FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
WF awards

Learning about the Underground Railroad on the Harriet Tubman Trail in Delaware

by Barbara Rogers

Feb 2, 2020

Photo: Stillman Rogers.

Listicles

The November release of the movie Harriet reawakened interest in heroic Harriet Tubman, a former slave who helped her family and others escape slavery in the south before the Civil War. Children will learn about the Underground Railroad in school, but a newly designated historic route in Delaware, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, brings it to life along the same route used by Tubman and the slaves she led to freedom.

 

As it follows their perilous journey, the byway leads through landscapes that changed little since that time, such as Blackbird State Forest, known to escapees as “Blackbird” and one of their key landmarks on the journey north. You can stop in the 6,000-acre state park and follow some of the 40 miles of trails across terrain escaping slaves traveled.

 

The byway leads to other landmarks and homes of abolitionists who helped refugees by providing food, shoes and safe hiding places. Even in the north, helping or harboring runaway slaves was illegal, the Underground Railway “stations” were kept secret and knowledge of their locations died with the abolitionists who were the Railroad’s “conductors.”

 

But some are known, including The Corbit-Sharp House, the 1774 mansion of a Quaker family in the historic town of Odessa, where a number of Quakers, abolitionists and free blacks lived. After visiting the house, take time to stroll through the restored garden.

 

The Historic Courthouse in New Castle, Delaware. Photo: Stillman Rogers.

 

Two of the best-known Underground Railroad stationmasters lived in New Castle and were known publicly, even at the time, because of a three-year court case. In 1848 Abolitionists Thomas Garrett and John Hunn were sued in federal court for violating the Fugitive Slave Act by helping a family escape. They were convicted and fined heavily, losing their homes and businesses as a result, but continued their work to assist runaway slaves. The New Castle Court House was the scene of the trial and today it is a museum with exhibits on the Underground Railroad.

 

A statue of Harriet Tubman and Thomas Garrett stands in the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park on the banks of the Christiana River in Wilmington, at one of the Underground Railroad’s major crossing points. Called “Unwavering Courage in the Pursuit of Freedom,” the statue commemorates Tubman’s determination to get her family out of slavery and Garrett’s help in financing their and others’ escape.

 

All these Underground Railroad sites in Delaware are in or close to Wilmington, which makes a good base for exploring this era in America’s history.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Hotels
Jul 19, 2024

4 Hotels to Celebrate National Picnic Month

July is National Picnic Month, and the perfect time for family travelers to take advantage of picnic-themed programming at these properties.

United Continues Its Global Expansion

United Airlines keeps soaring to new heights, recently announcing another expansion of its leading global route network. The airline added new non-stop flights between Newark (EWR) and Marrakesh (RAK), Morocco; Tokyo (NRT) and Cebu (CEB), Philippines; and Houston (IAH) and Medellin (MDE), Colombia. That’s not all: United also plans to increase flights to popular worldwide destinations including Hong Kong (HKG); Seoul (INC), South Korea; and Porto (OPO), Portugal. Following the recent agreement to increase flights between the U.S. and Chinese governments, the airline now adds four weekly flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Shanghai (PVG).

Cruises
Jul 19, 2024

Disney Cruise Line to Offer Year-Round Cruises to Japan in 2029

Earlier this month, Walt Disney and Japan’s Oriental Land Co. announced plans to launch a new cruise ship that will sail from Tokyo in 2029. The ship, to be modeled after Wish, the largest vessel in Disney’s fleet, will have a maximum capacity of 4,000 passengers. The new ship will mark the cruise line’s ninth in its fleet.

Destinations / North America
Jul 18, 2024

Norfolk Botanical Gardens Loves Kids

Kids can travel around the world of plants in the WOW Children’s Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden in Virginia, exploring environments as diverse as the African savannas and South American rain forest. The Passport Gardens are only one of the plant-centric experiences in this entire section designed for families.

Travel to Madrid with the Family and Find Activities to Keep Everyone Happy!

If life were a city, it’d be Madrid. Sometimes it can be quite the challenge to find a destination just right for the whole family. Different tastes and ages make agreeing on where to go seem impossible. Unless, of course, the destination you have in mind is Madrid. With all of its new immersive museums, musicals, soccer stadiums and monuments like Royal Palace, anyone who suggests coming to the capital is sure to get a unanimous yes!

Hotels
Jul 18, 2024

Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita Unveils Summer Programming

Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita welcomes family travelers this summer with its Kids for All Seasons and KidsWell offerings. Throughout the summer, children 12 years old and under eat free and can enjoy activities ranging from practicing breathwork to teaching children the diverse nature found in the area. Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is the perfect family-friendly destination for relaxation, education and making lifelong memories.