The following book review was written by Bobbi King:
The Underground Railroad in DeKalb County, Illinois
By Nancy M. Beasley
Published by McFarland, Jefferson NC. 2013. 220 pages.
The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad. It was a trail of escape for fugitive slaves from southern slave owners towards Canada. It was a federal offense to aid runaway slaves and obstruct their capture, and whites and black alike risked their lives and families to help slaves journey out of their enslavement towards freedom.
The Underground Railroad was the term applied to a network of roads, paths, trails, and passageways where conductors (local residents who assisted the runaways) surreptitiously hid the runaways as they progressed from station to station. The conductors were ordinary citizens, local residents who remain unheralded for their efforts. Documentation was scarce due to the illegality of the activities, so Abolitionist activists remain unnamed and lost to history.