The Underground Railroad Quilt Code - Truth or Myth?





The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War has also brought renewed interest in the Underground Railroad, and a talk this Saturday at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park will examine an intriguing question: "The Underground Railroad Quilt Code - Truth or Myth?"

Information about the event notes,

"The Underground Railroad (UGRR) has captured the imagination of the country, and stories of its use have been published and repeated in countless books and songs over the years. One associated story that has received much attention over the past decade has been the tale of the UGRR 'quilt code,' a means by which escaping slaves could 'read' quilts hung outside houses to find their way north to freedom.

This code was clearly described in the book Hidden in Plain View published in 1999 by Jacqueline Tobin and Dr. Raymond Dobard. In it, Tobin describes her encounters with Ozella Williams, an elderly African-American vendor in a Charleston market who approached Tobin with stories of the quilt code, supposedly handed down over generations to her by her family....

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