The Underground Railroad through Primary Sources


This may seem like an odd book to feature on this blog, but as its reviewer’s choice today I decided to do a nonfictional text that I’ve been using as a resource lately. The Underground Railroad: A Primary Source History of The Journey to Freedom by Philip Wolny is a GREAT TEXT to use in the elementary (or even older!) classroom when teaching the Civil War and seeking a new angle. The book features a great timeline about the abolitionist movement and really helps to put a face on the other abolitionists in the North, not just those involved in the Underground Railroad. Featuring a primary source on essentially every other page, this book is a great way to get your students (or even one’s children) involved in learning the Civil War from the people who were actually there, rather than a textbook.

One of my favorite chapters was about William Lloyd Garrison who published a weekly newspaper called The Liberator for over thirty years with the sole purpose of educating the masses and ending slavery. I’ve been researching the Civil War for over two weeks and this was the first time I’d even heard of William Lloyd Garrison! There are so many cool facts and interesting people to meet in this book, I’d highly recommend it to any person wanting to teach or just learn more about the abolitionist movement during the Civil War.



– Jillian Kemper

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