down Moses" about Moses going
down to Pharaoh.
John Fairfield was a conductor who was very violent. He
was the son of a slave owner. One of the first times he freed a slave was
when he helped one of his uncle's slaves when he was young. In his lifetime,
some people think that he saved several thousand slaves by himself. One
of his friends was Levi Coffin. Fairfield often showed Coffin several bullet
holes in skin, clothes, and fugitivesí skin. Fairfield always made fugitives
agree, before helping them to freedom, that they would fight to the death
if they had to, rather than being captured.
Levi Coffin was a Quaker, and therefore believed in much
more peaceful ways of freeing blacks than did his friend John Fairfield.
One of the things that Levi Coffin did was helping freeborn (meaning a
black that born to free blacks) Stephen. Stephen was kidnapped from a Negro
house and he was enslaved in Baltimore, Maryland. Levi contacted Edward
Lloyd (to whom Stephen had previously been apprenticed) as soon as he found
out. Lloyd and some friends came and filed a lawsuit that Stephen was being
illegally held, and Stephen was freed six months later.