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Harriet Tubman with Slaves She Helped During the Civil War

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In celebration of Black History Month, DJ Mr. King and Cece will be dropping some rare, non-traditional Black History gems over the month of February.

In today’s find, we celebrate Tice Davids.

Tice Davids, a runaway slave from Kentucky, was the inspiration for the first usage of the term “Underground Railroad.” When he swam across the Ohio River to freedom, his former owner assumed he’d drowned and told the local paper if Davids had escaped, he must have traveled on “an underground railroad.” (Davids actually made it alive and well.) Rush Sloane, an abolitionist from Sandusky, Ohio, claimed that the Davids episode led to the naming of the Underground Railroad. Historians continue to remain divided as to the accuracy of this statement.