What Was

The Underground Railroad was the movement that enslaved African Americans used to gain freedom in the 19th Century. The Capital Region of New York State was visited by thousands of freedom seekers in the years prior to the Civil War. Underground Railroad Education Center seeks to acknowledge the active Underground Railroad movement in our region, to raise awareness about and stimulate interest in this little recognized and inspiring part of our history, to understand it in its historic context, to encourage the recognition of local historic figures and the activities in which they engaged, to preserve that history, and to relate that history with us today.

Local Luminaries

What Is Underground Railroad Education Center?

Underground Railroad Education Center (UREC) is a non-profit organization that seeks:

  1. To promote and encourage knowledge and understanding of the Underground Railroad Movement and its genesis and legacy in the Capital Region and in New York State, and as a significant element of the history of the United States
  2. To acknowledge the participation in, cooperation among, and felicity between African- and other Americans in the Underground Railroad Movement
  3. To promote and encourage historical research on the Underground Railroad Movement in the Capital Region, in New York, and in the United States
  4. To gather, preserve, display, and make available for study artifacts, relics, books, manuscripts, papers, photographs, and other records and materials relating to the history of the Underground Railroad Movement in the Capital Region and New York State
  5. To encourage the suitable marking of places of historic interest relating to the Underground Railroad Movement in the Capital Region
  6. To purchase, gift, devise, or otherwise acquire the title to or the custody of historic sites and structures relating to the Underground Railroad Movement in the Capital Region, to preserve and maintain such sites and structures, and to interpret them for the benefit of the public
  7. To place the Underground Railroad movement in its proper context as the first civil rights movement, and as part of the ongoing struggle for equity, freedom, and justice.

Since its incorporation in 2003, this effort has created a strong program of education and research that celebrates and preserves the story of the Underground Railroad in Albany and the Capital Region and its relationship with us today. URHPCR has identified the key primary and secondary figures and their activities, and has developed a general outline of the local history of the movement.