The Secret Stories Told By Signal Quilts and the Underground Railroad

Lazies, Rita Fishel, owner of Creations SewClever quilt shop in Chillicothe, Ohio, a local history buff, was interviewed recently about the pre-Civil War quilt’s openly debated oral history. Click the image below to watch the ‘Signal Quilts’ video.

Rita signal quilt

Jacqueline Tobin’s book, “Hidden in Plain View” has added another dimension to the secrecy of the Underground Railroad and created debates over their purported legitimacy in many history circles. Were quilts sewn by slaves and abolitionists’ wives really secret messages for those using the Underground Railroad? My friend Rita Fishel tells us a bit about signal quilts and the Underground Railroad.

Image courtesy of

Leave a Lazy Comment

2 Responses to “The Secret Stories Told By Signal Quilts and the Underground Railroad”

  1. MO — March 1, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

    What a great story! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Katherine Lloyd — March 8, 2007 @ 6:39 am

    I too have been fascnated by this history for several years.
    Have recently seen several statements claiming it was fantasy,
    and that the individuals concerned would not have had the ability
    to interpret such a thing. How totally insulting. Yeah, and they say
    the Holocaust never happened either.
    Re the quilts, haven’t women in particular always shown a resourcefulness when challenged with a problem, particularly one of compassionate human need.