lantern.jpgAlong with code words and phrases, abolitionists, agents and conductors used secret signs and signals to let fugitive slaves know...
  • where they should travel;
  • whom they could trust;
  • which houses were "safe" houses;
  • and to give directions about when it was safe to escape; or
  • to keep them safe on their journey to freedom.

These secret signs and signals could be something you could see that would identify a house or a person as "safe". The most common signs or signals were lanterns or candles, lawn jockeys and quilts. In addition, there were other signs that were often used.



Signs & Signals


Lanterns or candles
Link 1: The Underground Railroad @nationalgeographic.com : The Journey

Link 2: Underground Railroad (Spartacus)


Lawn jockey
Link 3: The Underground Railroad ; Signals on the Underground Railroad

Link 4: Foulke Family Helps the Underground Railroad


Quilts
Link 5: Pathways to Freedom | Secrets: Signs and Symbols | The Secretsof Quilts

Link 6: Pathways to Freedom | Secrets: Signs and Symbols | The Secretsof Quilts [2]

Link 7: Owen Sound’s Black History – Quilt Codes


Other signs
Link 8: Granville Woods
When you get to this link, scroll down to page 4 and read the paragraph at the top of that page.


Activity: Name three secret signs or signals and tell what they meant. Click the 'discussion' tab above to post your answer.