- Main article: Corey Birdsong
Corey Birdsong (born August 8, 1848) was the son of Angel and Roland Birdsong. He had a younger sibling named Star, who was born in 1858. Corey and his parents were slaves on the Hart plantation in Kentucky until their escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad. The Birdsong family settled in Amherstburg, where Corey began attending school.
Angel Birdsong was the mother of Corey and Star. She was married to Roland. She was reluctant to leave the plantation, but agreed at Corey's urging. After a long journey, Angel stayed behind in Ohio due to her pregnancy. In June 1858, her family began living in Amherstburg, Canada. Angel was an exceptional seamstress, her stitches being "small and even."
Gwen Thurman was the niece of Mr. and Mrs. Thurman, who adopted her after her mother's death. Her mother was Mrs. Thurman's sister.
Mingo Birdsong (born c. 1845) was Corey's best friend. His mother was sold by their owner, Robert Hart. Aunt Queen acted as a surrogate mother to Mingo. After Corey left the farm, Mingo decided to make his own escape.
Aunt Queen was a friend of the Birdsong family. She was also a slave owned by Robert Hart. Aunt Queen was extremely close to Mingo, whom she treated as her son. She initially refused to let Mingo leave the farm.
Roland Birdsong was the husband of Angel, and father of Corey and Star. He was a talented blacksmith. He taught his son how to read and write. He ran away in September 1857, after learning about his owner's plans to sell him. Roland was reunited with his son and wife, whom also escaped, in June 1858. The family moved to Amherstburg, Canada, where Roland obtained a job in a Navy Yard.
- Reverend Binga was the preacher of Nazrey AME Church in Amherstburg.
- Charles was a slave on the Hart plantation. He ran away in September 1857 with Roland, but was caught several days later. Charles later successfully escaped sometime after the Birdsongs left.
- Dodd was a student attending college in Oberlin, Ohio. Corey stayed with Dodd for a couple weeks while waiting for his dad.
- Elsie was a teacher and abolitionist, who hid Corey and Angel in her schoolhouse for a day.
- Mr. Foster, a citizen of Amherstburg, who owned a livery stable.
- John Parker, an abolitionist, who helped Corey and Angel cross the Ohio River on his boat. He brought
- George Washington Lewis was a citizen of Gist. He hid Corey and Angel in his house for a few days.
- Mary Ellen was a friend of Dodd. She also helped search for Corey's father.
- Mr. and Mrs. McCurdy were a married couple that operated a bakery.
- Nerva, a slave that Corey and Angel encountered on the Underground Railroad. She hid them in a barn for a night. The next morning, she showed them to a ditch, where John Parker found them.
- Reverend Rankin was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Corey and Angel stayed at his home in Ripley, Ohio for a night.
- Mr. Renfield was an abolitionist. He was worried about Roland returning to retrieve Corey and Angel on his own. Therefore, Renfield visited the Hart plantation and convinced them to escape.
- Robert "Bob" Hart was a slave owner who operated a plantation in Kentucky. He searched tirelessly for Roland, Angel, and Corey after they ran away from his plantation.
- Star Birdsong (born May 1858) was the younger sister of Corey, who also named her.
- Susie Hart was the wife of Bob. She was generally in charge of overseeing the slaves duties.
- Thomas Fast Horse, an Indian conductor on the Underground Railroad. He helped Corey reach Oberlin.
- Mr. and Mrs. Thurman were the Birdsongs neighbors in Amherstburg. After Mrs. Thurman's sister died, they adopted Gwen.
- Tut was a freeman who worked as a trapper. He agreed to help Corey find his father. Tut was caught by slave catchers, despite showing them his freedom papers.
- "Young Bob" Hart was the son of Bob and Susie. He was friends with Corey and Mingo. Young Bob sympathized with his family's slaves and hated to see get hurt by his father.