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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Re: Freedom Quilt
In Response To: Re: Freedom Quilt ()


There was a story told about the use of codes in quilts within a family from Kentucky.
"It was a secret that had been passed down to Lizzie from her mother and grandmother before her, and that she passed on to her children and grandchildren. Different quilt patterns had different meanings, each one an important lesson for slaves making the trip north via the Underground Railroad, Boswell says."

I will believe the story of the quilts until the writer tells me that she made up this story. She and her husband are planning to attend our play.

Many runaways from Kentucky passed through Illinois which was a state that grew out of the land transfer of the Northwest Territory from Virginia in 1784. Plantation owners in southern states freed, or allowed their slaves to purchase freedom, and even moved them to Illinois.

There are numerous blacks listed by name on early Illinois census records. I spoke on this past Sunday with some descendants of free blacks who lived in Illinois during the early 1800s.

I'm researching family history and have been doing so since 1973. I am not an expert. When the song was written or whether or not quilts were used by runaway slaves does not remove the brick walls of my family history research. But, who knows? I will still perform my role as Frederick Douglass.

Ed Adams

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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