You probably know what the Underground Railroad is-you know, the network of secret routes and safe houses set up in antebellum America and used by African-American slaves (with the help of abolitionists and allies) to escape into free states and Canada.
But how did it work? How far apart were these slave houses? Five miles, twenty miles, or more? And how did abolitionists help the escaped slaves? Did they provide them food and shelter and send them on their way, or did they personally guide them?
And what happened if a slave or Underground Railroad “conductor” got caught?
Here to tell us one of the most amazing jailbreak stories in pre-Civil War American history is Gary Jenkins, a retired Kansas City police officer. He tells us about the capture, incarceration, trial and rescue of Dr. John Doy.
In 1859, twelve free African-Americans asked Lawrence Kansas leading citizens to help them flee north to escape being captured and sold into slavery. Dr. John Doy and his son, Charles Doy volunteered to go on this dangerous mission. His book, The Immortal 10, tells this exciting story of the slave trade in Missouri though the eyes of Dr. Doy.
Gary Jenkins retired from the Kansas City Police Department in 1996 after a 25-year career. During his career, Gary was assigned to the Patrol Bureau, the Burglary Unit, the Fraud Unit, The Tactical Response Unit (SWAT) and the Intelligence Unit. Upon retirement, Gary attended the UMKC School of Law and graduated in 2000. He was admitted to the Missouri Bar and he continues to practice law today. He is a Board member of the Kansas City Police Pension System and The Jackson County Historical Society. During the past 10 years, Gary produced three documentary films, Negroes to Hire: Slave Life in Antebellum Missouri, Freedom Seekers: Stories From the Western Underground Railroad and Gangland Wire. Gary also authored two books, John Brown and the Last Train andLeaving Vegas: The True Story of How the F.B.I Wiretaps Ended Mob Domination of Las Vegas Casinos. Gary produces and co-hosts the successful true crime podcast, Gangland Wire Crime Stories.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
The Immortal 10