For more information on this project please contact the following individuals.

Project Director:
Cassandra Newby Alexander

Web Director:
Jeffrey L. Littlejohn

You may find more information on the Underground Railroad at the National Park Service website:
National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.




It was in Virginia -- with its interwoven waterways and bustling port cities -- that hundreds of African Americans began their secret effort to flee slavery and the South. Fugitive slaves left Norfolk, Portsmouth, Richmond, Alexandria, and other points throughout the state as they sought freedom on the Underground Railroad.

The Underground Railroad was, in reality, neither underground nor a railroad. It was, as its name implies, a highly secretive and complex system of parterships and transportation routes by which African Americans escaped slavery in the South.

This website explores the partnerships and routes that ran through Virginia. It examines the wharves, steamships, and schooners on which fugitives departed. It explores the safe houses that were used, the conductors who assisted, the routes that were taken, and the enslaved African Americans who ran away.

Be sure to read the accounts of those brave men and women who escaped to the North. They took up residence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Bedford, Massachusetts, Hamilton, Ontario, and many other sites along the Underground Railroad.