Rokeby

Several years ago my family and I had the opprtunity to visit the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh ,Vermont. It is a house with gardens, etc. On the day we went it was during the week and there was no one else so, we had our own private tour and the guide spent a lot of time detailing everything. It was fascinating for me because this house and place was part of the Underground Railroad (keeping slaves safe). I was so moved by the fact that the people who owned this beautiful farm risked their lives to save others. While walking through the house I felt the presence of these people in particular a black slave woman. Anyway, I painted a picture just for the fun of it and practice for me.

rokeby

CC License View

rokeby2

CC License View

In doing some research on the underground railroad several years ago I came across this from a magazine…

slave

(I photographed this from the magazine I have)

This symbol can be traced back to London in 1787 where a Quaker abolitionist society adopted the insignia of a man in chains under an arc saying: Am I not a man and a brother?  Small ceramic cameos that became an emblem for antislavery workers were made and perhaps this was printed on a piece of fabric by using a stamp that would have been meant for printing.

slave1

(I photographed this from the magazine I have)

This was 1/2 of a quilt that a family split in half but you can clearly see the emblem. Eventually the quilt halves were reunited and you can see the entire emblem.

It has been said that quilts were used to communicate messages in the the Underground Railroad, whether that is true or not remains  a question but, quilts were definitely used to create revenue for the cause of saving slaves.

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