Welcome to the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum Site.

About The Underground

What was the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD? It was neither a railroad nor was it necessarily underground. It was a name given to a network of people who hid slaves as they escaped to freedom.

The Underground Railroad was the first great freedom movement in the Americas. The movement started in Columbia, Pennsylvania in 1804 by a Quaker abolitionist named Levi Coffin. He used railroad terminology to confuse the slave catchers. A person leading the fugitives to freedom would be known as CONDUCTOR. It would be their responsibility to get the PASSENGERS (fugitives) from one station (safe house) to another until they would eventually reach a TERMINAL in northern U.S. or Canada, where there was freedom.

             False Bottom Carriage Used to                  Harriet  Tubman                Frank Gilyard Pointing at Underground                Bethel AME Church
                       Transport Slaves                        Underground Railroad             Railroad Pit at Bethel AME Church in

                                                                     Pioneer                         Reading, PA Where Slaves Hid.

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