Recommended Navigation

  • You can always access our information on your own terms by using the top level menu categories, the Quick Links at the bottom of the home page, or by employing the full text search bar just underneath the image banner.  However, we have also created an interactive introductory essay under Publications that explains how we see the context and significance of our data.  


  • Our Project Blog is a related but separate site that is still being integrated into the main database. Eventually, these two sites will connect in a fairly seamless way, but for now, they are operating in parallel fashion.  The Project Blog has been public and growing organically since fall 2018.  The main database is also technically on the public web but not yet indexed by search engines.  Both sites should be fully public and integrated by summer 2021.


Naming Protocols

  • This is a project about slave stampedes, but how do we define such "stampedes"?  We have decided against setting a fixed numeric threshold.  Generally, slave stampedes were mass escapes, usually in large groups or in serial escapes by individuals or small groups.  However, we have found it more effective to conceptualize stampedes as participants defined them, usually in contemporary newspaper articles covering those attempted escapes.  In other words, whenever a first-hand source (such as a local newspaper) identified a group escape as a stampede, we considered it to be one and labeled it as such in our project.  


  • This project used digital newspaper searches to help identify nearly 200 attempted stampedes from across the country, but we also collected data about other types of escapes in the state of Missouri in order to better situate the stampedes from our main project area (in Eastern Missouri) within their full context.  Here is quick summary of our naming protocol for various types of escapes and stampedes:
    • YEAR -- PLACE NAME -- STAMPEDE = identified by newspaper or other contemporary sources as a stampede (e.g. 1855 St. Louis Stampede)
    • YEAR -- PLACE NAME -- ESCAPE = group escape (e.g. 1848 Daggs Farm Escape)
    • YEAR --FREEDOM SEEKER NAME(S) -- ESCAPE = escape by an individual or pair where names of freedom seekers are know (e.g. 1863 Archer Alexander Escape)

Understanding Our Database Terminology

  • We have coded all the Escapes in our database (including stampedes) with ONE of FOUR possible outcomes:  Death / Recapture, Freedom, Mixed, Unknown.  When it comes to attributes, however, such as regarding the modes of escape or whether or not they involved violence or legal action, we have a much longer, more flexible (and still evolving) list of traits.


  • Our Documents section is currently dominated by over one thousand fully or partially transcribed historical newspaper articles.  However, we have plan to incorporate other selected primary sources such as excerpts from speeches, government documents, letters and diaries.


Citation and Copyright Information

  • "Slave Stampedes on the Missouri Borderlands" is a federal government-funded project that offers to freely share its data and information under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA ShareAlike license with the House Divided Project at Dickinson College. 


  • Our suggested credit line:  Slave Stampedes on the Missouri Borderlands, NPS Network To Freedom / House Divided Project


  • Our suggested citation in Chicago-style footnote format:  PAGE NAME, Matthew Pinsker, ed., Slave Stampedes on the Missouri Borderlands, National Park Service Network to Freedom and House Divided Project at Dickinson College, 2018-21, URL (Date accessed).