What Did And Overseer Spiritual Underground Railroad And Slave Codes Mean To Slaves?

Why did the Underground Railroad have secret codes?

  • Underground Railroad Secret Codes Supporters of the Underground Railroad used words railroad conductors employed everyday to create their own code as secret language in order to help slaves escape. Railroad language was chosen because the railroad was an emerging form of transportation and its communication language was not widespread.

What did the slaves code do?

Every slave state had its own slave code and body of court decisions. All slave codes made slavery a permanent condition, inherited through the mother, and defined slaves as property, usually in the same terms as those applied to real estate. Slaves, being property, could not own property or be a party to a contract.

How did the railroad affect slaves?

Railroads bought and sold slaves with contracts and elaborate, printed bills of sale. They recorded these events in balance sheets and company account books. Railroads also developed forms for contracts to hire enslaved labor from slaveholders.

Was there an Underground Railroad during slavery?

During the era of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, places, and people that helped enslaved people in the American South escape to the North. The name “Underground Railroad” was used metaphorically, not literally.

How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans?

How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans? It provided a network of escape routes toward the North. In his pamphlet Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, on what did David Walker base his arguments against slavery? They feared that the abolition of slavery would destroy their economy.

Did railroads use slaves?

Most of the slave labor on southern railroads was hired or rented from local slaveholders to grade the tracks. Enslaved women and children were also forced to work on the railroads, running wheelbarrows, moving dirt, cooking, picking up stones, and shoveling.

What does Underground Railroad mean in history?

-Harriet Tubman, 1896. The Underground Railroad—the resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, through the end of the Civil War—refers to the efforts of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom by escaping bondage. Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape.

Why was the Underground Railroad created?

The Underground Railroad was a secret system developed to aid fugitive slaves on their escape to freedom. Involvement with the Underground Railroad was not only dangerous, but it was also illegal. So, to help protect themselves and their mission secret codes were created.

What role did the Underground Railroad play?

The Underground Railroad provided hiding places, food, and often transportation for the fugitives who were trying to escape slavery. Along the way, people also provided directions for the safest way to get further north on the dangerous journey to freedom.

How was the Underground Railroad successful?

The success of the Underground Railroad rested on the cooperation of former runaway slaves, free-born blacks, Native Americans, and white and black abolitionists who helped guide runaway slaves along the routes and provided their homes as safe havens.

What was the purpose of the Underground Railroad quizlet?

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early-to-mid 19th century, and used by African-American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause.

Why was the Underground Railroad important to the Civil War?

The Underground Railroad physically resisted the repressive laws that held slaves in bondage. By provoking fear and anger in the South, and prompting the enactment of harsh legislation that eroded the rights of white Americans, the Underground Railroad was a direct contributing cause of the Civil War.

Coded Messages

During slavery, African Americans were subjected to a variety of limitations in order to preserve their reliance on whites. This strategy was employed by white plantation masters and overseers in order to prevent the overthrow of the plantation caste system. The inadequate literacy among blacks was considered to be a hindrance to communication and the preservation of black culture. To retain an identity apart from chattel property, slaves, on the other hand, relied heavily on oral traditions such as stories and songs.

They were typically seen as harmless, and white masters and overseers were prone to turning a blind eye to them.

Numerous folk songs, sung in the course of work or leisure activity (if such activities existed), reflected on the everyday lives and behaviors of those who lived in the slave quarters.

Religion was frequently used as a foundation for coded communications and the decoding of such messages.

Whites sometimes dismissed the singing of slave spirituals as just a rehash of church hymns that they had previously heard in white congregations.

The Underground Railroad was a grassroots organization to aid black people in their escape from slavery.

As a symbol of both resistance and the trust that escaped slaves had in both spirituality and the Underground Railroad, Tubman was given the title “Tugman.” The myth of Moses and the liberation of the Hebrew slaves served as a cornerstone in the spiritual and oral traditions of slaves for hundreds of years.

  • “Go Down, Moses,” and “Didn’t Old Pharaoh Get Lost” are two examples of the Exodus tale about the battle for freedom that is mentioned in the passage.
  • Several songs, including “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Sweet Canaan’s Happy Land,” “March Down to Jordan,” and “Roll, Jordan, Roll,” all make reference to these biblical locales or locations.
  • As mentioned in the New Testament, the Jordan River served as the site of Jesus Christ’s baptism.
  • For Abraham and his descendants, Canaan represented a country of promise and freedom, a region far far from the horrors and brutalities of slavery.
  • Slaves utilized the Bible, Christianity, and the customs of missionary work to aid other slaves who were attempting to flee their masters’ control.
  • They could understand me, though, since I had been performing missionary work among them, as well as among the neighbors’ niggers, albeit not the kind of missionary work that Massa believed I was undertaking ” (Coffin 2004, p.
  • Jim’s allusion to missionary activity was intended to be ironic in nature.

The underlying message of Jim’s teachings was that one should be obedient in order to acquire the master’s confidence and tolerance.

Despite the fact that coded transmissions frequently included words, many coded messages were disguised as simple sounds.

Levi Coffin, an abolitionist who lived on the Underground Railroad network, described the notification of a new arrival at his home as a quiet rapping on the door.


Simpson’s lyric depicts the metaphorical ‘personal welcome to Canada’ that Queen Victoria extended to slaves upon their arrival in the nation as a source of cherished hope and bravery for those attempting the arduous trek northward from Africa.

The song promised that a low fare would ensure that the train would be accessible to everyone, rich or poor, a promise that also alluded to the fact that both blacks and whites assisted fugitive slaves as they traveled along the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.

“Follow the Drinking Gourd” was a set of instructions for fugitive African Americans who attempted to flee from the deeper Southern states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, according to the book.

Peg Leg Joe, a white carpenter, was rumored to have taught slaves the song in order for the directions to be hidden within the lyrics.

Certain images depicted in the song, despite their commonality, had a double significance.

Several other lyrics that included the words rivers and hills were both directions and acknowledgements that the fugitive slave was on the right path at the time.

Because of this confluence of two rivers, the Underground Railroad was able to establish a nexus in that location. Following that, conductors would assist fugitives in getting to the nearest safe haven and then to their final destination.


Coffin, Levi, and William Still are three of the most important figures in American history. Escape to Freedom: Stories of the Underground Railroad, edited by George and Willene Hendrick, is available online. Ivan R. Doe Publishing Company, Chicago, 2004. Franklin, John Hope, and others. Rebels on the Plantation, also known as Runaway Slaves. The Oxford University Press, New York, published a book in 2000 titled Regina Barnett is a woman who lives in the United States.

Slave Life and Slave Codes [ushistory.org]

A charitable organization known as the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation was founded in 1776. Slave Quarter at Carter’s Grove Plantation in Williamsburg is shown in this interpretation. The length of a slave’s life varied widely based on a variety of conditions. Working in the fields meant working from sunrise to sunset six days a week and consuming food that was not always appropriate for animals to consume. A dirt floor and little or no furnishings were provided for plantation slaves in their modest shacks.

  • Work for a small farm owner who is struggling financially, on the other hand, may mean going hungry.
  • Due to the fact that overseers were paid to extract the most amount of labour from their slaves, they frequently used any measures necessary to accomplish this goal.
  • It was common for slaveholders to be extremely protective of their “property” and to release the overseer when slaves protested that they were being unfairly treated.
  • It has been reported that a driver has been utilized in place of an overseer in some instances.
  • A driver may be persuaded by a master to manage slaves in exchange for greater privileges and rewards.
  • These emotions frequently resulted in violence.
  • These slaves were in significantly better circumstances than their predecessors.
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They had the opportunity to travel with the owner’s family on occasion.

Domestic slaves did not frequently mix with plantation slaves, as did plantation laborers.

Slavery was abolished in the nation’s capital just one month after the publication of this Slave Code booklet for Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia’s slave code was more permissive than the laws of other states, allowing slaves to contract themselves out and live separately from their masters.

Slave codes differed from one state to the next, although there were many similarities between them.

In addition, slaves may be given away as prizes in lotteries, bet on in gambling, used as collateral for loans, and given as presents from one person to another.

Upon being discovered with a gun, the slave suffered 39 lashes and the gun was forfeited.

In the 19th century, it was illegal to educate slaves.

Without the presence of a white person, slaves were unable to gather.

As a result, proprietors were free to divide up families through the sale of their properties.

As a result, because the slave lady was considered chattel, the white man who raped her was simply charged with trespassing on the master’s property. Rape was prevalent on the plantation, yet only a small number of cases were ever documented.

Myths About the Underground Railroad

When it comes to teaching African-American Studies today, one of the great delights is the satisfaction that comes from being able to restore to the historical record “lost” events and the persons whose sacrifices and bravery enabled those events to take place, never to be lost again. Among our ancestors’ long and dreadful history of human bondage is the Underground Railroad, which has garnered more recent attention from teachers, students, museum curators, and the tourism industry than any other institution from the black past.

  1. Nevertheless, in the effort to convey the narrative of this magnificent institution, fiction and lore have occasionally taken precedence over historical truth.
  2. The sacrifices and valor of our forefathers and foremothers, as well as their allies, are made all the more noble, heroic, and striking as a result.
  3. I think this is a common misconception among students.
  4. As described by Wilbur H.
  5. Running slaves, frequently in groups of up to several families, were said to have been directed at night on their desperate journey to freedom by the traditional “Drinking Gourd,” which was the slaves’ secret name for the North Star.

The Railroad in Lore

When it comes to teaching African-American Studies today, one of the great delights is the satisfaction that comes from being able to restore to the historical record “lost” events and the persons whose sacrifices and bravery resulted in those events, which will never be lost again. In recent years, few institutions from our ancestors’ long and dreadful history in human bondage have garnered more attention than the Underground Railroad. It is one of our forefathers’ most venerable and philanthropic innovations, and it is also one of the most well-known and well-received by teachers, students, museum curators, and the tourism industry.

In order to communicate the truth about the past as it truly happened, scholars have put in a great lot of work to distinguish between fact and fiction, which has always been an important component of telling it straight.

When I hear our students talk about the Underground Railroad, I get the impression that they are under the impression that it was something akin to a black, Southern Grand Central Station, with regularly scheduled routes that hundreds of thousands of slave “passengers” used to escape from Southern plantations, aided by that irrepressible, stealthy double agent, Harriet Tubman.

Many people also believe that thousands of benign, incognito white “conductors” routinely hid slaves in secret rooms hidden in attics or basements, or behind the staircases of numerous “safe houses,” the locations of which were coded in “freedom quilts” sewn by slaves and hung in their windows as guideposts for fugitives on the run.

Siebert in his massive pioneering (and often wildly romantic) study, The Underground Railroad(1898), the “railroad” itself was composed of “a chain of stations leading from the Southern states to Canada,” or “a series of hundreds of interlocking ‘lines,’ ” that ran from Alabama or Mississippi, throughout the South, all the way across the Ohio River and Mason-Dixon Line, as the historian David Blight summarizes in Passages: The Underground Railroad, 1838-19 Escaped slaves, many of whom were entire families, were said to be guided at night on their desperate journey to freedom by the traditional “Drinking Gourd,” which was the slaves’ code name for the Northern Star.

A Meme Is Born

As Blight correctly points out, the railroad has proven to be one of the most “enduring and popular strands in the fabric of America’s national historical memory.” Since the end of the nineteenth century, many Americans, particularly in New England and the Midwest, have either made up legends about the deeds of their ancestors or simply repeated stories that they have heard about their forebears.

It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before diving into those tales, though.

Tice Davids was a Kentucky slave who managed to escape to Ohio in 1831, and it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was invented as a result of his successful escape.

According to Blight, he is believed to have said that Davids had vanished as though “the nigger must have gone off on an underground railroad.” This is a fantastic narrative — one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor — but it is improbable, given that train lines were non-existent at the time.

  • The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., who was tortured and forced to testify that he had been taken north, where “the railroad extended underground all the way to Boston,” according to one report from 1839, was captured.
  • constructed from Mason and Dixon’s to the Canada line, upon which fugitives from slavery might come pouring into this province” is the first time the term appears.
  • 14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by others who claim that abolitionist Charles T.
  • Torrey.

Myth Battles Counter-Myth

Historically, the appeal of romance and fantasy in stories of the Underground Railroad can be traced back to the latter decades of the nineteenth century, when the South was winning the battle of popular memory over what the Civil War was all about — burying Lost Cause mythology deep in the national psyche and eventually propelling the racist Woodrow Wilson into the White House. Many white Northerners attempted to retain a heroic version of their history in the face of a dominant Southern interpretation of the significance of the Civil War, and they found a handy weapon in the stories of the Underground Railroad to accomplish this goal.

Immediately following the fall of Reconstruction in 1876, which was frequently attributed to purportedly uneducated or corrupt black people, the story of the struggle for independence was transformed into a tale of noble, selfless white efforts on behalf of a poor and nameless “inferior” race.

Siebert questioned practically everyone who was still alive who had any recollection of the network and even flew to Canada to interview former slaves who had traced their own pathways from the South to freedom as part of his investigation.

In the words of David Blight, Siebert “crafted a popular tale of largely white conductors assisting nameless blacks on their journey to freedom.”

Truth Reveals Unheralded Heroism

That’s a little amount of history; what about those urban legends? The answers are as follows: It cannot be overstated that the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement itself were possibly the first examples in American history of a truly multiracial alliance, and the role played by the Quakers in its success cannot be overstated. Despite this, it was primarily controlled by free Northern African Americans, particularly in its early years, with the most notable exception being the famous Philadelphian William Still, who served as its president.

  1. The Underground Railroad was made possible by the efforts of white and black activists such as Levi Coffin, Thomas Garrett, Calvin Fairbank, Charles Torrey, Harriet Tubman and Still, all of whom were true heroes.
  2. Because of the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, the railroad’s growth did not take place until after that year.
  3. After all, it was against the law to help slaves in their attempts to emancipate themselves.
  4. Being an abolitionist or a conductor on the Underground Railroad, according to the historian Donald Yacovone, “was about as popular and hazardous as being a member of the Communist Party in 1955,” he said in an email to me.
  5. The Underground Railroad was predominantly a phenomena of the Northern United States.
  6. For the most part, fugitive slaves were left on their own until they were able to cross the Ohio River or the Mason-Dixon Line and thereby reach a Free State.
  7. For fugitives in the North, well-established routes and conductors existed, as did some informal networks that could transport fugitives from places such as the abolitionists’ office or houses in Philadelphia to other locations north and west.
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(where slavery remained legal until 1862), as well as in a few locations throughout the Upper South, some organized support was available.


I’m afraid there aren’t many.

Furthermore, few dwellings in the North were equipped with secret corridors or hidden rooms where slaves might be hidden.

What about freedom quilts?

The only time a slave family had the resources to sew a quilt was to shelter themselves from the cold, not to relay information about alleged passages on the Underground Railroad that they had never visited.

As we will discover in a future column, the danger of treachery about individual escapes and collective rebellions was much too large for escape plans to be publicly shared.5.

No one has a definitive answer.

According to Elizabeth Pierce, an administrator at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the figure might be as high as 100,000, but that appears to be an overstatement.

We may put these numbers into context by noting that there were 3.9 million slaves and only 488,070 free Negroes in 1860 (with more than half of them still living in the South), whereas there were 434,495 free Negroes in 1850 (with more than half still living in the South).

The fact that only 101 fleeing slaves ever produced book-length “slave narratives” describing their servitude until the conclusion of the Civil War is also significant to keep in mind while thinking about this topic.

However, just a few of them made it to safety.

How did the fugitive get away?

John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, as summarized by Blight, “80 percent of these fugitives were young guys in their teens and twenties who absconded alone on the majority of occasions.

Because of their household and child-rearing duties, young slave women were significantly less likely to flee than older slave women.

Lyford in 1896 reported that he could not recall “any fugitives ever being transported by anyone, they always had to pilot their own canoe with the little help that they received,” suggesting that “the greatest number of fugitives were self-emancipating individuals who, upon reaching a point in their lives when they could no longer tolerate their captive status, finally just took off for what had been a long and difficult journey.” 7.

What is “Steal Away”?

They used them to communicate secretly with one another in double-voiced discussions that neither the master nor the overseer could comprehend.

However, for reasons of safety, privacy, security, and protection, the vast majority of slaves who escaped did so alone and covertly, rather than risking their own safety by notifying a large number of individuals outside of their families about their plans, for fear of betraying their masters’ trust.

Just consider the following for a moment: If fleeing slavery had been thus planned and maintained on a systematic basis, slavery would most likely have been abolished long before the American Civil War, don’t you think?

According to Blight, “Much of what we call the Underground Railroad was actually operated clandestinely by African Americans themselves through urban vigilance committees and rescue squads that were often led by free blacks.” The “Underground Railroad” was a marvelously improvised, metaphorical construct run by courageous heroes, the vast majority of whom were black.

Gara’s study revealed that “running away was a terrible and risky idea for slaves,” according to Blight, and that the total numbers of slaves who risked their lives, or even those who succeeded in escaping, were “not huge.” There were thousands of heroic slaves who were helped by the organization, each of whom should be remembered as heroes of African-American history, but there were not nearly as many as we often believe, and certainly not nearly enough.

Approximately fifty-five of the 100 Amazing Facts will be published on the website African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. On The Root, you may find all 100 facts.

Underground Railroad Secret Codes : Harriet Tubman

Supporters of the Underground Railroad made use of the following words: Railroad conductors were hired on a daily basis to construct their own code as a secret language in order to assist slaves in escaping. The railroad language was chosen since it was a new mode of transportation at the time, and its communication language was not widely used. Secret code phrases would be used in letters sent to “agents” in order to ensure that if they were intercepted, they would not be apprehended. A form of Underground Railroad code was also utilized in slave songs to allow slaves to communicate with one another without their owners being aware of their activities.

Agent Coordinator, who plotted courses of escape and made contacts.
Baggage Fugitive slaves carried by Underground Railroad workers.
Bundles of wood Fugitives that were expected.
Canaan Canada
Conductor Person who directly transported slaves
Drinking Gourd Big Dipper and the North Star
Flying bondsmen The number of escaping slaves
Forwarding Taking slaves from station to station
Freedom train The Underground Railroad
French leave Sudden departure
Gospel train The Underground Railroad
Heaven Canada, freedom
Stockholder Those who donated money, food, clothing.
Load of potatoes Escaping slaves hidden under farm produce in a wagon
Moses Harriet Tubman
Operator Person who helped freedom seekers as a conductor or agent
Parcel Fugitives that were expected
Patter roller Bounty hunter hired to capture slaves
Preachers Leaders of and spokespersons for the Underground Railroad
Promised Land Canada
River Jordan Ohio River
Shepherds People who encouraged slaves to escape and escorted them
Station Place of safety and temporary refuge, a safe house
Station master Keeper or owner of a safe house

Supporters of the Underground Railroad made use of the following phrases: Railroad conductors were hired on a daily basis to construct their own code as a secret language in order to assist slaves in escaping. The railroad language was chosen since the train was a new mode of transportation at the time, and its communication language was not widely understood. Secret code phrases would be used in letters sent to “agents” in order to ensure that if they were intercepted, they would not be identified.

This is a list of the most often used code terms, along with their definitions:

Hoodoo in St. Louis: An African American Religious Tradition (U.S. National Park Service)

While there are no photographs of Hoodoo being done in St. Louis, this artwork represents an Obeah rite in the Caribbean, which is rare in the United States. Hoodoo and Obeah are two religious rituals that are similar in that they are influenced by African traditions. Trinidad, 1836, depicts “An Obeah Practitioner at Work.” Images of Slavery (Not to be confused with Voudoo.) Hoodoo is a spiritual religious tradition that was developed by enslaved African Americans in the United States, and it was inspired by religious rituals from Central and West African countries.

Other practices include spirit possession, divination, and the use of charms for spiritual protection against physical harm and conjure.

Among enslaved African Americans, the harmonization of African customs with Christian beliefs resulted in the development of Hoodoo.

Afro-Christianity, or African American Christianity, was born as a result of the concealment of some Hoodoo practices in African American churches, resulting in the development of a distinctive brand of Christianity that fused African traditions and was known as Afro-Christianity or African American Christianity.

While living on slave farms, all of these African religious traditions mixed and melded with Christianity, generating an entirely new type of spiritual tradition practiced by enslaved African Americans and their descendants.

When it came to conjuring activities, the terms “conjure” and “Voudoo” were used to characterize the rituals of both enslaved and free blacks throughout the time of slavery.

The term “Hoodoo” was first used to describe African American conjuring in a book titledSeership the Magnetic Mirror, authored by Black American occultist Paschal Beverly Randolph in approximately 1870, according to historical records.

Hoodoo is recognized by a variety of different titles in the African-American culture today, including root work and conjuring. ‘William Wells Brown’ is a fictional character created by author William Wells Brown. Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hoodoo in St. Louis

Two of William Wells Brown’s works, Hoodoo Practices of Enslaved People in St. Louis (1814-1884), chronicle the practices of enslaved people in St. Louis that he was originally enslaved and became an abolitionist. Brown was born into slavery in the Kentucky plantation system. Dr. John Young, Brown’s enslaver, relocated to the area of St. Louis, Missouri, in 1827 and built a small farm. Dr. Young engaged Brown to work in the city of St. Louis for steamboat captains and local merchants, and Brown was paid by Dr.

  • During his years as a slave in St.
  • Brown released his first book, Narrative of William W.
  • Written entirely by Himself.
  • Brown sought Frank’s advice on whether his plan to escape enslavement via the Underground Railroad would be successful in bringing him to freedom.
  • Louis, I went to an elderly guy named Frank, who was a slave owned by a Mr.
  • It was almost ten o’clock at night when I saw Uncle Frank reclining in the chimney corner.
  • I tried to keep an eye on him in the dim light of the fireplace, but it was difficult.
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‘Yes,’ I responded.

I, on the other hand, paid the twenty-five-cent price, and he began by peering into a gourd filled with water.

I am not a believer in soothsaying, but I am occasionally perplexed as to how Uncle Frank was able to predict events so perfectly in the future.

It was the fact that I should be liberated!

This was something I believed could only be spoken by an idiot!” Brown’s book, My southern home, or, The South and its people, published in 1880, contains further information about Hoodoo activities in St.

Brown reminisced about his time as a young adult enslaved in Missouri, as well as other incidents.


According to Brown, during this rite they danced in a circle until the dancing got increasingly frenetic, and it appeared that some of the participants were certainly possessed by African spirits.

Louis area.

Brown recounted another narrative of an enslaved African named Dinkie, who was known in the slave community as the Goopher King and King of Voudoos on Poplar Farm, which was owned by Mr.

Louis County and who was known as the Goopher King and King of Voudoos on Poplar Farm.

Dinkie was said to be well-versed in voudooism, goophering, and fortune-telling, according to Brown.

Goopher dust is a powder that is used in Hoodoo for protection and, on occasion, to “repair” a person’s situation.

Researchers believe that the Bakongo people of Central Africa were the first to practice goopher dust, and that the name “goopher” derives from the Kongo word “Kufwa, which means to die,” which means “to die.” Grove Cook, an overseer at Poplar Farm who had intended to lash Dinkie because he would not labor in the field, was the target of Dinkie’s usage of goopher dust.

  • The petrified frog and dried lizard in Dinkie’s pockets, as well as the snake skin around his neck, were all extensively examined by Dinkie, who had rubbed goopher all over himself.
  • According to Brown, this strategy was effective.
  • Gaines ever assaulted Dinkie.
  • Louis as a result.
  • Dinkie had a reputation on Poplar Farm as a skilled conjurer, and whites from St.

Among light of these considerations, Brown came to the conclusion that the practice of conjure (Hoodoo) was an established institution in slave society. In 1860, the White Haven home in St. Louis was shown in this manner. The National Park Service (NPS)

Finding Hoodoo at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Another example of archeological evidence revealed a fusion of African customs on slave farms throughout the United States, as well as at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, according to the evidence. A variety of farms were discovered to have minkisi bundle customs, which were blended with West African mysticism, according to archeologists. For the purpose of conjuring certain effects, minkisi bundles are made up of various materials and buried beneath the floorboards of dwellings, or they might be hidden near doorways or chimneys to elicit certain consequences.

  • Nkisi and minkisi are spirit containers, which means they hold spirits.
  • Each thing has a spiritual significance associated with it.
  • These rituals were carried out in secret by enslaved people in order to protect themselves from slaveholders and conjure.
  • Louis and serves as the former home of the Dent and Grant families, who held White Haven for most of the nineteenth century.
  • Grant, a Civil War officer and future President who met and married Julia Dent at White Haven, New York, during the Civil War.
  • In addition to the buildings owned and lived in by the Dent and Grant families, White Haven also features the winter and summer kitchens, as well as slave cabin structures.
  • Grant National Historic Site.

Four-hole buttons were understood as representing the Bakongo’s sacred symbols, which included the Kongo cosmogram, also known as dikenga, and the Yowa cross, among other things.

The four points of the cosmogram represent the stages of life: birth, life after death, and rebirth.

Enslaved women at the Grant historic site also used African beads as charms and to retain their African identity.

Silver dimes are utilized as protection charms in Hoodoo rituals.

Archaeological excavation at White Haven in the 1990s uncovered artifacts from West Africa, which were previously thought to be in the area.

According to Julia Dent, an enslaved man by the name of Old Bob would walk into the woods and pray on occasion.

It took him about half a mile away to walk to a field under the giant walnut trees, where he would pray and sign so that we could hear him well on our patio.

“I recall those Christmas and Whitsuntide festivals, the weddings of those poor people (who frequently married without getting divorced), and the lavish suppers the master and mistress prepared for them on these occasions; then there was the corn shuckings, from which they also made a feast; they would pile the freshly gathered corn in a rick ten or twelve feet high and, it seemed to me, a hundred feet long.

  1. ” In addition, they would invite all of the colored people from a long distance away, and once the greetings were over and everyone had a drink in hand, they would gather around the fire (sometimes as many as two or three hundred in number), and word, song, and chorus would begin.
  2. This photograph displays a group of enslaved African Americans who are singing together.
  3. Images of Slavery These traditions in St.
  4. Samuel Kojoe Pearce, an Igbo man from Nigeria, a nation in West Africa, who immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Germany in 1920 and was arrested in St.
  5. Louis in 1927.
  6. Pearce) earned his living by concocting potions, powders, and charms and selling them to African Americans through the mail order system.

During the Jim Crow era, when racial segregation was legal, some African Americans turned to Hoodoo for employment, protection from law enforcement, and racial fear in the hopes that spiritual acts would give them with a better existence under the burden of racial discrimination and oppression.

African Americans used herbal teas to cure diseases and created health tonics to help them recover.

The practice of hoodoo, on the other hand, was taken by people who were not of African origin by the twentieth century and was exploited to make a profit on African Americans’ spiritual beliefs.

Further Reading

Crystal Michelle Boson is the author of this work. Hoodoo in the American Imagination: Digital Loa and Faith You Can Tasting Dissertation. The University of Kansas is located in Lawrence, Kansas. A Taste of Digital Loa and Faith You Can Feel: Hoodoo and the American Imagination (ku.edu) Brown, William W., “My Southern Home,” or “The South and Its People,” in My Southern Home, or the South and Its People. William Wells Brown (1814?-1884) was born in 1814 and died in 1880. My Southern Home: or, The South and Its People is a collection of short stories about growing up in the South.

Brown, An American Slave,’ by William W.

Written entirely by Himself.

William Wells Brown was born in 1814 and died in 1884.

Brown’s Narrative of his Life as an American Slave (unc.edu) Chireau, Yvonne P., “Black Magic Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition,” in Black Magic Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition.

Coggswell’s Stories from the Heart: Missouri’s African American Heritage is available online.

Donald and Katrina H.

2013 Julia Dent Grant is a fictional character created by author Julia Dent Grant.

1975 Tony Kail is the author of this work.

Old Bob.

Grant The site is a National Historic Landmark.

National Park Service) is a historical figure in the United States (nps.gov) Pyatt, Sherman E.

In this book, you will find a dictionary and a catalog of African American folklife from the southern United States.

Beverly Jeffrey Richer and Karin Roberts are co-authors of this book.

Grant National Historic Site in 2017.

The Lowcountry Digital Library at the College of Charleston is hosting a Digital History Project on its website.

Thompson, 1983.

“The Lore of the Nkisi West-Central.” Encyclopedia Britannica is a reputable source of information.

Britannica’s Nkisi entry on west-central African legend Negro is accused of using the mail to sell ‘charms,’ and a voodoo doctor has been indicted.

The New York Times reports that a ‘VOODOO DOCTOR’ has been indicted and that a ‘CHARM DEALER’ has been charged (nytimes.com) “Medicine Man” is a character in the television series “National Affairs.” On July 11, 1927, Time Magazine published an article titled Medicine Man in the Matter of National Affairs – THE TIME

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