About the Project


Detroit was central to the abolitionist movement with William Lambert, George DeBaptiste and William Webb focusing much of their work in the area and the historic Second Baptist Church having documented the escape of more than 5,000 enslaved people to freedom. While Detroit played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad and abolitionist movement, much of the history has been hidden, and the story untold. Bringing it to the public in an online format is the mission of this project.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is pleased to lead this exciting digital history project focused on commemorating the Underground Railroad. Funded by a 2009 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, The Underground Railroad: The Struggle Against Slavery is a collaborative effort of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Eastern Michigan University, and other institutions to produce a robust online portal designed to facilitate a greater awareness of the history of the Underground Railroad.

The project is designed to provide instructional materials and activities to help students and the general public learn more about this important aspect of U.S. history. This Online Portal is aimed at students, teachers, researchers, and the public to access information about the Underground Railroad. The Online Portal will eventually consist of hundreds of encyclopedia entries, an online course, interactive maps, dynamic timelines, downloadable PDFs, videos, and educational media that will bring greater awareness to the Underground Railroad and those who traversed it.

Covering a broad range of topics, The Underground Railroad: The Struggle Against Slavery presents history through a mosaic of the lives, communities, organizations, events, and places that made this unique freedom-seeking network possible. With a particular focus on Detroit, Michigan, and the Midwest, the project illuminates the Underground Railroad from a national and Canadian perspective as well.

The project is generously funded by the U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov).

The project is supported by a partnership with the Eastern Michigan University College of Education (www.emich.edu/coe).

Top Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-DIG-highsm-09902]

Bottom Image: Revolt Aboard Slave Ship, 1787; Image Reference
E007, as shown on www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”

Frederick Douglass (ca. 1818-1895)

© 2012 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. All rights reserved. 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201 | (313) 494-5800 | info@chwmuseum.org

This program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program.