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'Watermen' Helped Slaves Unlock Door to Freedom

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'Watermen' Helped Slaves Unlock Door to Freedom

'Watermen' Helped Slaves Unlock Door to Freedom

'Watermen' Helped Slaves Unlock Door to Freedom

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17777148/17777138" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Two hundred years ago, in 1808, the United States outlawed the importation of slaves. Many know the story of the Underground Railroad and how it helped slaves escape to freedom in the North. But perhaps fewer know the story of "watermen" — sailors and river workers who aided in that escape.

George Washington University Professor James Horton explains.