American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A secret cooperative network that aided fugitive slaves in reaching sanctuary in the free states or in Canada in the years before the abolition of slavery in the United States.
- n. A secret cooperative network engaged in the clandestine movement and housing of fugitives, such as children removed illegally from the custody of a parent charged with child abuse.
- n. The Pre-American Civil War anti-slavery resistance movement dedicated to assisting escaped slaves in reaching safe territory.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Formerly, a system of coöperation among certain active antislavery people in the United States prior to 1866, by which fugitive slaves were secretly helped to reach Canada.
- adj. See under Railroad.
- n. secret aid to escaping slaves that was provided by abolitionists in the years before the American Civil War
“Underground Railroad could not operate freely in the far South, and so, the slaves stood a far better chance of being "Trusties.”
“Oh, aye, the Kuklos and Underground Railroad pride themsel's on their secret intelligence … weel, sir, they're no 'the only ones.”
“I can't say it's none of my biznai, because it was once: in my time, I've raided blacks from the Dahomey Coast, shipped 'em across the Middle Passage, driven them on a plantation - and run them to freedom on the Underground Railroad and across the Ohio ice-floes with a bullet in my rump, to say nothing of abetting J. B.'s lunatic scheme of establishing a black republic - in Virginia, of all places.”
“Underground Railroad (New York, 1898); GERVASIS, La Raza Negra”
“During his ministerial career in Washington, D. C., it became a rumor that he was connected with Mr. Torry (a martyr) in the employ of the Underground Railroad Company.”
“Here in Galesburg, the main depot for the Underground Railroad in Illinois, escaped slaves could freely roam the streets and take shelter in people's homes.”
““National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Listings.””
“Underground Railroad work: Isaac Slaughter, for instance, the mail-stage driver.”
“It was so incredible that it took me a moment to recall who "Crixus" was - the Underground Railroad boss whose identity I never knew because he hid it under the name of some Roman slave who'd been a famous rebel.”
“Almost from his arrival in America Pinkerton had been a dedicated abolitionist and Underground Railroad agent.”
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