Delaware’s Underground Railroad is an intriguing story of courage, heroism, and personal sacrifice. A network of secret escape routes, safe houses, and prohibited assistance, the Underground Railroad provided illegal aid to black slaves fleeing from bondage. As the northernmost slave state, Delaware was considered the last stop to freedom and played a vital role in the Abolitionist Movement of the 18th century. Visit Delaware and experience places in history where slaves, allies and sympathizers risked it all to help others achieve freedom!
Begin your journey in Seaford at the Governor Ross Mansion & Plantation, the lavish home of a slave owner and Southern sympathizer. Witness the elegance of plantation life during pre-Civil War times. Tour the expansive grounds, auxiliary buildings, and the only surviving slave dwelling of its kind in Delaware.
Head north on your path of freedom to Dover, the Capital City of the First State. Check in at the group friendly Hilton Garden Inn, located in the heart of Dover. For an assortment of flavorful restaurants and gaming excitement, visit the nearby Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.
Fuel up on a hot breakfast at the Hilton’s Great American Grill. Visit the First State Heritage Park, the urban “park without boundaries.” Stop at the Old State House, Delaware’s first permanent capital building, for a captivating interpretation of Delaware’s Underground Railroad connection and courageous heroes.
Venture to Camden and tour the Camden Friends Meeting House, a Quaker house of worship constructed in 1805 where many members were actively involved in anti-slavery initiatives. Tour the rustic brick building and adjacent burial ground of prominent local heroes, including John Hunn, a “Chief Engineer” in the Underground Railroad who assisted countless slaves in their quest for freedom.
Continue your trek north and enjoy a hometown meal at the Smyrna Diner, an iconic First State restaurant on the Delaware Culinary Trail. Once your group’s taste buds are satisfied, ride by Daniel Corbit’s Clearfield Farm, a documented Underground Railroad stop that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Make your way to Historic Odessa and tour the Corbit-Sharp House, declared a National Landmark in 1967, and the Appoquinimink Friends Meeting House, both reported sites of refuge and shelter for runaway slaves. Learn the significance of land and water as escape routes and about Samuel, a slave’s perilous journey to freedom.
Head further north to New Castle and check into the Clarion Belle Hotel for some Southern hospitality! Take pleasure in a delicious Southern meal at the Clarion’s upscale-casual Augusta Grille.
Travel to the Quaker Hill Historic Neighborhood to ride by the Wilmington Friends Meeting House, where Thomas Garrett once attended meetings and his final resting place.
Visit the recently-renovated Delaware History Museum and its new Center for African American Heritage, which traces the history of the state's black population, both free and enslaved, to the mid-1600's.
Enroute to your next stop, pass the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, named after fellow-abolitionists, Harriet Tubman and Thomas Garrett, for their brave acts of selflessness. Continue on to Historic New Castle, Delaware’s first capital. Visit the Underground Railroad Exhibit in the New Castle Court House Museum. Learn about Emeline’s journey and see a brief video about the Thomas Garrett Trial. Top off your train ride to freedom with Colonial fare at Jessop’s Tavern!