The North and the South worked to build the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War, which inspired the Ohio dollar.
“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say — I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger.” -Harriet Tubman, 1896
Enslaved African Americans sought freedom from slavery through the Underground Railroad throughout the Civil War. It operated wherever slavery existed, initially to remote and rugged areas on the edge of settled areas and eventually across national and international borders. For a slave, running away or escaping was described as an act of self-emancipation; in retrospect, the term “freedom seeker” is more accurate.
Many of these freedom seekers began their journey unaided and completed their emancipation without assistance. However, in the decades after slavery was legalized in the United States, more efforts were made to assist them in their journey.
It may have been a spontaneous decision to assist a freedom seeker. However, there were places where the Underground Railroad was planned and organized, especially after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Civil disobedience was practiced by people of all racial, economic, and political backgrounds. Canadians, Mexicans, Spaniards in Florida, Indians in the West, Caribbean islands, and Europeans sought freedom in many places.
People eager to escape enslaved African Americans were present wherever enslaved African Americans lived. Spanish California, Louisiana, Florida, Central, and South America, and all Caribbean islands were slave states until the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) and British abolition of slavery (1834).
Enslavement was the starting point of the Underground Railroad. Several natural and man-made routes were used, including rivers, canals, bays, the Atlantic Coast, ferries, river crossings, highways, and trails. Many escapees came from ports, free territories, and international borders.
Disguises and forgeries were some of the freedom seekers’ clever strategies to evade capture. Slave catchers and enslavers would watch for runaways on routes they expected them to use, as well as promised rewards to encourage public complicity in catching them. African Americans, American Indians, and people from many different religious and ethnic groups lent a hand.
Along with offering employment and transportation, the maritime industry played an essential role in spreading information. Whaling industry ties may have contributed to the development of the Pacific West Coast and Alaska as destinations. African Americans also had the option of joining the military from the Colonial Era to the Civil War. Freedom seekers often escaped to the Union army’s lines during the Civil War to find protection and freedom.
American Innovation Dollar Characteristics
Symbolizing the strength and support needed by both parties on the Underground Railroad, two strong hands are shown here holding hands as the upper arm lifts the lower.
In this illustration, the upper arm’s two strong hands are lifted, symbolizing each party’s survival strength and support.
2023 Ohio Underground Railroad – American Innovation Dollars
Authorizing Legislation: H.R. 770, American Innovation $1 Coin Act
Click here to buy the 2023 Ohio Innovation Dollar on eBay.
Dollar Obverse Inscriptions
In God We Trust
Dollar Reverse Inscriptions
United States of America
Incused Edge Inscriptions
E Pluribus Unum
Mint & Dollar Mint Marks
Denver and Philadelphia in Business Strikes
San Francisco in Proof and Reverse Proof Strikes
Available Dollar Mint Strikes
Business, Proof & Reverse Proof
American Innovation Dollar Specifications
Composition: 88.5% Copper, 6% Zinc, 3.5% Manganese and 2% Nickel
Weight: 8.1 grams
Edge: Incused Letter
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