How Many Signals Are There In Quilts Of The Underground Railroad?

Embedded in 12 quilt patterns, she said, were directions to aid fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom.

How did slaves communicate through quilts?

When slaves made their escape, they used their memory of the quilts as a mnemonic device to guide them safely along their journey, according to McDaniel. The seamstress would then hang a quilt with a wagon wheel pattern. This pattern told slaves to pack their belongings because they were about to go on a long journey.

How many quilt codes are there?

“They could feel or sense light through their struggle of trying to get to freedom.” Prior to 1999, the codes were unheard of even to the African American quilting community. That’s according to Marsha MacDowell, a quilt scholar and director of the Quilt Index, a massive online catalog of more than 90,000 quilts.

What is the Underground Railroad quilt code?

A quilting pattern often overlooked in today’s society is the Underground Railroad quilt code. Used during the time of abolition and the Civil War, this visual code sewn into the pattern of quilts readied slaves for their upcoming escape and provided them directions when they were on their way to freedom.

What were freedom quilts used for?

Stories and songs around the fire at night were coded messages to teach them the symbols to follow on the road. Abolitionists and freed slaves would make quilts using one coded pattern and hang them outside their homes as signs to lead fleeing slaves on the path to freedom.

What were some signals on the Underground Railroad?

Certain Songs were sung as symbols of Underground Railway members. “All Clear” was conveyed in safe houses using a lighted lantern in a certain place as this symbol. Knocks on doors used a coded series of taps as symbols of identity. Certain items, such as a quilt, were hung on a clothesline.

What was the quilt theory?

Quilts of the Underground Railroad describes a controversial belief that quilts were used to communicate information to African slaves about how to escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad. It has been disputed by a number of historians.

What is the oldest quilt pattern?

The Crazy Quilt is probably the oldest of quilt patterns. Early quilters used any scrap or remnant available, regardless of its color, design, or fabric type.

What does the Monkey Wrench quilt mean?

Monkey Wrench: A signal to gather all the tools required for the fleeing slave’s journey, meaning the physical tools, as well as the mental and spiritual ones. A slave spotted travelling south, for instance, would not be suspected of escaping.

What does the Bear Paw quilt symbolize?

The Bear’s Paw quilt was hung to encourage Underground Railroad passengers to follow bear excrement on the path. That way they would be able to find water and food.

Who made underground railroad quilts?

But historians note that the sole source for that story was one woman— Ozella McDaniel Williams, a retired educator and quilt maker in Charleston, S.C., who recounted for Tobin a family tradition that had been passed down to her through the generations.

How many quilters are there in the world?

There are currently 10-12 million quilters and the quilting market is expected to approach $5 billion by 2026-2027. In 2020 there was a more than 12% increase in the number of new quilters.

How many trips did Harriet Tubman make during the Underground Railroad?

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”

Did slaves make quilts?

Slaves made quilts for the plantation family, sometimes under the supervision of the plantation mistress, but WPA interviews attest to the prevalence of quiltmaking in the slave quarters for their own use as well. Some slave seamstresses became highly regarded for their skill.

How old is quilting?

The history of quilting, the stitching together of layers of padding and fabric, may date back as far as 3400 BCE. For much of its history, quilting was primarily a practical technique to provide physical protection and insulation.

Why are quilts painted on barns?

Barn quilts began as a way to honor a loved one with a gorgeous piece of folk art. In Adams County, Ohio, in 2001, Donna Sue Groves set out to honor her mother, Maxine, and her quilt art by painting a quilt block on her tobacco barn. The idea was a hit, and soon friends and neighbors wanted painted quilts of their own.

Underground Railroad Quilt Codes: What We Know, What We Believe, and What Inspires Us

An embroidered quilt hanging from a clothesline or window sill, according to folklore, marked the location of a safe home along the Underground Railroad. These quilts were infused with a form of code, so that an enslaved person on the run could determine the immediate hazards in the region by reading the shapes and motifs woven into the pattern, as well as where to go next by reading the code. Dress in disguise in order to appear to be of better social position. Bear Paw = Follow an animal route into the mountains in search of water and food, which you will discover.

I can see the potential benefits of such a system.

I really want to think that took place.

Sharon Tindall is a quilter and instructor who lives in Virginia.

  1. Johnson House, which was built in 1768 in the center of Germantown, has woodwork, flooring, and glass that are all original to the building.
  2. “I took a tour around the area to see where people slept and ate.
  3. The presence of the slaves, as well as the Johnson family who protected them, was represented by the hues in the quilt’s sky.
  4. In Sharon Tindall’s “The Johnson House,” a cotton batik, Dupioni silk, tulle netting, and Swarovski crystals are used to create a 40 by 28-inch piece of art.
  5. Tindall is a believer in and supporter of codes, despite the fact that not all of her quilts are coded.
  6. Our dialogue dragged on for weeks as I pressed for more specific details about how they were being used.
  7. Quilts were frequently produced to mark key family events like as marriage, a child’s birth, or the relocation of the family to a new location.

Toni Tindall’s narrative compositions are made up of a variety of fabrics, including cottons, raw Dupioni silk, Swarovski crystals, natural fibers, Mali mud cloth,and even glitter, to portray the spiritual and intangible elements of the story.

When she points to the blazing horizon line on herquilt, The Johnson House, she adds that the orange represents life or light.

In the years leading up to 1999, the codes were virtually unknown, even among members of the African American quilting community.

Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, written by Jaqueline Tobin and Raymond G.

In collaboration with National Geographic and the Kennedy Center, curriculum for primary schools were designed that included references to the codes.

When we read an inspirational article online that is posted in Times New Roman, we prefer to take it as fact without questioning it.

“Almost every February, pieces of African-American history emerge in newspapers across the country,” MacDowell adds, referring to Black History Month.

Perhaps the rules for experiencing belief vs experiencing reality are just different.

There are no dates, instances, or first-person testimonies.

Evidence is required before something may be considered a fact.

According to studies of quilts manufactured during these years, the proof for some of these designs simply does not exist, so shattering the grip of this enthralling story’s engaging narrative.

Sharon Tindall provided the photograph.

It is now safe to remove your chains and shackles because you have a double wedding ring.

I inquired of Tindall about the significance of the Flying Geese quilt pattern and how it aided runaways on the Underground Railroad.

“Follow the geese as they fly north.” Look for or listen for geese moving north in the spring if the skies aren’t clear.

It read more like a poem or a nursery rhyme to me.

They were meant to physically follow the geese, right?

Although you may or may not agree with Tindall’s interpretation, you could agree that her view gives artistic grounds for believing as opposed to actuality.

“If people’s lives are on the line, it only seems sense that there would be no race of the quilts,” explains quilt researcher Mary Twining-Baird, who resides in Atlanta.

” If anyone learned the truth, they may literally lose their lives.” She specializes in kente clothquilts manufactured on the Sea Island chain, which stretches from South Carolina to Georgia to Florida, but she takes a strong position against quilt codes.

“Of course it was an amap!” says the author.

After all this time, they have either vanished or been shattered to bits.

The artist has provided permission for the use of his photograph.

She is attempting to explain or offer supporting evidence for her believe in quiltcodes, which is analogous to someone attempting to explain or provide supporting evidence for their belief in God.

The following is what she sent to me: “I consider myself a believer in Jesus Christ as well as a lady of Faith, storyteller, and acreator of quilts.” “I’ve taken the things that God has given me and I’m giving them back to Him via the quilt codes,” says the author of the book.

If we sincerely believe something, as Tindall thinks that enslaved people going north were directed by the Flying Geese design in quilts, it is possible that we may have difficulty distinguishing between belief and truth.

So it is with the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea, who believe that the souls of their ancestors take up residence in various animals, such as pigs and birds, after they die.

Stories, recipes, personal experiences, and everything else that was whispered to us when we were children frequently trump scientific reality.

See also:  How Did The Underground Railroad Get Its Name? (Best solution)

A classic block design, the North Star, is combined with a Jacob’s Ladder block pattern to create this quilt by Sharon Tindall.

Sharon Tindall provided the photograph.

Is it possible that these quilts are causing harm to anyone?

“I’ve discovered that some individuals have a difficult time believing or thinking about things they cannot see or touch,” Tindall explains.

Detroit’s African American population expanded by more than 600 percent between 1910 and 1920, according to the United States Census Bureau.

They brought quilts and tales of the enslaved South with them wherever they traveled.

The interviews conducted by MacDowell’s team numbered around fifty.

“Follow the Drinking Gourd (Green),” by Sharon Tindall, 2019, green batik on printed cotton, 26.5 × 26.5″ Sharon Tindall provided the photograph.

Her grandmother also taught her this.

The problem with theHiddenin Plain Viewbook is that it leads the reader to believe that every African American quilter had their needle pointed north.

Was her being white a contributing factor to her not hearing the story?

She is very aware of how widespread the myth of patchwork codes has gone.

While conducting research on quilts in South Africa, she met a group of modern quilters who, “lo and behold!” had heard about the book and had begun coding quilts of their own.

“It’s a fact of life.” Perhaps the code, whether genuine or not, serves as a platform for African Americans to explore the pain they inherited—as well as the possibility of redemption.

They were braiding in the same code she was using, which she was surprised to find out.

Some African American women are already making coded quilts for their daughters and grandchildren, and this will continue to be the case in the future.

The genealogy of patchwork code-using artists is now well-established.

In her spare time, MarieClaire Bryant works as a poet, storyteller, and archivist at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in New York City.

She formerly worked as the director of publication for the Cfile Foundation, where she wrote, edited, and published significantly on the subject of modern and historic ceramic arts, among other things.

Did Quilts Hold Codes to the Underground Railroad?

According to two scholars, African American slaves may have utilized a patchwork code to navigate the Underground Railroad during their time as slaves. According to the duo, quilts with designs such as “wagon wheel,” “tumbling blocks,” and “bear’s paw” appear to have included secret signals that guided slaves to freedom. The quilt code idea was initially proposed by Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard in their book Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, which was released in 1998 and has been around for six years.

McDaniel maintains that the secret of the quilt code was passed down from one generation to the next by her foremothers and forefathers.

The Code

African American slaves may have utilized a patchwork code, according to two historians, in order to make their way via the Underground Railroad system. A pattern termed “wagon wheel,” “tumbling blocks,” and “bear’s paw” appears to have included hidden signals that guided slaves to freedom, according to the couple who discovered the patterns. When Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard released Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad in 1998, they proposed the quilt code idea for the first time, it was six years ago.

Her forefathers, asserts McDaniel, handed down the quilt code secret from one generation to the next through a series of family traditions.

Fact or Myth?

Since its publication, the quilt-code idea has been the subject of heated debate. Quilt historians and experts on the Underground Railroad have questioned the methods used in the study, as well as the veracity of its conclusions. Giles R. Wright, a historian located in New Jersey, argues that there is a scarcity of supporting material. Quilt codes are not mentioned in either the slave narratives from the nineteenth century or the oral accounts of former slaves from the 1930s. In addition, there are no original quilts left.

  • “They provide no proof, no paperwork, in support of that claim,” says the author.
  • I was thinking to myself, “Who is going to take notes on their actions and what they may get into the wrong hands?” Dobard expressed himself.
  • “Take, for example, the nature of quilts.
  • “It is unreasonable to expect a quilt that has been kept within the slave community for more than a hundred years to still be in existence.” Fact or fiction, most people agree that the concept of a patchwork code is intriguing.

It creates a beautiful tale, according to Bonnie Browning of the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, Kentucky: “It makes a wonderful story.”

Fact or Fiction: Were Quilts Used As Secret Codes for Slaves on the Underground Railroad?

The symbols that are employed in quilting have a convoluted or unknown background, which makes them very interesting. They are now recognized as the designs that distinguish antique quilts as unusual and one-of-a-kind. However, there are many who have long assumed that the symbols employed in quilts of the South during slavery were really utilized as secret signals for slaves fleeing on the Underground Railroad, and they are correct in their assumption. The majority of specialists now wonder whether this truly occurred.

courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Underground Railroad

An underground railroad network of abolitionists – both black and white – who assisted enslaved people in their attempts to escape through a network of safe homes and shelters was known as the Underground Railroad (UR). The Underground Railroad was backed by two major religious groups, the Quakers and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, from its inception in the late 1700s and continuing until the passage of the first of the Fugitive Slave Acts in 1793, when it was established. The Underground Railroad, as depicted in an 1893 picture, may have looked somewhat like this.

What if the most unobtrusive method to accomplish this goal was to hang a quilt out on the line?

The Quilt Code

Many people believe that specific quilts were employed as symbols during the Underground Railroad era, as evidenced by the publication of Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad in 2000 by authorsJacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard. In the film Hidden in Plain View, which is based on interviews with elderly African American quilter Ozella Williams, it appears that the narrative of how symbols were used to lead escape slaves is told. The monkey wrench design is one of the patterns that is thought to have had significance for enslaved people traveling on the Underground Railroad.

  1. The wagon wheel, drunkard’s path, and tumbling blocks are some of the other designs that have been incorporated in the quilt code as well.
  2. Via/Flickr One theory is that the seamstress of a plantation would instruct the other slaves on the meaning of the quilt symbols and then put up the quilt symbols that were pertinent to impending travels, such as when a conductor was about to arrive in the area.
  3. It was believed that the presence of a black square in the middle of the log cabin quilt was an indicator of the presence of a safe home.
  4. courtesy of Wikimedia Commons However, there is very little strong evidence that these patchwork symbols were employed in this manner during the time.
  5. Some of the folklore includes some unexplainable anomalies, such as the bear’s paw design, which is difficult to explain.
  6. In any case, using this path would have taken significantly longer and been significantly less direct, increasing the likelihood of getting apprehended.
  7. The pattern of the bear’s paws.

It doesn’t matter what you believe: quilts from the nineteenth century are some of the best ever produced, and the accomplishments of people who traveled via the Underground Railroad are some of the most brave this country has ever witnessed.

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The following is an excerpt from the book “Hidden in Plain View” by Raymond Dobard:” Some consider this quilt, which has a “Evening Star” design on it, to be a secret code that slaves used to navigate their way to freedom through the Underground Railroad. While researching a family legend that messages encoded in quilts assisted slaves escaping to freedom on the Underground Railroad for their book Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad (Random House), Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard had no idea that their hypothesis would spark controversy from scholars who declared it false.

For Tobin, a writer and educator, “Hidden in Plain Viewis the tale of one woman’s family,” says the book’s title character, Ozella McDaniel Williams, who she met in a Charleston, South Carolina market in 1994 and who told her about the codes that she had never heard of before.

With no historical evidence to support Williams’ claim, Tobin enlisted her friend Raymond Dobard, a quilter and art history professor affiliated with Howard University, to assist her with the research and writing of the book, which is now in its sixth printing and has sold more than 200,000 copies to date.

Although I am unsure as to whether or not it is fully valid, the quantity of research we conducted leads me to believe it is.

As he points out, “the Underground Railroad is filled with inaccuracies and disinformation, and this is just one more case where someone stumbles across folklore and believes it to be genuine.” Historians like Wright are working hard to correct the record whenever the opportunity presents itself.

  • In their belief, this is a myth analogous to George Washington cutting down the cherry tree, and they spend pages and pages on websites denying it.
  • Even more recently, quilt historian Barbara Brackman wrote her own book, Facts and Fabrications: Unraveling the History of Quilts and Slavery (C T Publishing), in which she attempted to provide what she believes to be an accurate appraisal of slavery, quilts, and the Underground Railroad.
  • Approximately 6,500 students from local schools have visited the exhibit, which demonstrates the thesis of the patchwork code.
  • In addition, the narrative has appeared in lesson plans and textbooks (TIME For Kidseven published an article aboutHidden in Plain Viewin a middle school art book published by McGraw Hill in 2005).
  • Although some people, such as Anna Lopez, an education coordinator at the Plymouth Historical Museum, believe that the concept of quilt codes is a fabrication, others, like as Lopez, believe that it is a true story.
  • Men are the ones who do it.
  • Then I inquire as to who produced the quilts.
  • Who knows what happened since no one wrote down their history.” Activist and photographer Roland Freeman, who has been photographing and documenting African American quilters for almost 30 years, offers a different view on why the subject has gained so widespread attention.
  • We’re sending messages and symbols right under the noses of white people, and they haven’t even realized it.
  • As a result, we are inclined to accept such stories because they are what we want to hear.” Laurel Horton, a folklorist and quilt historian who has taught and published papers on the quilt code, has stated that she has given up on attempting to dispel the idea about the code.
  • “This entire situation has made me realize that it is not a question of one group knowing the truth and another not.

In this case, it comes down to two separate sets of beliefs. It’s made me understand that believing doesn’t have much to do with accurate portrayal of the world around us. People have a gut feeling that something is real, and no one can persuade them differently in their heads.”

Underground Railroad Quilt Myth – Quilt History Myths

MYTH2 The Underground Railroad utilized specially made quilts as signals to communicate with its passengers. However, despite the romantic allure of the concept of quilts being used as hidden guides to aid slaves in their escape from the southern slave states, Underground Railroad research has discovered no evidence that such a practice existed. For additional information, please visit our website. The Underground Railroad Myth-Buster in New Jersey debunks a number of UGRR urban legends, including the one regarding quilts.

  • Many quilts, on the other hand, have been created to commemorate the Underground Railroad’s existence.
  • A lot more to African American quilting history than the possibility that quilts were used in the UGRR is revealed in this article.
  • More information about African American quilts may be found at African American Quilts: A Long Rich Heritage.
  • “The History of the Underground Railroad Quilt Pattern” is a book on the history of the Underground Railroad quilt pattern.
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Underground Railroad Quilt Code

My niece and her husband were driving through Iowa last year when this happened. They came to a halt at a rest spot in the vicinity of Wilton. Following that, she emailed me the photos you see below. The following is what the Iowa government’s website has to say about the display: The highway rest area in the town of Wilton, which has interpretive panels that describe Cedar County’s role in the Underground Railroad as well as the narrative of the “Underground Railroad Quilt Code,” is a must-see if you’re traveling on I-80 through the town.

  1. The common practice of hanging blankets out to dry served as a visual reminder of these safe paths.
  2. If I had gone, I would have been quite disappointed with what I saw on the screens.
  3. I’ve included a link to an article I originally wrote three years ago, which explains the entire tale, below the bar.
  4. Do you think particular quilt blocks held special significance for slaves, possibly based on their African ancestors?
  5. According to the most renowned account of a quilt code, quilts were certainly a significant element of the Underground Railroad, and their history with it was unknown until quite recently, according to the most recent narrative.
  6. This design is made up of a variety of squares, rectangles, and right triangular shapes.
  7. Similar to how the Hausa design delineates and identifies key points throughout the village, the Bear’s Paw pattern might be utilized to delineate and identify features along the plantation’s southern border.

The bears’ tracks generated a map of the area.

Tobin and Raymond G.

Slaves were able to flee in all directions.

Yet they also traveled south to Mexico and Spanish Florida, where they disappeared into towns and rural places, where they sought refuge with Native American populations, according to historians.

The vast majority of them escaped on their own, receiving assistance only after reaching the North.

(The term “Underground Railroad,” which was first used in the 1830s, was coined by freedom activists decades before the term was coined.) While there was no physical railroad in existence, there was a “underground” movement of abolitionists and sympathizers that established a network of routes and safe homes.

There are documented realities concerning the Underground Railroad, both from those who helped to make it work and from those who managed to get away. However, it has been idealized and mythologized as well. It is not always simple to distinguish between reality and fiction.

Hidden in Plain View?

Prior to 1999, there were only a few sources that claimed to have discovered the existence of a patchwork code. According to Wikipedia, the first documented allegation of the usage of quilts dates back to a time when. “They believe quilts were hanging on the clotheslines to signify a house was safe for escape slaves,” said the narration of the 1987 film Hearts and Hands. According to the filmmaker’s research file, this claim is not backed by any material in the companion book and does not exist in the companion book.

A place of sanctuary (safe home) was indicated by the color black on the Underground Railroad, which was hung on the line by individuals who wore the color black.

Colors were particularly significant to slave quilt makers because they represented their culture.

“It was believed that the hue blue would protect the craftsman.” … The notion that slave quilts served as coded maps for escaping slaves, which was clearly presented as fiction in the novel Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, entered the realm of claimed fact in the 1999 bookHidden in Plain View, written by Raymond Dobard, Jr., an art historian, and Jacqueline Tobin, a college instructor in Colorado, and published by the University of Colorado Press.

  • A book titled Hidden in Plain View, written by Jacqueline L.
  • Dobard, Ph.D., was released in 1999 that contained the experiences of a lady named Ozella McDaniel Williams.
  • In 1994, Tobin met Williams for the first time.
  • When Tobin and “Ozella” met for the second of three sessions in 1997, “Ozella,” as the book refers to her, shared stories with him that she said were handed down through her family.
  • There were eleven quilt blocks in all, according to Williams, in the code.
  • Because it was common practice to air quilts on a regular basis, displaying the quilts in this manner would not raise suspicion among owners or overseers.
  • Some versions feature additional building blocks as well.

As soon as they arrived to the Crossroads, they began digging a Log Cabin into the earth.

Bow Ties and Double Wedding Rings are worn as the couple enters the cathedral church, where they are married and exchanged.

Despite the fact that the book gives this extremely brief analysis, it also includes links, suppositions, and theories regarding what each of the blocks represents and means.

The authors write about another block, the Monkey Wrench block, saying, “Ozella told us that a quilt made of Monkey Wrench patterned blocks was the first of the ten quilts displayed.

Additionally, the writers give a description of the function of the blacksmith on plantation life, including his use of tools like the monkey wrench, to accompany this knowledge of the block.

A photograph of an African cloth is displayed in order to emphasize the significance of tools in the prior setting.

After more than 120 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, allegations of a patchwork code have arisen. Was it possible that the evidence had gone unnoticed all those years? Was the truth truly hiding in plain sight all this time?

What is the Truth?

It was known that a patchwork code existed before to 1999, but there were few sources that supported this assertion. Wikipedia states that the earliest known allegation of the usage of quilts was made. There was a single phrase in the narration of the 1987 video Hearts and Hands that read, “They believe quilts were hanging on the clotheslines to signify a house was safe for escaped slaves.” This allegation is not backed by any material in the filmmaker’s research file, and it is not mentioned in the accompanying book.

On the Underground Railroad, persons wearing the color black were hanged from a line to mark a haven of shelter (safe house).

When it came to slave quilt making, colors were particularly significant.

Color blue was thought to provide protection to the creator.” … According to the 1999 bookHidden in Plain View, written by art historian Raymond Dobard, Jr., and Jacqueline Tobin, a college instructor in Colorado, the idea that slave quilts were used as coded maps for escaping slaves, which was clearly presented as fiction in the novel Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, entered the realm of claimed fact.

  • A book titled Hidden in Plain View, written by Jacqueline L.
  • Dobard, Ph.D., was released in 1999 that included the experiences of a lady named Ozella McDaniel Williams.
  • Williams and author Tobin first met in 1994 at a literary festival.
  • As “Ozella,” as the book refers to her, shared anecdotes with Tobin during their second of three encounters in 1997, which was the second of three meetings between the two women.
  • A total of 11 quilt patterns were included in the code, according to Williams.
  • Owners and overseers would not have been suspicious if the quilts were shown in this manner because it was customary to air quilts on a regular basis.
  • A number of additional blocks are included in certain variations.
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When they arrived to the Crossroads, they excavated a Log Cabin into the earth to stay warm.

and then proceed to the cathedral church where they will be married and exchange Double Wedding Rings.

It includes links and suppositions as well as ideas regarding the significance of each of the blocks, which are presented in the book along with this very brief analysis.

A third type of block, the Monkey Wrench, is described by the authors as follows: “Ozella informed us that a quilt made of Monkey Wrench patterned blocks was the first of ten quilts displayed.

A discussion of the blacksmith’s responsibilities on the plantation, as well as his use of equipment like as the monkey wrench, is included in the writers’ explanation of the block.

A photograph of an African cloth is displayed in order to emphasize the significance of tools in the prior context.

A patchwork code was alleged to exist more than 120 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Was it possible that the evidence had gone unnoticed all these years? Alternatively, may the truth have been buried in plain sight?

Does it Matter?

Even if this narrative is heard and believed, does it make any difference if it is not true? Is it detrimental to allow it to continue? It is, in my opinion, detrimental. It presents an idealized portrayal of a dark and troubling history. It helps us to believe that slave women had the time and means to make lovely bedding for themselves and their families, as well as for their masters. Despite the fact that some did, this was not the norm. While it is true that they did not make the quilts, it is inferred that they had access and authority to choose which of the owner’s quilt to air (and signal) and at what time.

  1. In doing so, they diminish the diversity and complexity of the different civilizations from which they originated.
  2. Readers that believe this source of information will help to spread the story further and further.
  3. You never know whether she was telling the stories in good faith or whether she was telling the stories in order to sell quilts.
  4. Schools that teach about slavery and the Underground Railroad and incorporate this “history” are teaching the incorrect thing.
  5. During my research for this piece, I came across numerous suggested lesson ideas that are still in use today.
  6. The youngsters are being taught to tell lies.
  7. When I recently gave a lecture on this issue to a group of twenty people, the vast majority of them walked into the session believing the myth to be true.
  8. Truth is a source of power.
  9. The truth must be known and communicated to those who experienced slavery, to ourselves and our children, as well as to the next generation.

Underground Railroad Symbols: Secret Codes ***

Underground Railroad Symbols for kids: The Underground Railway HistoryThere were harsh penalties for runaway slaves and their helpers – refer to theFugitive Slave Act.Although slaves had been trying to escape from slavery for many years the name “Underground Railroad” only started to be used in 1831 followingthe religious revival of theSecond Great Awakeningwhich resulted in the1830 Abolitionist Movementwhich became active followingNat Turner’s Rebellionleading to the establishment of theUnderground Railroad.For additional information also refer toUnderground Railroad MapsUnderground Railroad Symbols for kids: The Name “Underground Railway”The term “Underground Railroad” was chosen in 1831 as a secret code name for the escape routes used by fugitive slaves.

The reason the name was chosen was this date coincided withthe time the first railroads began to run in America – refer toAmerican Railroads.The word “underground” was added meaning a covert group organized to hide a secret operation.Underground Railroad Symbols for kids: Symbols and SignsThe”Underground Railroad”, operating under essential secrecy, adopted many symbols and signs that were made known to the fugitive slaves:● Passwords were used to ensure the fugitives were genuine ● Messages were sent by drumming stones together ● The hoot of an owl was used to convey messages ● Certain Songs were sung as symbols of Underground Railway members ● “All Clear” was conveyed in safe houses using a lighted lantern in a certain place as this symbol ● Knocks on doors used a coded series of taps as symbols of identity ● Certain items, such as a quilt, were hung on a clotheslineUnderground Railroad Symbols for kids: Quilt CodesUnsubstantiated theories has been offered that quilts were made containing Underground Railway symbols.

The use of symbols on quilts were said to be an effective way for slaves to communicate nonverbally with each other andhelp each other to escape.

Symbols used to indicate routes:●Geese symbols flying North●Crossroads symbols that indicated Cleveland, Ohio●Bears Paw symbols conveying a message to take a mountain route●Bow tie symbols meaning it would be necessary to change from slave clothing●Broken dish symbols which would be used as directional symbols along the escape route● Symbols of log cabins told slaves to look for this symbol on their journey to freedom●Box symbols that indicated it was time to pack (box-up) ready to escape● Patterns called a monkey wrench were were symbols reminding slaves to prepare for the journey taking weapons or tools that would helpon their journey ● North Star symbols indicating the way to freedomUnderground Railroad Symbols for kids: The Secret Code NamesOnce the name”Underground Railroad”had been established, it was logical to use other secret words, phrases, codes, signs and symbols that referred to the operation of a real railroad.

At this time everyone was talking about the new American railroad.

Slaves weregiven a ‘ticket’Operator or Engineer -Other names for a conductor (the guides)Jumping off place -Place of safe shelter for fugitive slavesPatty Rollers or Paddy Rollers -Patty Rollers, Pattyrollers or Paddy Rollers were slave catchers.

Thewords, phrases and symbols used in the”Underground Railroad” relating to religion were as follows:Underground Railroad Symbols for kids – ReligiousWords, Signs and Symbols-Meaning and DefinitionCanaan -Canaan was a biblical term used to mean CanadaHeaven -The word used to describe the destination of a fugitive, usually referring to CanadaPreachers -Abolitionists or leaders of the”Underground Railroad”River Jordan -The secret code word for the Ohio RiverShepherds -Shepherds were alternative names for Conductors meaning those who guided fugitive slaves between safe housesMoses -Moses was the code name of Harriet Tubman, the most famous conductorGospel Songs -Gospel songs like “Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus”, “Swing low, sweet chariot” and “Wade in the Water” were used to indicate that an escape plan was about to be carried out or give reminders to use water to travel by.

The song “Follow the Drinking Gourd” was a reminder to follow the North Star – as this would always lead the way to freedomWords, Signs and Symbols-Meaning and DefinitionUnderground Railroad Symbols for kids – ReligiousUnderground Railroad Symbols: Other Code words and phrasesOther secret words, phrases and symbols relating to the”Underground Railroad” were also used to extend the vocabulary of the network as follows:Underground Railroad Symbols and PhrasesPhrases-Meaning and Definition”The river bank makes a mighty good road” -A reminder to travel by water”The wind blows from the South today” -An alert that fugitive slaves were in the area”The dead trees will show you the way” -A reminder that moss grows on the North side of dead trees useful when the stars were not visible”Left foot, peg foot” -A description of a certain conductor”The friend of a friend sent me” -Password used by slave fugitivesPhrases-Meaning and DefinitionUnderground Railroad Symbols for kids – ReligiousUnderground Railroad Symbols: Other Useful Words and PhrasesOther useful words and phrases associated with the”Underground Railroad” are as follows:Underground Railroad – Meaning of Useful Words and PhrasesWords and Phrases-Meaning and DefinitionAbolitionist -A social reformer in favor of abolishing slaveryAntebellum -Antebellum is the name given to historical era that preceded the Civil WarEmancipation -Emancipation is the act of setting a person free from slaveryManumission -Manumission the formal act of freeing from slavery.A written legal document freeing a person from slaveryFree States -Free States that did not allow slaverySlave States -Slave States permitted slaveryThe Mason-Dixon Line -The Mason-Dixon Line is the boundary line dividing the northern free states from the southern slave statesThe ‘Gag rule’-TheGag Rulewas a provision that prevented the discussion of a topic in Congress, such as abolishing slaverySecession -Secessionwas the withdrawal of eleven Southern states from the Union in 1860 which precipitated the American Civil WarFugitive Slave Law -The Fugitive Slave Laws were acts passed by Congress in 1793 and 1850 outlawing any efforts to impede the capture of runaway slavesMulatto -A word used to describe a child of a black person and a white personWords and Phrases-Meaning and DefinitionUnderground Railroad – Meaning of Useful Words and PhrasesBlack History for kids: Important People and EventsFor visitors interested in African American History refer toBlack History – People and Events.A useful resourcefor teachers, kids, schools and colleges undertaking projects for the Black History Month.Underground Railroad Symbols for kids – President Andrew Jackson VideoThe article on the Underground Railroad Symbols provides an overview of one of the Important issues of his presidential term in office.

The following Andrew Jackson video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 7th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1829 to March 4, 1837.Underground Railroad Symbols● Interesting Facts about Underground Railroad Symbols for kids ● Underground Railroad Symbols for kids ● The Underground Railroad Symbols, a Important event in US history ● Andrew Jackson Presidency from March 4, 1829 to March 4, 1837 ● Fast, fun, interesting Underground Railroad Symbols ● Picture of Underground Railroad Quilt Symbols ● Underground Railroad Symbols for schools, homework, kids and children

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