Most of the Underground Railroad Routes headed North to Canada. Fleeing slaves were instructed to follow the North Star via coded information found in spirituals, phrases and quilt patterns. Free Blacks, escaped slaves and white abolitionists, known as “agents” and “conductors”, helped slaves with food, shelter, clothing, directions and transportation. To add to the journey’s danger, slave catchers and bounty hunters were often in pursuit, using hound dogs to track runaway slaves.
One route, about which there is scant information, headed south to Mexico. The numbers of slaves that used this escape route and then blended into the Mexican population is not known.
There were several main routes used to gain access into Canada: