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For many years, slavery was a part of the of the United States. In the early 1800s, though, the began to split into two over whether slavery should be or not. Some of those who believed slaves should be free tried to help them . Safe houses became known as the Underground Railroad. called "conductors" took the slaves to places where "station masters" kept them hidden until it was safe to travel north to . Many slaves fleeing from Virginia and Maryland escaped through Delaware. The Underground Railroad in Dover, Delaware, and ran through Wilmington into Pennsylvania. Many slaves escaped along this path. Thomas Garrett became a famous , a person who was against slavery. He was born in 1789 in Pennsylvania to a family. When he was a young man, he rescued a free black who worked in his family home but had been kidnapped and into slavery. After freeing her, he devoted his life to the freedom of all. In 1822, Garrett and his moved to Wilmington, where he ran an iron and blacksmith business. In his home in Wilmington, he many runaway slaves by giving them food, clothing, and a place to stay. In 1848, Garrett was found guilty of aiding slaves, who were considered someone's . He lost almost everything as punishment. Even then Garrett said, "Friend, I haven't a dollar in the world, but if thee knows a fugitive who needs a , send him to me." In about 1850, he became friends with Harriet Tubman. Garrett helped her bring her family to freedom. On March 30, 1870, when the 15th became law, blacks in Wilmington carried Garrett through the streets, praising him. He had helped more than 2,700 slaves become free. When he died, 1,500 people came to his funeral.