From the Archives

People often say that because the Underground Railroad was a secret activity, you can’t document it.  And while it’s true there is a great deal we will never know about the Underground Railroad, there is much to be learned from court cases, newspapers, diaries and letters. 

The filmmakers found clues in exciting and unexpected places -- in the back of an old picture frame, a missing person’s notice in an 1865 newspaper, church records and obituaries.  They traded information with other researchers on the internet and found treasures tucked away in special collections at more than two dozen historical societies.   

Separating fact from fiction can be a daunting task, but it’s worth every minute when you turn up something new.  


Raymond Dobard, Ph.D.
Howard University

Preserving Oral History
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