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Underground Railroad

In the United States before the Civil War, a vast network of people organized to free slaves from the South. It started in the colonial period and reached its peak in the early 1830s. An estimated 100,000 slaves were freed using the secretive system of safe houses and transportation. Slaves often used songs to relay messages of escape. Notable figures include John Fairfield in Ohio, the son of a slaveholding family, who made many daring rescues; Quaker Levi Coffin, who assisted more than 3,000 slaves; and Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom.

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Middle Passage