Secret routes and safe houses
Between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865, an estimated 100,000 slaves chose to embark on a journey in search of freedom along the Underground Railroad - a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19th century, and used by enslaved African-Americans to primarily escape into free states and Canada.
Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales has spent more than a decade meticulously researching “fugitive” slaves and the ways they escaped to freedom.
Follow the journey of freedom-seekers.
While the unnumbered routes of the Underground Railroad encompassed countless square miles, the path Michna-Bales documented encompasses roughly 2,000 miles and is based off of actual sites, cities, and places that freedom-seekers passed through during their journey.
This exhibit features beautifully dramatic color photographs, ephemera, and narratives that together tell the story of the Underground Railroad.