We are collecting and creating numerous types of image records for this database, including runaway slave advertisements, historic photographs, contemporary photographs, illustrations, and modern-day maps produced specifically for this project. We have also colorized various historic images, such as the depiction of an 1857 "slave stampede" from Cambridge, Maryland that was originally published as an engraved illustration for William Still, The Underground Railroad (1872). We chose this image as the basis for our project's main visual identity because it so neatly captures the complexity of large group escapes. If you look carefully at the image, you can see men, women, and children of all ages, as well as some of the men carrying pistols in their pockets, for self defense. In addition, we chose to only half-colorize the image as a metaphor for our ongoing efforts to humanize "slave stampedes," and we did so in the style of the 20th-century artist Jacob Lawrence, who employed bright, vivid colors so famously in works such as "Forward" (1967) about Harriet Tubman, an image that's also available in our database.
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Arrival at Chickasaw Bayou of the Negro Slaves of Jefferson Davis, from his plantation on the Mississippi, 1863