Follow in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous conductors of the Underground Rail

This course offers an incredible opportunity to explore Underground Railroad sites and routes in Ithaca, Auburn, and surrounding areas in New York state.

We'll examine and discuss the history of the Underground Railroad, a clandestine network created to help enslaved people escape to freedom after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, by visiting key sites along the route. We'll also study some of the other extraordinary abolitionism efforts that occurred in our region.

We'll visit the St. James AME Zion Church in Ithaca, our principal underground railroad station, and visit the William Henry and Frances Seward House, and Harriet Tubman residence in Auburn, among other stops.

We'll contemplate the dangerous risks taken by the Underground's passengers and conductors and discuss how historians have been able to generate an understanding of the movement from limited artifacts that document these stations. This course will offer you a fascinating visceral understanding about the role these critical stops in New York state played in creating crucial routes to freedom.