The Underground Railroad was vital in the safe passage for the runaway slaves to achieve freedom.The Underground Railroad was not under the ground nor was it on a “rail”. The abolitionists who participated (conductors) risked their lives as well as their families by aiding the slaves. This was a bold act without regard to self. Many homes were burnt down as well as men killed by ruffians or raiders seeking out runaway slaves to return to their “master’s” hoping to profit from the steep bounty posted for their delivery.
Many slaves were safely led through the Wakarusa Valley and on their way to freedom by these noble men. The following biographies are excerpts from Martha Parker’s book Angels of Freedom (available for purchase at the Wakarusa River Valley Historical Museum) with the addition of a later discovery of John Archibald’s participation in the Underground Railroad.
material is based upon work assisted by a grant from
the Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
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