The Underground Railroad By Grant, Dylan, Gillian, and Olivia K.

On The Plantation

Every day on the plantation, I woke up, ate, and went out to the fields. I picked cotton all day. It was so hot out and we never got enough water. One day I didn’t pick enough cotton and I got whipped really bad. That was my least favorite thing about this place. Punished for no reason. I still have the scars today. That day is when I decided that I would try to escape. I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere without food, so I had to find some. The thing is, it’s very hard to steal food as a slave. The overseers would catch you if you stole too much. So what I did for a week was eat all my food, except for the bread. I hid it all under my bed. When the time finally came, I said my goodbyes, then left.


I left the plantation at night. Before I slipped out, I felt a hand grab my arm and I had a moment of fear until I realized that it was my older brother Tomas. I calmed down and hugged him goodbye, I would miss him, but he had insisted to stay behind to take care of our mama who was too old to escape. As I let go of him, he slipped something in my pocket and whispered, “Use this if you get into trouble. I couldn’t tell what it was, but my time to leave was slipping away and I couldn’t stop to take a closer look. I slipped it into my pocket, said goodbye and headed on my way. As I fingered it, I guessed it was a pass, a fake one that some of the slaves had that said they were free. I had only the clothes on my back and a little bit of bread. I followed the northstar but soon enough, there were clouds covering the sky. Luckily, I remembered something my Mama taught me a few years ago. Moss on trees grew facing North. I found moss and followed it. When the sun was coming up, I heard a wagon coming down a road near by. I quickly hid behind some trees as they passed me. However they slowed down and came to a stop right in front of me. I peeked out from behind my tree and saw a quilt was draped over the top of the wagon. It had a Shoofly pattern on it and I knew the wagon was here to help. I got in the bottom with a few other slaves I had never seen before. I closed my eyes and slept until dawn. When the sun began to set, the wagon let us off a few miles from a safe house. I left the wagon and continued my journey. I traveled until I came across a cottage somewhere in Indiana that had quilts with a pattern hanging out to dry. I had heard about these. They were called safe houses. I walked up to the door and knocked. Two white people came to the door. I stayed there for a few days and found out that it was called Levi Coffin House. Once i stayed for a few days Levi Coffin and his wife said it was safe to leave and continued my journey north.

Reaching Safey

Finally I came across the last stop, the Second Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. I had heard about this place from a slave on my plantation who had tried to run away but had been caught and taken back. It had been a long journey from the last safe house back in Indiana and I took the last few steps with great difficulty, and knocked on the door. Once I got inside I was greeted with food and water. I spent the night there, but knew I had to continue on my way to make room for the constant flow of slaves who stopped there on their way to freedom. On my way out I was informed that I still had a little way until I crossed the border into Canada and reached freedom. However, in my excitement to be free, I barely listened and was not as careful as I should have been. This was a big mistake. As I walked down the dusty road, I heard barking and instantly a chill of terror ran down my spine, I tried to dash into the woods to hide myself, but it was too late. I felt the hand grab my shirt before I heard it. I let out a short yelp like a frightened puppy. I had come this far, I couldn’t believe I had let this happen. I slowly turned around with the hand still on my back to come face to face with a white man. “What are you doing here?” His gruff voice asked me. Suddenly, the strong arm reminded me of my brother. The pass! I reached my hand into my pocket and felt the paper. I slipped it out and showed the man. “I am a free slave.” He grunted but turned away leading his dog. I continued on my way making sure to be careful to avoid being caught again, and finally reached the border to Canada.

Reaching Freedom

I took a deep breath and stepped across the border. The border between my old life and my new life. I let out a scream for joy even though I got a few odd looks from my traveling mates. After I had let out my excitement I decided the best thing to do would be to travel to the closest community that welcomed run away slaves. I started walking but my walking quickly turned into running as I neared my new home.

Five Years Later

I arrived at work early this morning. My boss was thinking about giving me a promotion into head teacher. I was very excited so I decided to show him I was capable by coming in early and getting a start on some things that had to be done. A couple hours later my students started to arrive. By the end of the day I was exhausted, but unlike on the plantation I enjoyed my job. I went to my boss’s office to receive my weekly pay. I opened the door and he had my paycheck sitting on his desk. I grabbed it and started to walk away. “Lily.” He called me back. I turned around trying not to get to hopeful. “I think you deserve the promotion…” I said thank you after our conversation and left the cafe, giddy with joy. I arrived home to my husband and my 4 children. Life is good.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.