Places of the Underground Railroad

A Geographical Guide

by Tom Calarco, with Cynthia Vogel, Kathryn Grover, Rae Hallstrom, Sharron L. Pope, and Melissa Waddy-Thibodeaux


No one knows where the term "Underground Railroad" originated, but the loose network that helped countless slaves to freedom was certainly no myth. Through its offices, slaves were able to find their way to the northern United States, Canada, and even to Mexico, often traveling thousands of miles as "conductors" facilitated their journeys from station to station.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Places of the Underground Railroad

December 2010


Pages 422
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics American History/Race and Ethnicity

This up-to-date compilation details the most significant stops along the Underground Railroad.

Places of the Underground Railroad: A Geographical Guide presents an overview of the various sites that comprised this unique road to freedom, with entries chosen to represent all regions of the United States and Canada. Where most works on the Underground Railroad focus on the people involved, this unique guide explores the intricacies of travel that allowed the "conductors" to carry out the tasks entrusted to them. It presents an accurate picture of just where the Underground Railroad was and how it operated, including routes and itineraries and connections between the various Railroad locations.

Through information about these locations, the book takes readers from the beginnings of organized aid to fugitive slaves during the period following the American Revolution up to the Civil War. It delineates the possible routes fugitive slaves may have taken by identifying the rivers, canals, and railroads that were sometimes used. And it shows that a network, though decentralized and variable over time and place, truly was established among Underground Railroad participants.


  • Approximately 75 A–Z entries cover the most significant stations on the Underground Railroad
  • Illustrations and maps help readers envision routes and strategies of railroad "conductors"
  • Interactive sidebars offer a firsthand glimpse into the arduous nature of Underground Railroad journeys, the decisions made, and the plans involved
  • Primary source letters and diary entries detail actual incidents that took place
  • A chronology includes important events related to the Underground Railroad from the Colonial Period to the Civil War
  • Suggested reading sections after each entry and a general print and nonprint bibliography act as a guide for further research


  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the geographic operation of the Underground Railroad, encompassing every region in the United States and Canada where assistance was given to fugitive slaves
  • Explores a key curricular area from a new angle, using the most recent, cutting-edge research to ascertain why these sites were used and how plans were carried out
  • Offers detailed accounts of individual Underground Railroad stations (towns, states, homes, sites, waterways, and routes) ranging from the home of Frederick Douglass to Niagara Falls
  • Ties into National Standards for U.S. History, Era 4: Civil War and Reconstruction
Author Info

Tom Calarco is a writer, teacher, lecturer, and the author of three books on the history of the Underground Railroad, including Greenwood's People of the Underground Railroad. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a BA in history and Iowa State University with an MA in English, he lives in Cincinnati, OH.

Cynthia Vogel is a retired educator, having taught mathematics in several high schools in Ohio, and is a member of the adjunct faculty with Edison Community College in Piqua, OH. She holds degrees from Ohio University (AB in psychology) and Wright State University (MEd in Mathematics education). She is the author of two books, Civil War Women: They Made a Difference and Civil War Women: They Made a Difference, Book II.

Kathryn Grover is the author of The Fugitive’s Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts and Make a Way Somehow: African American Life in a Northern Community, 1790–1864.

Rae Hallstrom is an award-winning writer, Ameriku artist, former radio talk show host, patent-holding inventor, and engineer residing in the Akron-Canton region of eastern Ohio. Her literary work has been published in Confrontation, Chrysalis Reader, and other journals. Her art has been featured in galleries and other venues in Cleveland, Akron, Hartville, and Canton, and may be purchased online at

Sharron L Pope is a freelance writer and a playwright who lives in Cincinnati, OH.

Melissa Waddy-Thibodeaux is a professional historical reenactor, lecturer, and researcher. She owns her own production company, Flying Geese Productions. A professional actor and coach of the performing arts, she currently tours as the resident artist for the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, TX, as well as other museums. She received the Texas Artist Award from the Honorable Governor Rick Perry in 2008 and was presented with the OTTO Award in New York City in 2004 for her work with community organizations and in the juvenile prison system.



"… there are a great number of interesting case studies of individuals and groups, and events on the road to freedom. It also includes a chronology, maps and suggested reading."—Akron Beacon Journal

"For researchers, historians, and travelers interested in investigating places and structures, the entries offer anecdotes and events to pique curiosity."—Booklist

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Chinese Americans cover imageAmerican Slave Revolts and Conspiracies cover imageContemporary Immigration in America cover image
Irish Americans cover imageImmigrants in American History cover imageThe Making of Modern Immigration cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips