Slave Quilt Codes
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Slave quilt codes. Slave owners might not have noticed the significance of the designs but slaves planning an escape through the underground railroad were said to know the quilt codes by heart. Fugitive slave law the fugitive slave laws were acts passed by congress in 1793 and 1850 outlawing any efforts to impede the capture of runaway slaves. Codes monkey wrench gather all of the. Underground railroad symbols for kids.
Former slave photographed in the 1930s name unknown. Quilt codes are not mentioned in the 19th century slave narratives or 1930s oral testimonies of former. Slaves could not read or write. I am in awe of these quilts and the spirit of people who created them.
Another factor that diminishes the credibility of the quilts being used in this manner is the lack of slave quilts from this time period. The folklore of certain quilts being used as symbols has been presumed true by many with books hidden in plain view. Many of the designs were brought over from africa so even the least educated slave could decipher the meaning of the quilt codes with little confusion. See more ideas about quilts underground railroad american quilt.
One legendary code was the quilt code. But it has to be taken into consideration that the slaves did not have high quality fabric to use when making quilts. The underground railroad quilt codes secret messages in the form of quilt patterns helped enslaved people escape the bonds of captivity in the southern states before and during the american civil war. Wright a new jersey based historian points to a lack of corroborating evidence.
This person might be a former slave a white ally or even a person who was still enslaved themselves. According to legend a safe house along the underground railroad was often indicated by a quilt hanging from a clothesline or windowsill. These quilts were embedded with a kind of code so that by reading the shapes and motifs sewn into the design an enslaved person on the run could know the area s immediate dangers or even where to head next. A secret story of quilts and the underground railroad in 2000 from authors jacqueline l.
Feb 18 2020 testament to people s resilience longing for self determination and tenacity in achieving it. It was illegal to teach a slave to do so.
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