Thank you for your interest in the Wonder Workshop's Underground Railroad education program. We are looking forward to spending time with you and your students. 

  • To know the hot-spots of The Underground Railroad in KS

  • To be able to mark these places on a map

Lesson Plan Overview 
  • The headquarters of The Underground Railroad in the 1850’s was Lawrence, KS (find on map). Here lived the main abolitionist leaders 

    • Theodore Gardner: The runaway slaves who were in Missouri (find on map) were told they could go to his safe house and they would be okay

    • William Quantrill: Acted as an abolitionist, but actually was a slave catcher and brought slaves back to owners for their ransom

    • Next, head to Lawrence 

  • In 1857, first stop after MO became Quindaro in Wyandotte County (mark on map)

  • James Lane laid out rocks in piles (called Lane’s chimneys) that started around Topeka (mark on map) and ending at Kansas/Nebraska border

    • This went through Brown and Jackson counties (mark on map)

  • There were proslavery settlements on the Missouri River border (mark on map with red x’s)

  • Have the class split into groups and have them plan routes they could take to get through KS and into Nebraska (to get to their main goal – CANADA!)

Download the complete lesson plan (pdf)

Underground Railroad for Teachers

Dawn of the Day

We also invite you to watch Kansas State University's "Dawn of the Day" with your class. Dawn of Day is a historical documentary about the Underground Railroad in Kansas that brings to light Wabaunsee County’s unsung heroes who traversed one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history. Faith, family, and politics united a community of neighbors who lived and died to ensure Kansas was a free state. Richard Pitts, director of the Wonder Workshop in Manhattan, Kansas, narrates the film and interviews educators, historians and descendants of abolitionists whose shared heritage lives on in the freedom we enjoy today. 

Produced by: Dean Mercer

Directed by: Rusty Earl
College of Education, Kansas State University

Admission Price:

Family Pod Up To 10 People


Open to the Public: 

Registration Only

Groups visits:

Call 776-1234

506 S. 4th St. Manhattan, KS 66502

 (785) 776-1234 

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