|Frederick Douglas & "special" parcel|
"Stationmaster": the person who "accomodated" runaway and gave them food or even clothes.
"Station" or "depot": stationmaster's house where the runaway took shelter. By houses think attics or cold and damp cellars or even less comfy places such as barns, classrooms or church halls.
|Thomas Garrett & Levi Cofin's house known as "Grand Central Station"|
A railroad in the 1790's? the network exixted since the end of the 18th century (after all the Mennonites and Quakers publicly stated slavery was wrong in the late 17th century!) but it was nicknames the the "Underground railroad" when the first trains strated to drive on the American soil around 1830.
Quilts are duvets or blankets of 2 sheets made of different patches of fabric (patchwork), then sewn together and finally stuffed. The patterns were varied and the legend has it some of them had secret meanings. People who helped the runaways put the quilt over window sills or fences.
Here are the supposed meanings:
The "Monkey wrench" meant "gather Tools and be ready to leave".
The "Northen star" meant: "go North".
The "Bear's paw" meant "follow the montain trail".
The "Bowtie" meant "dress-up and pretend to be freed blacks".