What Symbol Was Used During Underground Railroad? (Solved)

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.

What is the symbolic meaning of the Underground Railroad?

  • The Underground Railroad. Both the history and fictionalized railroad, however, have symbolic meaning in common: to the escaping slave, and to those that helped them, the railroad meant / means freedom.

Did the slaves Follow the North Star?

In the years before and during the U.S. Civil War of the 1860s, escaped slaves fled northward, hiding by day and moving furtively at night. Often their only guide was Polaris, the North Star, which they found by tracing the handle of the Big Dipper constellation, or Drinking Gourd.

Were quilts used in the Underground Railroad?

Two historians say African American slaves may have used a quilt code to navigate the Underground Railroad. Quilts with patterns named “wagon wheel,” “tumbling blocks,” and “bear’s paw” appear to have contained secret messages that helped direct slaves to freedom, the pair claim.

What did the slaves call the Big Dipper?

In the early-to-mid 19th century, countless American slaves used the Big Dipper⁠—aka the Drinking Gourd⁠ —as a guide to finding the North Star in the night sky, which led them to the northern (freed) states.

Did Harriet Tubman use the stars?

Many former slaves, including historical figures like Tubman, used the celestial gourd, or dipper, to guide them on their journey north. The Big Dipper and North Star were referenced in many slave narratives and songs.

How did Harriet Tubman find her way north?

Harriet Tubman traveled at night so that she would not be seen by slave catchers. Just as other fugitives, such as Frederick Douglass, she followed the North Star that guided her north.

What does the carpenters wheel mean?

Wagon Wheel/Carpenter’s Wheel: A signal to the slave to pack the items needed to travel by wagon or that could be used while travelling. It could also mean to pack the provisions necessary for survival, as if packing a wagon for a long journey, or to actually load the wagon in preparation for escape.

What’s Harriet Tubman’s real name?

The person we know as “Harriet Tubman” endured decades in bondage before becoming Harriet Tubman. Tubman was born under the name Araminta Ross sometime around 1820 (the exact date is unknown); her mother nicknamed her Minty.

What does the bow tie quilt mean?

Also known as the necktie or hourglass quilt, the bow tie quilt originated in the time of the pioneers setting in the Western part of America. A specific theory about the bow tie quilt blocks is that it was a symbol for slaves to dress up like rich people in order to travel safely.

Is tut a real language?

Tut is a form of English invented in the 18th century by black slaves in the southern states of America. It was used to help them learn to read and write at a time when literacy was banned among slaves, and also as a secret language. Each letter is replaced by a word beginning with the sound of the letter.

What is a group of slaves called?

A slave coffle passing the U.S. Capitol. Coffle – A group of enslaved individuals transported together for sale.


Located on Randall, the garden is a small plot of ground of about three yards squared, where Corag plants vegetables. The garden was passed down from Ajarry to Mabel, and then to Cora after Mabel fled away from the house. The… Cora’s Garden has been analyzed in detail.


Dance is depicted as both a source of joy and a cause of misery throughout the work. Dance has a long and illustrious history in African-American communities; during slavery, it served as a means of reconnecting with one’s cultural roots. Dance analysis may be found here.


Because of the disappearance of Mabel, Corabe is labeled a “stray” and is sent to Hob, the hut for exiled women on Randall. Despite the fact that the other residents of Randall assume that all Hob women are deranged, the ladies. Have a look at Hob’s analysis

Griffin Building

The Griffin Building is a 12-story structure in an unknown town in South Carolina, where the Colonials dwell in the dormitories of the Griffin Building. It is the highest skyscraper Cora has ever seen, and it is also one of the tallest structures in the world. Have a look at the Griffin Building’s analysis

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a never-ending line of lynched black bodies in North Carolina that have been placed out on display to frighten black people from rebelling against the state. The remains are disfigured and decomposing, and as a result, the Freedom Trail has become a. Have a look at our study of The Freedom Trail To request a new book, you must first sign up for a free LitCharts account. With a free LitCharts account, you’ll also receive notifications of new titles that we publish, as well as the opportunity to keep highlights and notes from books you’ve read.

The Underground Railroad Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

When Ajarry first comes on the Randall plantation, she claims a little garden plot between two slave cottages and immediately begins planting vegetables there. When Ajarry passes away, Mabel inherits the garden and is in charge of the yams and okra. When Mabel goes away and it becomes Cora’s time to inherit the plot, she takes steps to safeguard it from intruders who intend to take advantage of the situation and seize the property for themselves. The narrative serves as a representation of the sustaining heritage that mothers leave to their daughters.

  1. Land is a reoccurring motif throughout the narrative, and it is extremely precious.
  2. Furthermore, white men split up regions across the country in order to harvest resources for profit, displacing Native American tribes off their lands and bringing in African slaves from Africa.
  3. Last but not least, the garden represents freedom.
  4. Cora is able to spend her time working for herself rather than for the benefit of her white master, which allows her to be more productive.
  5. Slaves on Randall use dancing to deal with the severity of plantation life, and it is a vital part of their culture.
  6. The slaves’ dancing circles, on the other hand, are used as a means of humiliation by their owners as well.
  7. While doing this forced dance, Chester accidentally knocks Terrance’s wine glass, and as a result, he is sentenced to a harsh penalty.

Cora observes her other slaves dance on Randall’s plantation, her fellow laborers in South Carolina, and even her friends and members of the Valentine community on the Valentine farm in a reoccurring scenario in the novel.

Dance is a recurring theme in the narrative, and it is brought to the forefront in the last chapter when Cora meets up against her archnemesis, Ridgeway.

At many points in the story, the Declaration of Independence is referenced, each time recalling the contradictory promise that America represents.

When used in this context, the famous document serves as a symbol of the way America excludes millions of black slaves, thereby treating them as things rather than human beings who are fundamentally deserving of freedom.

While hiding in a small attic in North Carolina, she develops a passion for almanacs and becomes an obsessive reader of them.

Eventually, it is revealed that these almanacs were used by Donald Wells to assist him arrange the most advantageous moment for a runaway slave to escape in order to conjure up the thought of freedom even when it seemed unachievable at the time.

It is these more recent versions that Cora values because they remind her of the possibilities of the future, when she can utilize the information gathered from them to help care for children or to grow vegetables in her vegetable garden.

Victimization of black women through rape is a theme that appears again and over again throughout the work.

Ajarry was raped on the slave ship that carried her to America; Mabel was raped by Moses, a fellow slave; and, lastly, Cora is gang-raped behind the schoolhouse when she is a teenager, all of which take place in the book.

Cora’s anguish from her rape is one of the factors contributing to her estrangement.

This recurring narrative of sexual assault at the hands of both white and black males serves as a constant reminder of the ways in which black women are particularly oppressed and marginalized.

The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead Symbols – Studypool

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Symbols are items or figures that artists employ to convey a concept or idea in their work. Cora’s garden is a little plot of land on Randall that is just three yards square in size, and where she plants vegetables. It was passed down down the generations from Ajarry to Mabel, and then to Cora after Mabel ran away from home. Ajarry and Mabel have both passed away, and Cora’s “inheritance” has been described as a physical expression of the personal traits she acquired from her mother and grandmother: the strength to persist from Ajarry, and the daring to rebel from Mabel.

  • In the course of their escape, Cora and Mabel bring vegetables from their garden with them to help them survive; the garden therefore becomes a metaphor of life and possibilities, as well as the future and freedom.
  • When Blake attempts to take over Cora’s garden for his dog, Cora protects it vehemently, foreshadowing her protection of her own life and independence for the remainder of the story.
  • However, despite the fact that the other residents of Randall assume that all Hob women are mad, the only thing that actually unifies the women who live on Randall is their separation from the rest of society.
  • Being assigned to Hob is commonly seen as a misfortune; many of the town’s citizens avoid contact with Hob women, and odd tales about them are circulated among the populace (such as the story that Cora has sex with animals).
  • Being deemed mad, on the other hand, provides a measure of protection from violence and hostile treatment.
  • Cora’s expulsion from the group provides her with the opportunity to fantasize about throwing herself out of Randall and into the scary uncertainty of life on the run.
  • A 12-story structure in an unidentified town in South Carolina, where Cora stays in the dorms, is referred to as the Griffin Building in the novel.
See also:  When Did Harriet Tubman Carer Startin The Underground Railroad? (Best solution)


The administration of the hospital is located in the building, and records are also stored there, including files for all of the inhabitants of the black dormitory.

Griffin, because of its immensity and high-tech characteristics, represents modernism, development, and the promise of the future.

They are proud of their concept, and they believe that Griffin represents all that the town has accomplished.

Administrative regulations and recordkeeping allow the state to retain control over black people, and the riches gained in the South are derived from the exploitation and brutality of slave labor in the first place.

The figure of Griffin therefore comes to represent the way in which American progress and modernity are built via the use of violence against the black community.

The remains are disfigured and decomposing, and the Freedom Trail serves as a grim reminder of the realities of white supremacy in the United States.

In this manner, the Trail symbolizes the inconceivable and unlimited brutality perpetrated against black people, as well as the utter moral vacuum created by white supremacy.

It is also hard to ascertain the precise number of persons who were killed in this manner because of how prevalent and institutionalized the violence was.

In the narrative, the trail serves as a visual confirmation of the metaphorical link that exists between death and liberation.

Most of those who fled with Cora and/or aid in her escape are slain, and Cora is tormented by her own metaphorical Freedom Trail, which is composed of all the killings that occur during her escape. Cora’s own symbolic Freedom Trail is comprised of all the deaths that occur during her escape.

The Underground Railroad Symbols

The Underground Railroad is a symbol of African American self-determination. While the railroad was built at a time when African Americans were slaves, it stands as a testament to their tenacious spirit, as well as their desire not just to live but also to be free of slavery. They have practically migrated the entire planet in order to escape enslavement. Despite the fact that they have had assistance from white allies, the novel makes it plain, as John Valentine puts it, that they are not allies “It’s not going to happen with a white man.

  • This secret location is revealed from the train tracks, sculpted by the hands of persons who are unable to accept the unfair circumstances in which they are forced to live.
  • The railroad also represents the perilous journey that African Americans must go in order to achieve freedom.
  • While on her way to escape, Cora encounters a variety of stopovers, the majority of which are “counterfeit sanctuaries and unending chains.” Due to the fact that slave hunters always appear to be one step ahead of her, she is constantly on edge.
  • The road to freedom is a dark and uncertain one, and no one individual understands enough about it to reliably guide runaways to safety.

The Garden Plot

It is this little patch of ground behind the slave cabin, cleared and planted by Cora’s grandmother, Ajarry, that marks her grandmother’s legacy to her. The closest thing Ajarry had to a possession that she could give to her daughter Mabel was this piece of jewelry. Cora feels linked to her mother and grandmother because of “her family’s plot,” as she describes it. The ladies take pleasure in a sliver of freedom in the garden, where they are able to fend for themselves in a modest way. Cora takes pleasure in the heritage.

In the end, Cora comes to realize that the scheme was nothing more than an illusion, a “joke.

convinced her she possessed something.” She likens it to a slave reciting the Declaration of Independence in the United States.

A totally different image emerges of her grandmother’s legacy, one that is characterized by inequity and despair.


Books are symbols of both freedom and power. They are not allowed to be read by slaves for fear that they may read and envisage alternate options for their existence, or that they will be poisoned by abolitionist ideas. Using books as a portal to different worlds and experiences is a wonderful thing. They serve as a constant reminder to Caesart that he is more than a slave. “If he didn’t read, he was a slave,” he believes in his heart. In North Carolina, books provide Cora with a mental getaway from her attic.

Books provide African Americans with a platform and a voice.

Cora considers them “impossible jewels,” just like she considers freedom to be.

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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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • courtesy of Wikimedia Commons However, there is very little strong evidence that these patchwork symbols were employed in this manner during the time.
  • Some of the folklore includes some unexplainable anomalies, such as the bear’s paw design, which is difficult to explain.
  • In any case, using this path would have taken significantly longer and been significantly less direct, increasing the likelihood of getting apprehended.
  • 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.

Did Quilts Hold Codes to the Underground Railroad?

AuthorsJacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard’s Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, published in 2000, was widely seen as confirming the tradition that particular quilts were employed as emblems during the Underground Railroad movement. In the film Hidden in Plain View, which is based on interviews with elderly African-American quilter Ozella Williams, it appears to relate the narrative of how symbols were used to lead runaway slaves to safety. For enslaved people traveling on the Underground Railroad, one of the patterns believed to have had significance was the monkey wrench pattern.

  • The wagon wheel, drunkard’s path, and tumbling blocks are examples of other designs that have been incorporated in the quilt code.
  • Via/Flickr The seamstress of a plantation may instruct the other slaves on what the quilt symbols signified and then put up the quilt symbols that were pertinent to impending travels, such as when a conductor was about to arrive in the region.
  • It was believed that the presence of a black square in the center of the log cabin quilt indicated the presence of a safe home.
  • Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
  • There is, in fact, evidence indicating the opposite in several instances.
  • According to several interpretations, this pattern serves as a warning to people fleeing that they will have to pass through bear country (the mountains) or as an admonition to follow bear footprints since they will be near food and water.
  • Due to the fact that so few hints make sense when put under inspection, this type of thinking calls into question the premise that quilts were employed as a code.
  • Via/Flickr For vintage quit enthusiasts, the fact that this interesting narrative isn’t genuine may be disheartening, but there is still lot to admire about them simply because of the effort that has gone into each one of them.

The Code

McDaniel detailed the code in a series of conversations with Tobin and Dobard, which included the following: Plantation seamstresses would create a sampler quilt, which would have several distinct quilt designs. Slaves would learn the code with the help of the sampler. The seamstress then stitched ten quilts, each of which was made up of a different design from the code. The quilts would be hung in plain view by the seamstress one at a time, allowing the slaves to reinforce their recall of the design and the meaning connected with the pattern.

  • According to historians, the first quilt made by the seamstress to be displayed had a wrench pattern on it.
  • In this pattern, slaves were instructed to pack their possessions because they would be embarking on a lengthy journey.
  • “You were intended to follow in the bear’s actual footsteps,” Dobard explained.
  • When Dobard finished the last quilt, she used a tumbling blocks design that she described as appearing like a collection of boxes.

“It was only exhibited when specific requirements were met, and that was the case with this quilt. If, for example, there was an agent of the Underground Railroad in the vicinity, “Dobard expressed himself. “It was a clear indicator that it was time to pack up and leave.”

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.

  1. “They provide no proof, no paperwork, in support of that claim,” says the author.
  2. I was thinking to myself, “Who is going to take notes on their actions and what they meant.it may get into the wrong hands?” Dobard expressed himself.
  3. “Take, for example, the nature of quilts.
  4. “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.
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Symbols of Freedom Quilt explained

Gloria Anderson points out symbols and patterns in the quilt she designed and created herself. A member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church shared her experience making a quilt with a design that was inspired by slaves’ use of symbols and patterns to communicate in secret during the days of the Underground Railroad during Monday’s teach-in at Christ Episcopal Church. Gloria Anderson is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Anderson explained that symbols were used to remind people of the stages they needed to follow on their journey north, and that symbols were also used to signify help, such as a safe house, transportation, or a supply of clothes, when necessary.

  • She said that the symbols will be memorized by the slaves in the order of their most utility.
  • 1) The beat of a blacksmith’s hammer striking the anvil would transmit messages to slaves in the first row of the middle row.
  • Wagon wheel (top row, right): This sign would be located alongside a wagon that included a secret compartment that was used to carry slaves in secrecy, such as a chariot.
  • 3.
  • Crossroads (middle row, left) This sign would be used to symbolize a city of protection and shelter such as the city of Cleveland in Ohio.
  • Log cabin (in the center): The log cabin was a popular quilt design motif in the past.
  • To signal a home that would assist escape slaves, log cabin quilts with dark center blocks would be hung on a clothesline or porch railings.
  • A design for a bowtie (fourth row down, left) would be placed outside a facility where slaves may get a fresh pair of clothes to wear.
  • Flying geese (fourth row down, right): This design would serve as a visual reminder to fugitives in the spring to follow the migration of geese, which would orient them in the direction of the north and also provide them with information about water and food supplies.
  • Tenth, the North Star (bottom right): The North Star pattern would serve as a constant reminder to fugitives to maintain the North Star in their sights and to move at night.
  • It was suggested to her that she read the book “Hidden in Plain View,” written by Raymond Dobard Jr.

Ph.D. and Jacqueline Tobin. Tobin spoke with Ozella McDaniel Williams, an oral historian and quilter from South Carolina, who related her memories of how quilts were utilized as signals along the Underground Railroad. Get the latest local news sent directly to your inbox!

North Star to Freedom (U.S. National Park Service)

Harriet Tubman as a young woman, around 1860s, seen in a seated picture. The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information. The National Park Service tells the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who became an abolitionist, the Underground Railroad, and the many great Americans who lived throughout the 1800s whose daring deeds carried slaves to freedom and contributed to the abolition of slavery. The National Park Service (NPS) looks on the significance of the night sky in the lives of the founding fathers of our country as we commemorate our nation’s freedom.

  • Traveling under the cover of darkness generally provided the finest opportunities for escape.
  • The capacity of a runaway to safely get to a safe house, railroad station, or the woods without the aid of these equipment was frequently a matter of life and death.
  • NPS According to slave legend, the North Star played an important role in assisting slaves in their quest for freedom, serving as a light to the true north.
  • This item’s form is similar to a dipping ladle or drinking gourd, as implied by its name.
  • For millennia, celestial navigation knowledge (navigating by studying the stars and other patterns in the night sky) was passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition.
  • Slaves were able to navigate their path without becoming disoriented as a result of this information.
  • Many slave narratives and ballads made use of the Big Dipper and the North Star as symbols of freedom.
  • The night sky is a canvas of storytelling that connects us to our ancestors and their history.

When you look up at the night sky, remember the story of the drinking gourd and those early Americans who placed their lives on the promise of freedom on a star. Follow the sheet music and fragments of the Drinking Gourd. The Texas Folklore Society was founded in 1928.

Follow the Drinking Gourd

When the light returns and the firs’ quail begin to call, you know it is time to go. Follow the drinkin’ gou’d wherever he goes. If you want to drink, you should drink; if you want to drink, you should drink. “Foller the drinkin gou’d,” said the elderly gentleman. The riva comes to an end between two hills,following the drinking gou’d; there is another riva on the opposite side. ‘Follers the drinkin gou’d,’ said the bartender. What’s up with the small riva? Meet the hulking colossus, Foller the drinkin’ gou’d is waiting for the elderly guy.

Learn more:

  • Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland
  • The Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
  • The Civil War
  • Exploring Night Skies in National Parks
  • Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland
  • In the night sky, there are signs of spring

Julie West, Communications Specialist for the National Park Service’s Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, contributed to this article.

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.

  1. I can see the potential benefits of such a system.
  2. I really want to think that took place.
  3. Sharon Tindall is a quilter and instructor who lives in Virginia.
  4. Johnson House, which was built in 1768 in the center of Germantown, has woodwork, flooring, and glass that are all original to the building.
  5. “I took a tour around the area to see where people slept and ate.
  6. The presence of the slaves, as well as the Johnson family who protected them, was represented by the hues in the quilt’s sky.
  7. 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.

Tindall is a believer in and supporter of codes, despite the fact that not all of her quilts are coded.

Our dialogue dragged on for weeks as I pressed for more specific details about how they were being used.

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.

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“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.

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.

Underground Railroad Terminology

Written by Dr. Bryan Walls As a descendant of slaves who traveled the Underground Railroad, I grew up enthralled by the stories my family’s “Griot” told me about his ancestors. It was my Aunt Stella who was known as the “Griot,” which is an African name that means “keeper of the oral history,” since she was the storyteller of our family. Despite the fact that she died in 1986 at the age of 102, her mind remained keen till the very end of her life. During a conversation with my Aunt Stella, she informed me that John Freeman Walls was born in 1813 in Rockingham County, North Carolina and journeyed on the Underground Railroad to Maidstone, Ontario in 1846.

  1. Many historians believe that the Underground Railroad was the first big liberation movement in the Americas, and that it was the first time that people of many races and faiths came together in peace to fight for freedom and justice in the United States.
  2. Escaped slaves, as well as those who supported them, need rapid thinking as well as a wealth of insight and information.
  3. The Underground Railroad Freedom Movement reached its zenith between 1820 and 1865, when it was at its most active.
  4. A Kentucky fugitive slave by the name of Tice Davids allegedly swam across the Ohio River as slave catchers, including his former owner, were close on his trail, according to legend.
  5. He was most likely assisted by nice individuals who were opposed to slavery and wanted the practice to be abolished.
  6. “He must have gotten away and joined the underground railroad,” the enraged slave owner was overheard saying.
  7. As a result, railroad jargon was employed in order to maintain secrecy and confound the slave hunters.

In this way, escaping slaves would go through the forests at night and hide during the daytime hours.

In order to satiate their hunger for freedom and proceed along the treacherous Underground Railroad to the heaven they sung about in their songs—namely, the northern United States and Canada—they took this risky route across the wilderness.

Despite the fact that they were not permitted to receive an education, the slaves were clever folks.

Freedom seekers may use maps created by former slaves, White abolitionists, and free Blacks to find their way about when traveling was possible during the day time.

The paths were frequently not in straight lines; instead, they zigzagged across wide places in order to vary their smell and confuse the bloodhounds on the trail.

The slaves could not transport a large amount of goods since doing so would cause them to become sluggish.

Enslaved people traveled the Underground Railroad and relied on the plant life they encountered for sustenance and medical treatment.

The enslaved discovered that Echinacea strengthens the immune system, mint relieves indigestion, roots can be used to make tea, and plants can be used to make poultices even in the winter when they are dormant, among other things.

After all, despite what their owners may have told them, the Detroit River is not 5,000 miles wide, and the crows in Canada will not peck their eyes out.

Hopefully, for the sake of the Freedom Seeker, these words would be replaced by lyrics from the “Song of the Fugitive: The Great Escape.” The brutal wrongs of slavery I can no longer tolerate; my heart is broken within me, for as long as I remain a slave, I am determined to strike a blow for freedom or the tomb.” I am now embarking for yonder beach, beautiful land of liberty; our ship will soon get me to the other side, and I will then be liberated.

No more will I be terrified of the auctioneer, nor will I be terrified of the Master’s frowns; no longer will I quiver at the sound of the dogs baying.

All of the brave individuals who were participating in the Underground Railroad Freedom Movement had to acquire new jargon and codes in order to survive. To go to the Promised Land, one needed to have a high level of ability and knowledge.

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:

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