Acknowledgements and Bibliography

This section includes a bibliography of books and discography of music relating to the Underground Railroad movement …

Firstly I am indebted to those who have helped with providing information, references, recommended sources and in the correction of errors. Where original sources are known, these are cited ‘in situ’. The information provided within this website has been compiled from personal knowledge/research, books, websites, and numerous in-depth discussions with friends, most notably blues and gospel historian Max Haymes. The images used are believed to be in the public domain. I have not been able to establish any copyright claims on those that I have used. If this is not the case in respect of any image, if the copyright owner contacts me, I will remove it from the site.

The Bibliography lists my personal collection of recommended underground railroad books with publication details provided for further reference. They are listed in Title order rather than by author. Most of these books were used as sources for the website. Following the Bibliography is a Discography of music and video which relates to the underground railroad.

The Bibliography starts with ‘Underground Railroad Books’, followed by ‘Slavery’ and ‘Civil War’ books which include significant references to the underground railroad.  I hope you find the content useful. If you have any recommendations of your own, or comments on the list, please let me know.

Some of the books listed are now out of print and hence unavailable to buy new. You may be lucky and come across an old copy.

Whilst I have taken every care to ensure details are correct, you may spot a mistake.  If you do, please let me know and I will correct it as soon as I can.

Alan White.


 Underground Railroad Books
Title: Beyond The River
The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad
Author: Ann Hagedorn
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks
Date Published: 2002
ISBN: 978-0-684-87066-3
Notes: Ann Hagedorn tells the remarkable story of the participants in the Ripley line of the Underground Railroad, bringing to life the struggle of the men and women, black and white, who fought “the war before the war” along the Ohio River.  An inspiring story of courage and heroism that transports us to another era and deepens our understanding of the great social movement known as the Underground Railroad.
Title: The Blood and The Blues
Author: Danny Smith with Bill Hampson
Publisher: Authentic Media
Date Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-86024-709-5
Notes: Part One: Resistance – covers slavery, the Underground Railroad and the songs of runaway slaves.Part Two: Legacy – covers the musical heritage of slave songs, the Blues and how slave music ‘rocked the world’.
Title: Bound for the Promised Land
Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero
Author: Kate Clifford Larson
Publisher: One World
Date Published: Reprint Edition: 2004
ISBN: 978-0345456281
Notes: Kate Clifford Larson is an historian and Harriet Tubman scholar. She is the consultant for the Harriet Tubman Special Resource Study of the National Park Service and serves on the advisory board of the Historic Context on the Underground Railroad in Delaware, Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware.

See for her excellent Harriet Tubman Biography website.

Title: DK Biography: Harriet Tubman
Author: Kem Knapp Sawyer
Publisher: DK Publishing
Date Published: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7566-5806-0
Notes: DK Biography series for young 9-12 year old readers.
Title: Front Line of Freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley
Author: Keith P. Griffler
Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky
Date Published: 2004
ISBN: 0-8131-2298-8
Notes: Describes the history of an interracial struggle against slavery. Refuting old notions of whites working and African Americans riding on the Underground Railroad, Griffin reveals meaningful collaboration between blacks and whites at every level of the enterprise. Long before soldiers donned blue and grey uniforms, the activities of free African Americans in the Ohio River Valley made the region an initial battleground in the protracted fight to end the institution of slavery in America.
Title: Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad
Author: Richard Cooper and Dr. Eric R. Jackson
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (Images of America Series)
Date Published: 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4671-1136-0
Notes: The authors have compiled historic images from archives, libraries, and personal collections to illustrate the people, places, and events of the history of Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad.
Title: Encyclopedia of The Underground Railroad
Author: J. Blaine Hudson
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc., North Carolina & London
Date Published: 2006
ISBN: 978-0-7864-2459-7
Title: Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland
Author: J. Blaine Hudson
Publisher: McFarland
Date Published: 2002
ISBN: 0-7864-1345-X
Title: Get On Board
The Story of The Underground Railroad
Author: Jim Haskins
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Date Published: 1993
ISBN: 0-590-45419-6
Notes: A notable children’s book on the subject
Title: Harriet Tubman
The Road to Freedom
Author: Catherine Clinton
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date Published: 2004
ISBN: 0-316-14492-4
Notes: Catherine Clinton is Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast. She specializes in American History, with an emphasis on the history of the South.Recommended for general readers; academics are better served by Kate Clifford Larson’s Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman.
Title: Hidden In Plain View
A Secret Story Of Quilts and The Underground Railroad
Author: Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard
Publisher: First Anchor Books
Date Published: 1999
ISBN: 0-385-49767-9
Notes: The frequently disputed theory of how enslaved men and women encoded messages within quilt patterns using ‘Ozella’s Code’ that helped fugitives navigate their escape along the Underground Railroad. Some historians support this theory while other historians dispute this as myth. “The quilt theory, as related in the book, is not supported by documentary evidence, such as slave memoirs, oral history interviews of escaped slaves, or abolitionist accounts of the Underground Railroad. It is based solely on one person’s oral history. With the absence of supporting evidence for the secret quilt code, as described in the book, quilt historians have challenged the plausibility of the quilt code and hence is not accepted by all as accurate. 

In a 2007 Time Magazine article, Tobin (co-author of Hidden in Plain View) stated: “Whether or not it’s completely valid, I have no idea, but it makes sense with the amount of research we did.”

While the quilt code and other similar theories may reflect a pride in the brave people who were active in the Underground Railroad, both as runaway slaves and those who helped them, it is a popular interest which may be either myth or fact”.
– Wikipedia  (

Title: History of the Underground Railroad
as it was Conducted by the Anti-Slavery League
Author: Col. William M. Cockrum
Publisher: Press of J. W. Cockrum Printing Company, Oakland City, Indiana
Date Published: 1915
ISBN: None
Notes: A significant source of information on the Underground Railroad in Indiana.Available as an ebook from The Library of Congress Internet Archive:
Title: History of The Underground Railroad
in Chester and The Neighbouring Counties of Pennsylvania
Author: R. C. Smedley
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Date Published: Originally published in 1883 by the office of The Journal in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This new Stackpole paperback edition published 2005 with a Foreward by Mary Larkin Dougan, Kennett Underground Railroad Center
ISBN: 0-8117-3189-8
Notes: R. C. Smedley’s 1883 seminal work documenting the real stories of white and black activists who worked on some of the most active and important secretive routes on the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania.Contains one of three origins of the term ‘Underground Railroad’.

New Stackpole paperback edition available from

Title: Levi Coffin, Quaker:
Breaking the bonds of slavery in Ohio and Indiana
Author: Mary Ann Yannessa
Publisher: Friends United Press
Date Published: 2006
ISBN: 978-0-944350-54-6
Notes: A brief biography of Levi Coffin focussing primarily on Coffin’s abolitionist activities in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1847 through the civil war, and his work on behalf of freed blacks after the war.
Title: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
Author: Frederick Douglass
Edited by John W. Blassingame, John R. Mc Kivigan and Peter P. Hinks
Publisher: Yale University Press
Date Published: 2001
ISBN: 978-0-300-08701-7
Notes: This book , which marked the beginning of Douglass’s career as an impassioned writer, journalist and orator for the abolitionist cause, reveals the terrors he faced as a slave, the brutalities of his owners and overseers, and his harrowing escape to the North. This edition of the book, based on the authoritative text that appears in Yale University Press’s multi-volume edition of the Frederick Douglass Papers, is the only edition of Douglass’s Narrative designated as an ‘Approved Text’ by the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Scholarly Editions.
Title: Narrative of The Life of Henry Box Brown
Author: Henry Box Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date Published: This version: 2002 – a reprinting of the Manchester, England edition of 1851.Henry Box Brown published two versions of his autobiography:
1)  the first in Boston in 1849 titled ‘Narrative of Henry Box Brown who Escaped from Slavery Enclosed in a Box 3 Feet Long and 2 Wide Written from a Statement of Facts Made by Himself With Remarks upon the Remedy for Slavery. By Charles Stearns’
2) the second in Manchester, England in 1851 titled ‘Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown.Written by Himself’
The real difference is that the second version is told in Brown’s own voice.
ISBN: 0-19-514854-1
Notes: Introduction by Richard Newman, Fellows and Research Officer at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University.
Title: Narrative of Sojourner Truth
Author: Sojourner Truth
Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
Date Published: 1997
ISBN: 0-486-29899-X
Notes: This edition is an unabridged re-publication of the original work ‘Narrative of Sojourner Truth, A Northern Slave’. Sojourner Truth dictated her memories to her friend Olive Gilbert and in 1850 William Lloyd Garrison privately published her book in Boston.
Title: Passages To Freedom
The Underground Railroad in History and Memory
Author: Edited by David W. Blight
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Date Published: 2004
ISBN: 978-0-06-085118-7
Notes: Published on the occasion of the opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Passages to Freedom brings together a remarkable series of 15 beautifully illustrated essays by outstanding historians which bring home the reality of slavery’s destructiveness and how the journey out of slavery both haunts and inspires us today.
Title: Rev. Calvin Fairbank During Slavery Times: How He “Fought the Good Fight” to Prepare “The Way”
Author: Rev. Calvin Fairbank
Publisher: R.R. McCabe & Co., Chicago
Date Published: 1890
Notes: Contains one of three origins of the term ‘Underground Railroad’.
Title: The Slave Catchers
Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law 1850-1860
Author: Stanley W. Campbell
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Date Published: 1970
ISBN: 393 00626 3
Notes: The Fugitive Slave Law, enacted as part of the Compromise of 1850, was designed to enable slave-owners to reclaim their property, even if the fugitives had escaped to a free state. The law aroused furious opposition in the northern states and has generally, been regarded as a failure – unenforceable and unenforced. In The Slave Catchers, the first full treatment of the practical consequences of the Fugitive Slave Law, Stanley. W. Campbell offers detailed new evidence that this view is far from accurate.
Title: Underground Railroad
Author: National Park Service
Publisher: U.S. Department of the Interior
Date Published: 1998
ISBN: 9780912627649
Notes: 88 page booklet (Official National Park Handbook 156) available from www.bookstore.gpo.govIn 1990 the US Congress directed the Secretary of the Interior acting through the Director of the National Parks Service to prepare and publish this interpretive handbook on the Underground Railroad in the larger context of American antebellum society, including the history of slavery and abolitionism.
Title: The Underground Railroad
Authentic Narratives and First-Hand Accounts
Author: William Still
Publisher: Dover Publications Inc., New York
Date Published: 2007
ISBN: 0-486-45553-X
Notes: When the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished, William Still published his journals of vivid accounts of former slaves he helped conduct northwards on the Underground Railroad. This is considered the most complete firsthand account ever written on the men, women and children who rode the legendary Railroad to freedom.Dover original compilation of selections from the edition published by Porter and Coates, Philadelphia, 1872.
Title: The Underground Railroad From Slavery to Freedom
Author: Wilbur Henry Siebert
Publisher: The Macmillan Company, New York
Date Published: 1898
ISBN: None
Notes: Now digitally re-mastered and available in the Classic Reprint Series of ‘Forgotten Books’, see www.forgottenbooks.orgContains one of three origins of the term ‘Underground Railroad’.
Title: The Underground Railroad in Connecticut
Author: Horatio T. Strother
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Date Published: 1962
ISBN: 978-0-8195-6012-4
Title: The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Toronto!
Author: Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper and Karolyn Smardz Frost
Publisher: Natural Heritage Books, A Member of The Dundurn Group, Toronto
Date Published: 2nd Edition, 2005
ISBN: 978-1-55488-429-2
Notes: A companion work to the ‘Parks Canada’ experimental theatre exhibit “The Underground Railroad : Next Stop Freedom!” as a study of African-Canadian Underground Railroad History and the urban story of the UGRR in Toronto.
Title: Underground Railroad in Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia
Author: William J. Switala
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Date Published: 2004
ISBN: 0-8117-3143-X
Notes: Available from


 Slavery Books with references to the Underground Railroad
Date Published:


 Civil War Books with references to the Underground Railroad
Title: Battle Cry of Freedom
Author: James M. McPherson
Publisher: Penguin History
Date Published: 1990
ISBN: 978-0-140-12518-4


 Fictional Books with references to Slavery / the Underground Railroad
Title: Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among The Lowly (Vol. 1 & 2)
Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Publisher: Originally published by John P. Jewitt & Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Date Published: 1852
ISBN: None
Notes: Many editions from various publishers available now. “Published in 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin brought the abolitionists message to he White House and beyond – no woman before or since Harriet Beecher Stowe has so successfully written a novel designed to motivate America to act on a major issue of the day. Controversial still, this novel has weathered continual debates on all aspects of its writing and its subject matter. Accurate in its portrayal of the slave experience, brilliant in its narrative structure and use of dialogue, and profoundly feminist in its implications.”
–  Penguin Classics
Title: The Underground Railroad
Author: Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Fleet
Date Published: 6th October 2016
ISBN: 978-0708898390
Notes: From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent, wrenching, thrilling tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.


 CD Recordings
Title: Steal Away
Songs of the Underground Railroad
Performed by: Various
Produced by: Kim and Reggie Harris
Publisher: Appleseed Recordings
Date Published: 1997
Notes: See for CDs for sale
Title: Get On Board!
Underground Railroad & Civil Rights Freedom Songs, Vol. 2
Performed by: Various
Produced by: Kim and Reggie Harris
Publisher: Appleseed Recordings
Date Published: 2006
Notes: See for CDs for sale


 DVD Recordings
Title: Underground Railroad
Performed by: Various
Produced by: The History Channel (USA)
Publisher: The History Channel (USA)
Date Published: 1998
Notes: A documentary that unveils the history, heroes, and villains of the Abolitionist movement.