Books Dealing with the Underground Railroad available from the Kennett Underground Railroad Center.  

To order copies, contact KURC through email info@kennettundergroundrr.org.

Smedley, R. C

The History of the Underground Railroad in Chester & Neighboring Counties 1883;  2005

Stackpole Books has republished this work

Accounts of persons and UGRR activities gathered in the 1870s, less than a generation after the UGRR was intensely active in SE PA.  This is probably the most important work on the UGRR for this area

Douglass, Frederick 

The Narrative of Frederick Douglass 1845;  1995  Dover Press reprint

One of the most influential slave autobiographies by the man who might be considered the most important African-American of the 19th C.

Douglass, Frederick

On Slavery and the Civil War 2003  Dover

A selection of his writings

 

Dugan, M.L. & Ella J. Sestrich

East Linden Street: Abolition, Industry, & Diversity in Kennett Square, PA  2008  KURC

A brief work on a Kennett Square street that has been integrated for over 160 years, with emphasis on its abolitionist background.

Taylor, Frances C.

The Trackless Trail Leads On  1995  Privately published

Very readable pamphlet of DE/Chester County UGRR, based largely on Smedley.

Truth, Sojourner

The Narrative of Sojourner Truth 1850;  1997  Dover Press reprint

1st-hand account of the life of former slave, one of the most important abolitionists and speakers for progressive reform in the 19th C.

For Younger Readers

Angeli, Margaret

Thee, Hannah 1940

Illustrated book w poems about UGRR activity among 19th C Quakers  For young readers.

Guccione, Leslie Davis

Come Morning  1995  Carolrhoda Books

Fictional story of young people helping out with UGRR activity in the vicinity of what is now Hagley Museum

Rossi, Ann

Freedom Struggle: the Anti-Slavery Movement in America, 1830-1865  2005  National Geographic

Slender but useful introduction to the issue.

Taylor, M.W.

Harriet Tubman, Antislavery Activist 1990

Account of the extraordinary life of the UGRR’s most famous conductor. 

Winter, Jeanette

Follow the Drinking Gourd 1992  Dragonfly Books

Illustrated book with poems about UGRR activity.  For young readers.

Recommended Works Concerning Slavery and the Underground Railroad in the Kennett Area

 

Blockson, Charles

The Underground Railroad  1987   Prentice Hall

A collection of first-hand stories of escapes from slavery, including one of Blockson’s forebears. 

Clinton, Catherine

Harriet Tubman: the Road to Freedom  2004  Little, Brown

Serious, scholarly biography of Harriet Tubman

Diggins, Milt

Stealing Freedom Along the Mason-Dixon Line:   2015   Johns Hopkins U. Press

Concerning “Thomas McCreary, the Notorious Slave Catcher from Baltimore MD”

Drake, Thomas

Quakers and Slavery in America 1950  Yale U. Press

Scholarly examination of the evolution of anti-slavery beliefs among Quakers.

Gara, Larry

The Liberty Line 1961; 1996  University of Kentucky Press

An attempt to separate UGRR myth from verifiable facts; available as e-book from Kindle

Gooch, Cheryl (ed)

On Africa’s Lands  2014  Lincoln University Press

“The forgotten stories of two Lincoln-educated missionaries in Liberia.” 

Griest, Ellwood

John and Mary; or the Fugitive Slaves, A Tale of South-Eastern Pennsylvania  1873

Lancaster Inquirer; reprinted electronically by UNC-Chapel Hill

A fictional tale, written shortly after the Civil War, of freedom-seekers and those who helped them in this region.  Available online without charge.

Jacobs, Norma (ed)

Quaker Roots: the Story of the Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends  1980  Western Quarterly Meeting

Selections dealing with the meeting houses of SE PA and MD, many of which were involved in the UGRR.  Available at London Grove Meeting--$5.00

Jackson, Maurice

Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism  2009  U. Penn Press

1st great publicist of ant-slavery writing in America, in 18th C. Philadelphia.

Kashatus, William

Just Over the Line: Chester County and the UGRR  2002  Chester County Historical Society

Examination of the UGRR in early-mid 19th C in northern Delaware and Chester County

Katz, Jonathan

Resistance at Christiana: the Fugitive Slave Rebellion  1974  Cromwell

The story of the small battle that occurred in nearby Christiana, Lancaster Cty, when fugitive slaves resisted and repulsed an attempt to recapture them.

Larson, Kate Clifford

Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero  2004  Ballantine Books

The most scholarly biography of the life and work of Harriet Tubman

McGowan, James

Station Master of the Underground Railroad: the Life and Letters of Thomas Garrett  Revised edition: 2005  McFarland 

The only biography of the most important stationmaster of the UGRR on the east coast.

Russo, MH, and PA

Hinsonville: a Community at the Crossroads  2005  Rosemont Publishing

Story of an African-American Village in Chester County

Slaughter, Thomas P. 

Bloody Dawn-the Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North  1991  Oxford U. Press

The story of the small battle that occurred in nearby Christiana, Lancaster Cty, when fugitive slaves resisted and repulsed an attempt to recapture them. Emphasis on rebellion leader Wm. Parker.

Still, William

The Underground Railroad: Authentic Narratives and First-Hand Accounts  1872;  2007  Porter & Coates;

New edited version by Dover Books

Written shortly after the Civil War by one of the most important agents of the UGRR and a chronicler of original UGRR stories without peer. The Dover edition is about half the length of the original.  A Kindle e-version is also available.

Taylor, Frances C.

The Trackless Trail  1976  Privately published

Very readable pamphlet of DE/Chester County UGRR, based largely on Smedley

Taylor, Frances C.

The Trackless Trail Leads On  1995  Privately published

Very readable pamphlet of DE/Chester County UGRR, based largely on Smedley.

Tobin, Jacqueline

From Midnight to Dawn: the Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad  2008  Knopf, Doubleday

Portrayals of figures involved in UGRR and abolition, including Mary Ann Shadd Cary

© 2019 The Kennett Underground Railroad Center (KURC)  |  Terms of Use  |   Privacy Policy