The Underground Railroad - Niagara

To many living in the southern United States during the 1700's, Canada was the "cold and distant North". But for African slaves looking to escape horrifying oppression, Canada became the "North Star," a place where they could live as free persons. From 1840 to 1860, the Underground Railroad - a network of safe houses and secret routes - was utilized by fugitive slaves and abolitionists to find such freedom. 

Caves, churches, houses, and barns - the route to freedom was perilous. Bounty hunters and marauders tracked them, unsympathetic people shunned them and tried to turn them around. Not everyone who tried survived the journey. But the history of the Underground Railroad holds remarkable success stories - from its crossings near Fort Erie. One need not look any further than the life of Harriet Tubman, courtesy of Salem Chapel in St. Catharines. 

Today, historic sites, cemeteries, heritage buildings and museums remain to remind visitors of the immense cost that came with the struggle for equality. Slavery remains a blight on humanity's history, but the Underground Railroad shines light into such darkness. The Underground Railroad Niagara tour traces the path inland from the Slave Crossing at Freedom Park along the Niagara River to Bertie House, and further into Niagara. Visit historical sites and museums dedicated to preserving this important, distinctive part of Ontario's history. 

To accompany this tour, we've chosen two books that are great reads for the entire family: Morning Star by Judith Plaxton - a Young Adult novel that tells the story of two girls at opposite ends of history, and Hurry, Freedom by Frieda Wishinksy - a childrens' adventure book that takes readers along the Underground Railroad. 

Related Tours: 
The Underground Railroad - Southern Ontario




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