An International Community

Free Press Lynx is the central international registry of contemporary organizations and programs involved with the Underground Railroad. Lynx lists over 160 institutions large and small across the United States, Canada and elsewhere that are involved in various aspects of the contemporary Underground Railroad. To add your organization, program or Underground Railroad site to Lynx, email us here with name, address and contact information of the organization or program.  

Lynx does not include places of enslavement, capture, arrest, trial, or lynching or other places that were opposed to the Underground Railroad. The National Park Service's Network to Freedom program maintains a listing that includes such. 

Was It Really Part of the Underground Railroad?

Underground Railroad safe-houses and routes listed on Lynx are rated for likelihood of authenticity according to the five-point Wellman Scale below. Note that nearly two-thirds of Underground Railroad claims rate a 2 on the scale, "story probably true," and that only 3.5 percent have proof of involvement. Percentages below indicate the relative frequencies of the five ratings. Note that the most likely rating by far is 2, "No reason to doubt," reflecting the mysteriousness of the Underground Railroad then and now. Nearly two-thirds of all Underground Railroad claims are in this category.

Level 1, Reason to Doubt (4.0%)

An oral tradition about the Underground Railroad with some reason to believe that it is probably not true. Story assumed not true until shown otherwise.

Level 2, No Reason to Doubt (65.3%) 

Plausible story handed down but with little or no corroborating evidence so far. Rating for sites and people linked to local stories about involvement with the Underground Railroad that sound reasonable yet lack corroborating evidence. Likely candidates include, for example, adult African-Americans born in northern states and known members of abolitionist churches. 

Level 3, Some Indication of involvement (22.9%)     

Abolitionist sympathies, abolitionism or African American background but no direct evidence of Underground Railroad activity. Potential Underground Railroad affiliation backed by oral tradition and/or some evidence of abolitionist activity, e.g., antislavery society membership, signatures on antislavery petitions, antislavery church membership. African American birth in the South or Canada suggests involvement.

Level 4, Considerable indication of involvement (4.3%)

Oral traditions related to specific sources or to groups known to be sympathetic to freedom seekers or evidence of direct involvement with the Underground Railroad. High probability of Underground Railroad involvement but lacking direct primary source evidence. Strong written evidence from others coupled with a strong oral tradition make a compelling case for Underground Railroad involvement.

Level 5, Conclusive evidence of involvement (3.5%)     

Persons or sites identified through oral histories or written sources corroborated specifically by at least one reliable primary source. Strong primary source evidence of Underground Railroad activity: stories about the Underground Railroad that are supported by a primary source recorded by someone who was actually involved. An obituary written by someone who knew the person may qualify as compelling evidence.