The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe places for slaves to escape to free states or Canada during slavery in America. The network was not ran by any single organization or person but was a huge network of sympathetic people and organizations that believed in freedom for everyone. They would often use terms like “stations” and “depots” to represent safe places. They also called people who lead others to freedom “conductors.”
People who used the Underground Railroad to escape slavery or to help others escape slavery used secret codes to learn about safe routes and paths to take during their escape. Often these codes would be hidden in the patterns of quilts that would hang on fences or clothing lines along an escape route. Some of the patterns used in the quilts are shown and you can learn a lot more about them by attending Taste of Soul Sunday on February 16, 2014 from 1- 4:30 at the Main Library of the Grand Rapids Public Library. During the event, teens and children can participate in an interactive presentation about the use of quilts and codes during the Underground Railroad. After the presentation, children will be able to complete a craft and teens can participate in a scavenger hunt.