Underground Railroad | criticism


Frederick Douglass was a writer, statesman, and an escaped slave. He wrote critically of the Underground Railroad in his seminal autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave:

I have never approved of the very public manner in which some of our western friends have conducted what they call the Underground Railroad, but which I think, by their open declarations, has been made most emphatically the upperground railroad.

He went on to say that, although he honors the movement, he feels that the efforts serve more to enlighten the slave-owners than the slaves, making them more watchful and making it more difficult for future slaves to escape.[49]

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