Underground Railroad Sites in Racine County
“only a small part of what happened in the past was observed…. And only a small part of what was observed in past was remembered by those who observed it; only a small part of what was remembered was recorded; only a small part of what was recorded has survived; only a small part of what had survived has come to historians’ attention; only a part of what has come to their attention is credible; only a part of what is credible has been grasped; and only a part of what has been grasped can be expounded or narrated by the historian.”
Understanding History, Gottschalk, 1969
How do you find evidence for an illegal movement that was not written about, and was discussed behind closed doors? While there is a great deal that we will never know, documents such as census records, letters, maps, pictures, old newspaper stories, organizations’ membership lists and more help establish a trail that can lead us to names, places and, most importantly, county-wide attitudes involved with the Underground Railroad. While the conductors may not have written about their involvement, they couldn’t help but leave a trail that today’s historians can follow.