- "The Underground Railroad is powerful. Many people do not believe in slavery. Many are willing to help people like me and my family find their way to freedom. I did not know until the meeting tonight that the law punishes people who help."
- —Corey Birdsong
Roland taught Corey how to read and write, and later gave him a book to practice in. Corey also learned a number of bird calls from his father.
The Birdsong family was visited by a freeman preacher, who spoke about the Underground Railroad in late August 1857. Roland wished to escape, but Angel was hesitant to leave. A few days later, Roland was forced to leave on his own after hearing about Mr. Hart's plans to sell him. Mr. Hart was extremely angry at Roland's escape and even put up an award for his return. Corey wrote less and less in his journal over the following months.
In March 1858, an abolitionist named Mr. Renfield visited the Hart farm, pretending to be interested in birds. Mr. Hart naturally introduced him to Corey, who had a special talent for birds. A few days later, Mr. Renfield his intentions to help Corey and his mother escape. Corey eventually convinced his mother to take Mr. Renfield's offer. Their first stop on the Underground Railroad was at a schoolhouse near Maysville.
Corey and his mother were taken across the Ohio River by John Parker. He brought them to Reverend Rankin's house in Ripley, Ohio. They reached Owl Creek, where Angel stayed behind to give birth to Star. Corey headed toward Oberlin to try to find his father. The trip took nearly a month after Corey got lost along the way. In Oberlin, Corey stayed with Dodd for a few days, before finding his father. They then went to retrieve Angel in Owl Creek. Together the family headed to their ultimate destination, Canada.
Life in Canada
Personality and traits
Corey had an affinity with birds and could recognize several different types of birds. He also was able to imitate bird calls, earning him his last name "Birdsong".
|Roland Birdsong||Angel Birdsong|