What was the Underground Railroad? To understand what it was, it's important to realize that it was not actually a railroad. Rather, the Underground Railroad was a secret network used to help slaves escape from the South during the 19th century in the United States (U.S.). It provided a means for enslaved people to find their way to areas where they would no longer be subjected to slavery.
A respected railroad man of his generation, Thomas Alexander Scott (1823-1881) was instrumental in the expansion of Pennsylvania Railroad, though he failed to realize his vision of a true transcontinental railroad. Scott also played a significant role in the use of rail travel for the Union war effort during the Civil War.