Home » Uncategorized » Slaveholders in the US knew that enslaved people were escaping to Mexico, the U.S. tried to get Mexico to sign a fugitive slave treaty, but Mexico refused to sign such a treaty, insisting that all enslaved people were free once they set foot on Mexican soil.

Slaveholders in the US knew that enslaved people were escaping to Mexico, the U.S. tried to get Mexico to sign a fugitive slave treaty, but Mexico refused to sign such a treaty, insisting that all enslaved people were free once they set foot on Mexican soil.

The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico

The Underground Railroad ran south as well as north. For slaves in Texas, refuge in Canada must have seemed impossibly far away. Fortunately, slavery was also illegal in Mexico.

Researchers estimate 5,000 to 10,000 people escaped from bondage into Mexico, says Maria Hammack, who is writing her dissertation about this topic at the University of Texas at Austin. But she thinks the actual number could be even higher.

“These were clandestine routes and if you got caught you would be killed and lynched, so most people didn’t leave a lot of records,” says Hammack.

There’s some evidence that tejanos, or Mexicans in Texas, acted as “conductors” on the southern route by helping people get to Mexico. In addition, Hammack has also identifi… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

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