Actually, in fact there was a branch of the Underground Railroad in
Quincy, Illinois, just to the northeast of Hannibal. According to
Glennette Tilley Turner's remarkable work, "The Underground Railroad in
Illinois" (Glen Ellyn, Ill.: Newman Educational Publishing, 2001), the
Everett House at 801 N. Twelfth in Quincy "was thought to have had a
tunnel running from its sub-basement to the Mississippi River. . . .
Cubbyholes, hidden rooms, and trap doors were believed to have been used
as UGRR hiding places." (p. 180.) Once a slave had safely arrived in
Quincy, he/she would then be transported via UGRR stations in Mendon,
Plymouth, Galesburg, Princeton, and Ottawa, Illinois, ultimately ending
up in Chicago and thence to Canada (p. 165).
I think, however, that an earlier point is well-taken. This is a work of
fiction, not an historical narrative.
Good luck with your class.
Harper College, Palatine, Illinois
P.S. Glennette Tilley Turner has a wonderful website concerning the
Underground Railroad in Illinois, which you can find at