Safe Houses for the Underground Railroad   Leave a comment


Quilts are blankets made of patchwork of different materials. They often show important events in life. During the underground railroad times, quilts were hung from the front porch of the house. They told runaway slaves that the house was safe place for them to find food, shelter and help.
These houses provided runaway slaves with food and shelter on their way to freedom. They were houses of people who did not believe in slavery. These people hang quilts and lit lanterns to show runaway slaves that
they will be safe there.
Conductors were people who guided runaway slaves to freedom. They would show them the way to the safe houses and help them get supplies and help. Many conductors returned to get more slaves and risked their lives. Some were even runaway slaves who could be returned to slavery if they were caught, such as Harriet Tubman.
North star is the brightest star in the night sky. Slaves used it to find their way through the woods. Runaway slaves had to move mostly at night and this shiny star showed them the way.
Drinking gourd is the constellation or a group of stars. We call it Big Dipper. Runaway slaves called it Drinking Gourd because it looked like a bowl and ladle used to drink at that time. This was another way for slaves not to get lost in the dark.
 Lantern is a type of the light that people used hundred years ago. Some were lit by the oil. People who wanted to help runaway slaves hung lanterns on the poles in front of their houses. This way slaves knew that  this house was a safe house.
Spiritual songs were the songs that slave sang on plantations. They told about slave life. But many spiritual songs also had codes that told runaway slaves how to escape and where the safe houses were. One famous spiritual song is “Go Down Moses”
Patrols were groups of white men who caught runaway slaves for money. They were people who did not own land and whose only job was to patrol the roads to catch runaways for their masters. Once they were caught patrols would get a good reward. This is how they made living.
Stations were safe houses along the underground railroad. Runaways got shelter and food there. They were usually taken there by conductors. People who owned stations or safe houses put their and their families lives in danger to help runaway slave.

Posted February 14, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Slavery

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: