But most of all, the network comprised African-American activists. And its aim? To provide escaped slaves passage to free states via a system of safe houses. The network was known as the “Underground Railroad” because its operators used coded “railroad” terminology to communicate with each other.
For example, escapees were known as “passengers” who organized their passage through “agents.” Hiding rooms, such as the one that IvebeentYungay discovered in his basement, were known as “stations.” The guides who led escapees across the country were known as “conductors.” And the homeowners who harbored escapees were called “station masters.”