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In Search of the Underground Railroad

Length: 18 pages13 minutes


The Underground Railroad was a secret network that existed in the United States prior to the Civil War. The purpose of this network was to channel American slaves into the British territories to the north, a land now known as Canada. Unlike the U.S., the British would not deport an escaped slave back to its original owner. As a result a large organization of trail guides, safe houses and lookouts developed to help the Negro flee America. With the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, the Underground Railroad came to an abrupt end.
This fictional short story is set some 100 years later in the Piedmont region of the Mid-Atlantic, when two fourth graders, Henry McCall and Joshua Jessup, go looking for remnants of the Underground Railroad in the small mining town where they live. After a series of misadventures, the two youngsters finally learn the truth from an unlikely source, an elderly moonshiner by the name of Ezekial Roberts.

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