Map: Illinois Underground Railroad historical sites, plus what to know before you go

By Darcel Rockett, Tina E. Akouris and Claire Malon,
Chicago Tribune

If you were paying attention in history class, you’ll recall the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad at all. Rather, it was a fluid network of locations where freedom seekers sought refuge from slave catchers on their way to a life out of bondage.

“What came to be called the Underground Railroad were the networks of assistance that emerged in response to the reality that freedom seekers were showing up,” said Illinois historian Larry McClellan. “Those reacting to the movement of freedom seekers picked up on the most compelling new language of the day: the new technologies and terms associated with the coming of the railroads across America.”

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