1/17/2014

Fort Scott National Historic Site presents Shared Stories of the Civil War about the Underground Railroad

Fort Scott National Historic Site News Release


Release Date: January 16, 2014
Contact: Bill Fischer, bill_fischer@nps.gov, (620) 223-0310


The Underground Railroad, a Shared Stories Presentation 

FORT SCOTT, KANSAS: Fort Scott National Historic Site invites the public to “The Underground Railroad,” a guided reading and discussion activity on Saturday, January 25, at 2:00 p.m. in the site’s Grand Hall.

“The Underground Railroad” is part of Shared Stories of the Civil War, a collection of reader’s theater scripts created from historical letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and other archival documents from the 1850s and 1860s. The scripts explore the events – the shared stories – that occurred in Kansas and Missouri during the Border War and American Civil War.

The Underground Railroad was a secretive network of individuals who defied existing laws to aid enslaved people find refuge in non-slave states and Canada. Using the terminology of the railroad, those who guided freedom seekers were called “conductors” and safe havens enroute were known as “stations.”

Nowhere in the United States during the late 1850s was the Underground Railroad more dangerous than in western Missouri and eastern Kansas; if caught, the penalties were severe and the retribution swift for both freedom seeker and conductor. While many enslaved African Americans successfully found freedom through their own initiative, those involved with the Underground Railroad let their moral convictions overrule federal law. The Underground Railroad can perhaps be called the first major civil rights movement in the nation.

Because it was so dangerous, records dealing with the Underground Railroad are scarce. Learn more about this heroic epic by hearing some of those first person accounts, then join in the discussion about what freedom means to you.

Shared Stories of the Civil War is a partnership between Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) and the Kansas Humanities Council (KHC). For more information, visit www.freedomsfrontier.org and www.kansashumanities.org

Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The program is free and the Grand Hall is mobility-impaired accessible.

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