Escape Routes out of New York City

Brooklyn Bridge
Today the Brooklyn Bridge is an important connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn and Long Island.
Before it was built how did people (especially Freedom Seekers) get across the East River?

    The Queens Freedom Trail that ran east to Long Island and then north-northwest to Westchester County had its origins in the Quakers' compelling conviction that "the Almighty Spirit directly influences the hearts of all mankind and that a strict adherence to the manifestation of duty (is) revealed to each individual soul." The separation of Quaker families as a result of the Revolutionary War provided networks of paths for escaping slaves to follow to freedom. There is evidence that runaway slaves followed these networks of paths, seeking sanctuary at the homes of Westbury and Jericho Quaker farmers who used their wagons to transport desperate runaways to freedom. Under cover of darkness, they slipped north along the trail to Hempstead Harbor's Premium Point or to Oyster Bay where Quakers would help runaways secure safe passage across Long Island Sound to Westchester County. From Westchester, escaping slaves journeyed further north, passing through other Quaker communities on their way to safety and freedom, such as the Nine Partners Meeting in Dutchess County. These first tentative steps at forming freedom networks to free slaves by Queens and Long Island Quakers were among the earliest of such efforts on the American continent.
    In one narrative, runaway Harriet Jacobs told of her master coming to the boarding house where she was staying and searching for her. Her then employer, Cornelia Grinnell Willis, helped her escape by putting her on a steam boat bound for New Haven, Connecticut; from there she took a train to Boston. Other slaves found different means to escape along the network of freedom trails that ran through Flushing; one trail followed the shores of the inlets, bays and estuaries of Long Island's inner south shore, which supported thick brush and tall grassy cover in which runaways could conceal themselves as they made their way to the Quaker community of Jerusalem; another route from Flushing followed the North shore further east along trails to Eastern Queens County--now eastern Nassau County-where slaves could secure boat passage to Connecticut or Rhode Island; another route headed east toward Westbury and Jericho.