What plan is devised by Truth and her uncle to locate Robert up north and why are they blindfolded in Who Comes with Cannons?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Truth and her uncle plan to travel north on the Underground Railroad to locate Robert and bring him back home. Truth, who speaks with an Illinois accent, will accompany her uncle on the dangerous quest to be his spokesman, as his Southern accent will arouse suspicion above the Mason-Dixon line. The Underground Railroad, which is a network of safehomes connected by brave individuals sympathetic to the abolitionist cause, is by necessity a secret operation. Great care is taken to preserve this secrecy, and it is for this reason that Truth and her uncle are blindfolded during their journey. It is important that the two Friends not know the details of where the safehouses are on the journey, nor should they be able to identify the people who help them on the way. By scrupulously keeping these details secret, the operators of the Underground Railroad hope to avoid detection by the authorities, so that they can continue their work of helping slaves escape to freedom.

Truth and her uncle have heard that Robert is being held in a Yankee prison in Elmira, New York. Truth's uncle wants to see for himself that Robert is there, then he plans to appeal directly to President Lincoln, who is known to be sympathetic towards Quakers, and who will hopefully secure Robert's release. As things turn out, Truth and her uncle are attacked by an angry, Quaker-hating mob in New York, and her uncle is injured badly enough that he cannot continue on their mission. Truth presses on alone, and, with the invaluable help of an escaped slave named Squire, she manages to get audiences first with Mr. Frederick Douglass, and then with the President's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln appeals to her husband on Truth's behalf, and the President gives Truth a letter, instructing the establishment at Elmira to release Robert. Truth goes on to Elmira, where the authenticity of the letter is confirmed. Robert is set free, and he and Truth return home on the Underground Railroad.

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Who Comes with Cannons?

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