Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Freedom Trail is now a byway — the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, with Maryland and Delaware Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byways extended to PA. The Byway connects over 200 miles of sites in Delaware and Maryland, with sites in Chester County and beyond to Delaware County in Pennsylvania and Independence Mall in Philadelphia. The Byway is also extending further north to sites in New York. The Byway highlights sites and stories that demonstrate not only the significance of the role the Underground Railroad played in the eradication of slavery, but as a cornerstone of our national civil rights movement.

The Underground Railroad "was a secret network of courageous people … who broke the law to offer transportation, refuge, food and comfort to escaping slaves during the 1700's and early 1800's. While it wasn't literally a railroad, it was named symbolically after the new steam trains and used terms such as "passengers," "depots," and "conductors."

The story begins at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Byway continues north through the story of slaves escaping from states where slavery was legal to Pennsylvania, the first state north of the Mason and Dixon line where slavery was not legal.

To learn about the Byway in Pennsylvania:

Also see: