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The Edwards History and Genealogy Center
Sampler Quilt for the Underground Railroad
The idea of enslaving human beings was not acceptable to many people and so the Underground Railroad came into being. This was network of abolitionists who helped slaves escape to Ohio and Canada. Safe houses, hopefully no farther than 10-11 miles apart, were called "stations", those who guided the escapees were known as "conductors" and the runaways themselves were called "passengers".
Reaching a "station" in the North meant food, clothing, and a place to hide if capture seemed imminent. Estimates are that as many as 100,000 people escaped slavery between the American Revolution and the Civil War.
The blacks were not allowed to learn to read and write so the abolitionists had to devise a way to silently communicate directions to escapees, thus the idea of quilt patterns with meanings for those wanting freedom came into being. These quilts with special patterns could be hung on a line, out an open window or other places and not arouse any suspicions. They looked simply like a housewife airing her bedding.
We have put together 15 different quilt blocks each with its own meaning to show how this plan worked. Of course, the slaves had to learn the meanings ahead of time.
#1 is Jacob's Ladder - It has an alternating path of dark and light that can be used to show a direction. The slaves could know which way to go by the angle at which the quilt was placed outside the home of the abolitionist.
#2 is the Monkey Wrench - It was heavy metal tool used by the blacksmith. As a rule, the blacksmith was the most knowledgeable person on the plantation and was known as the "Monkey Wrench". He could travel around without anyone thinking anything suspicious and therefore pass any information needed. In other words, the Monkey Wrench was the person or a group of people who got things moving, or - turned the wagon wheel.
When this quilt was displayed it meant it was time collect tools needed on the journey north to freedom. There were physical tools needed for constructing shelter, for defending themselves, and determining direction. Along with food, and a few coins, they were to wrap these tools in a bandana bundle.
#3 is the Wagon Wheel - Not only was the wagon wheel symbolic of a "chariot that was to carry them home", but wagons with hidden compartments were one of the primary means of transporting escaping runaways. The quilt was a message to pack provisions as if packing a wagon, keeping in mind packing only what was essential.
#4 is the Carpenter's Wheel - This was a secondary code pattern. To the slave, the master carpenter in their lives was Jesus. They would sing the "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and the plantation owner thought they were singing about going to Heaven, but actually it was message to follow the directions to the west northwest - to Ohio.
#5 is the Bear Paw - With this quilt the runaways were directed to follow an actual trail of a bear's footprints. The animal footprints would indicate the best path, just like a road map. Most escapes took place in the spring and with the spring rains it would be easy to follow a bear's paw trail to food and safety.
#6 is the Basket - Symbol of provisions needed for the long journey north. One of the most difficult things faced by the escaping slaves was feeding themselves along the way. They took what they could carry and then had to depend on safe houses or friends to help. Abolitionists would give them baskets of provisions and tools such as flint and compasses. So one of these quilts hung outside a house would mean a basket of provisions could be had there.
#7 is Crossroads - Once escapees made it safely through the Appalachian Mountains, they were to travel to the "crossroads" meaning a city where they would find protection and refuge. The main crossroad, or terminal, was Cleveland, Ohio. There were four or five overland trails connected with Cleveland, and numerous water routes, crossing Lake Erie into Canada and freedom.
#8 is the Log Cabin - The block may have indicated there was a specific log cabin in Cleveland that was a safe house, or it may have directed the runaway to build a log cabin to weather out winter and perhaps establish a permanent residence in a "free" area.
The usual center color of the block was red, representing the hearth or fire of the cabin. If the center block was black it indicated the home it hung in front of was a safe house. If the center block was yellow it meant to watch for a light, or lantern.
#9 is Shoo-Fly - This pattern represents an actual person who would help escaping slaves. His responsibility was to secretly aid and harbor fugitives. Sometimes the slaves hid out in churches, or caves referred to as cathedrals. Graveyards were frequently the hiding place, especially if they were located on the outskirts of town, or were close to rivers.
#10 is Bow Tie - A quilt of this pattern was a directive for them to dress in a conventional manner. When they first escaped their clothes were those of the slaves under a master. On the journey they became tattered and torn, so free blacks would often meet them in a safe place and give them fresh clothing so they wouldn't stand out among the city folks. This way they could walk through town undetected to ships waiting to take them across the Great Lakes to Canada and freedom.
#11 is Flying Geese - With this quilt the slaves learned they were to take their direction, timing, and behavior from the migrating geese. Since geese fly north in the spring, it was also the best time for slaves to escape. Geese have to stop at waterways along their journey in order to rest and eat. Especially since geese make loud honking noises it was easy for runaways to follow their flight pattern.
#12 is Birds in the Air - This quilt is also symbolic of flight or migration. The clever quilter would make one block with one color dominant so it gave the direction in which to travel depending on the direction the quilt was displayed.
#13 is the Drunkard's Path - This is known by a number of different names depending on whether or not the owner was a teetotaler. No matter what it was called, in the Underground Railroad, it meant that the escapees should travel in a staggering fashion to confuse any slave hunters who might be following them.
#14 is the Sailboat - This pattern was the symbol of safe water passage to freedom. Free black sailors and ship owners helped many slaves escape directly, hiding them on board ships and spiriting them away to Canada.
#15 is the North Star - This is also known as the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). The North Star was the guiding light because it always points to the north. It was an important navigational tool for the ship owners who took the slaves from Cleveland or Detroit to Canada.
The North Star is the last block in the Underground Railroad Sampler quilt. The quilt top was finished into a light-weight quilt, raffled off for the benefit of the Edwards Historical Association and won by an appreciative teacher at Edwards-Knox Central School, Chris Backus, who plans to use it in her classroom.
LaVerne H. Freeman
12 July 2005
In Q 1252 Remember this History Lesson:
Who first sang the song 'Swing low sweet chariot'?
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was first written by Wallis Willis, a Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory, sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah's being taken to heaven by a chariot (2 Kings 2:11). Many sources (see Songs of the underground railroad) claim that this song and "Steal Away"-also composed by Willis-had lyrics that referred to the Underground Railroad, the resistance movement that helped slaves escape from the South to the North and Canada. Alexander Reid, a minister at a Choctaw boarding school, heard Willis singing these two songs and transcribed the words and melodies. He sent the music to the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jubilee Singers popularized the songs during a tour of the United States and Europe. The song enjoyed a resurgence during the 1960s Civil Rights struggle and the folk revival ; it was performed by a number of artists. Traditional lyrics Chorus: Swing low, sweet chariot Coming for to carry me home, Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home. I looked over Jordan, and what did I see Coming for to carry me home? A band of angels coming after me, Coming for to carry me home. Chorus Sometimes I'm up, and sometimes I'm down, (Coming for to carry me home) But still my soul feels heavenly bound. (Coming for to carry me home) Chorus The brightest day that I can say, (Coming for to carry me home) When Jesus washed my sins away. (Coming for to carry me home) Chorus If I get there before you do, (Coming for to carry me home) I'll cut a hole and pull you through. (Coming for to carry me home) Chorus If you get there before I do, (Coming for to carry me home) Tell all my friends I'm coming too. (Coming for to carry me home) Chorus .
Slavery I'm sad to say has not gone away. Today, we are plagued with the modern slavery that continues to destroy lives. QTpie tweeted this link a few days ago. This is an issue that must be addressed. However, due to censoring, I'm only able to address part of this story. If you wish to view the full story; I've started a BitChute https://www.bitchute.com/channel/kZPFE3CTRGdX/ and a Patreon https://www.patreon.com/projectweepingangel account where you may view this in its entirety. If you are already watching on BitChute or Patreon, you will view the full version of this article.
In Q1252, we learn:
Multiple Child Porn Rings Involving Kids as Young as 3-Months-Old Shut Down by Michigan Police
By Red Pill | 08-20-2018
Photo credit: Michigan State Police via WDIO
Multiple Child Porn Rings Involving Kids as Young as 3-Months-Old Shut Down by Michigan Police
Investigators with the Michigan State Police have announced an operation to bring down a major child pornographic distribution ring in Battle Creek, Michigan, where so far several individuals from within the state have been taken into custody and arraigned as part of several widespread criminal networks of pedophiles.
The operation to bring down the producers and distributors of illicit images and videos involving prepubescent children being raped, tortured, and molested comes amidst a series of raids on recent weeks in unison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where local Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ Channel 7 reports that seven adults were detained in early August.
In that incident, the group of pedophiles worked to fulfill various jobs in coordination with one another to manipulate young girls into sending them videos of themselves engaged in perverse of sexually explicit actions, by posing as male teenagers to entice the young girls.
Six of the seven pedophiles involved in that particular child pornographic network are each facing charges related to child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to produce child pornography, online enticement, and other child exploitation offenses.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan said the men involved had different roles: Some were "hunters," some were "talkers," and some were "loopers." The hunters would find the girls and get them on the website.
"The talkers would talk with these girls and groom them and dare them to engage in certain acts on videotape for the men," Schneider said. "Then the loopers might play the videos back and tey would convince these young girls to expose themselves on camera and then record it."
Credit: local ABC affiliate WDIO.
42-year-old Eric Robinson, the now guilty seventh pedophile as per a recent child pornography
ring take down by law enforcement.
With the arrest and sentencing 42-year-old Eric Robinson, the last of the seven Michigan pedophiles involved in the above-mentioned child pornography ring, he has already pleaded guilty to producing child pornography and received a sentence of 34 years imprisonment and ten additional years of supervised release, as reported by l local ABC affiliate WDIO.
The initial complaint against Robinson depicted a calculative pedophile who used an alias, having went by the name "Spencer" in online chat rooms, where he logged in to the website more than 2,000 times between April 1st, of 2015 and June 10th, of 2016 to provide himself another identity in which he felt confident enough to prey on countless dozens of children.
By tracking the IP addresses associated with "Spencer's" account, the FBI assisted in locating Robinson's place of work in Hermantown, and a personal residence in Duluth. This would initiate the first of several major Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force raids against the coordinated pedophile operation of child pornographic distribution over recent months across the state of Michigan.
St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman confirmed criminal complaint said: "numerous child pornography files have been found on the items seized from the residence."
"Some of these men had children themselves," Schneider said. "And here in their private time, they were exploiting these young girls, and they were abusing them."
As a result of this sting, numerous others are now facing imprisonment or have already been sentenced, with men ranged in the ages of 31 to 49-year-old, located all across the United States of America.
Arrests and raids have since taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada; Springdale, Arkansas; Wappinger Falls, New York; Highland Park, New York; and Portland, Maine; as part of one of the most widespread geographical coverage areas for swatting a pedophile child pornography distribution ring in the United States law enforcement history.
US Attorney Schneider said, “if there is any comfort at all, it is that the victims did not have to endure a trial.”
"It's helpful, I believe, for the victims when the men plead guilty because then the girls are spared from being victimized all over again by having to testify in a jury trial," Schneider added.
Each of those connected to this mega organization is now facing justice, but the continual response throughout Michigan to stop the pedophile scourge has been monumental if not outright amazing by law enforcement and federal prosecutors.
On August 16th, the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Michigan said in a news release they had successfully finished prosecuting a case against 27-year-old James Theodore Pyle, for his crimes of pretending to be a 15-year-old by the name of “Roman Kalhart,” before he persuaded “as many as 50 to 70 adolescent boys to send him sexually explicit photos over the internet.
27-year-old convicted child sexual Predator James Theodore Pyle. Credit: local ABC affiliate WDIO.
Pyle was indicted on two counts of enticement of a minor, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of receipt of child pornography. He openly admitted to persuading a 15-year-old boy in Wisconsin to send him sexually explicit videos and photographs, as reported in a recent Department of Justice release.
At least 20 victims were outlined in the pre-sentence investigation report, which prompted Pyle to accept a plea bargain, and now is serving more than 20 years in prison, with ten years of supervised release if he survives the sentence.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes very serious cases involving child predators,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said in a statement. “Those people who would use the internet to hide their true identity to befriend and exploit children deserve the fullest punishment the law provides.”
The very real, and simultaneously ignored pedophile problem scouring this nation is more often than not referred to as “PedoGate,” and Michigan has seen enormous numbers of pedophiles arrested in what is either a disturbing coincidence or a connected series of criminal underworld enterprises that prey upon the most innocent Americans of all, the underage and innocent children.In mid-July, the Adrian Police Department arrested 28-year-old Daniel Jesus Martinez, after a prolonged investigation that determined the Michigan pedophile forced children as young as ten
Credit: Adrian Police Department via the Detroit Free Press.
Martinez was determined to have transmitted child pornography of him preying on young children which led to a search warrant execution as his residence, and the Adrian Police Department were able to easily find evidence allowing the pedophile's arrest.
Currently, Martinez is charged with three counts each of engaging in child sexually commercial activity, possession of child sexually abusive material, accosting children for immoral purposes, and using a computer to commit a crime, where he is being held on a bond of $300,000.
In the most recent of raids, two individuals, 32-year-old Matthew Toole, of Battle Creek, Michigan; and his girlfriend, 32-year-old Talia Furman, of Springfield, Michigan, were formally arraigned last Friday on horrific charges including the first-degree criminal sexual conduct of a toddler, child abuse of a toddler, sexually abusive activity involving a toddler, and the gross possession of child sexually abusive material.
Michigan State Police say that the deranged pedophile couple engaged in the forced rapes of two small children, a three-month-old girl and 3-year-old boy whose lives will now be forever tormented by the despicable and evil Toole and Furman, in which MSP Detective Sgt. Mike Salmen says resulted in a tip to Troopers back in May.